Best Adobe Stock Alternatives (2023)

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

Updated on | 0 Comments

If you buy something from a Photutorial link, we may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.
Shutterstock logo

Shutterstock

Editor’s Choice: Best Adobe Stock alternative with similar pricing options and photos
49% off with 12-mo plan (+1 free month)
$24.92/mo at Shutterstock
Depositphotos logo

Depositphotos

Editor’s Choice: Cheap Adobe Stock alternative, great for bloggers and entrepeneurs
16% off with 12-mo plan (+7 days free)
$24.92/mo at Depositphotos
Envato elements logo

Envato Elements

Cheap Adobe Stock alternative with unlimited downloads, best-suited for creatives
57% off with 12-mo plan (+7 days free)
$16.50/mo at Envato Elements
iStock logo

iStock

Adobe Stock alternative with that sells premium photos with subscriptions
17% off with 12-mo plan (+1 free month)
$29/mo at iStock
Canva logo

Canva

Best Adobe Stock alternative for amateur designers who rely on professional templates
23% off with 12-mo plan (+1 month free)
$9.99/mo at Canva
Pond5 logo

Pond5

Best Adobe Stock alternative for stock footage who can afford to pay more for quality
58% off with 12-mo plan
$83.25/mo at Pond5

For anyone in need of high-quality, high-resolution royalty-free images, videos, graphics, illustrations, and audio assets, finding the best Adobe Stock alternatives is essential. With 323 million photos, Adobe Stock is the second largest stock photo site after Shutterstock, which boasts 435 million photos. Formerly known as Fotolia, Adobe Stock was acquired by Adobe in 2015 and has since become one of the most successful stock photo sites, offering strong competition to Shutterstock.

While Adobe Stock offers one of the most comprehensive asset libraries for designers, content creators, marketing teams, and SMBs, Adobe Stock may not be the ideal choice for every individual or business. If you’re already invested in the Adobe ecosystem, you may not have considered exploring other stock media sites. However, beginners, small businesses, and creatives on a budget can find numerous top alternatives to Adobe Stock that offer a similar volume of assets without compromising on quality.

To help you find the right site for your needs, we have tested and reviewed the best Adobe Stock alternatives. Our review process includes exploring the user interface, experience, value for money, and size of each platform’s stock media library. We will highlight each site’s top features, lowlights, and how they compare to Adobe’s stock media library.

What is the best Adobe Stock alternative?

  • Shutterstock is the best overall Adobe Stock alternative. It offers similar subscriptions but at lower prices, a significantly higher variety of stock photos., and up to $250,000 indemnity with the extended license compared to Adobe’s $10,000.
  • Depositphotos is a close second. It has more affordable small subscription plans than Adobe Stock but has fewer photos and less legal coverage.
  • Envato Elements is much cheaper than Adobe Stock but has fewer photos and less comprehensive licensing. You can get unlimited downloads of 12+ million creative assets for $16.50/mo or $11.50/mo as a student.

How to choose the best Adobe Stock alternatives

For a stock photo site to be deemed a good Adobe Stock alternative, it must tick the following boxes:

High image quality and variety: The enormous Shutterstock collection of high-quality photos is impossible to replace, but there are a few sites that come close and offer similar variety and quality.

Flexible buying options: Shutterstock offers All-in-one subscriptions, which allow you to download any creative asset under one unified plan, including images (photos, vectors, and illustrations), video, and audio assets. In addition to the subscriptions, Shutterstock offers on-demand packs for images, videos, audio tracks, editorial photos, and extended licenses.

Affordable pricing: Despite being the largest stock photo site, Shutterstock is quite affordable, with the price per image starting at $0.22 and costing up to $14.50 with single downloads. Shutterstock also offers a 30-day free trial of the 10 monthly credits subscription, saving you $29 on the first month.

Broad licensing: Shutterstock is known for its best in the industry licensing, offering indemnity of up to $10,000 for the standard royalty-free licenses and $250,000 for the extended. You’re also allowed to make up to 500,000 copies (unlimited with the extended) and use the assets without restrictions online.

Integrations: Stock photo sites are not only about the images but also about what you can do with them. Shutterstock offers integrations into Adobe Creative Cloud and WordPress, API, a built-in editor Creative Flow, a content calendar, several design tools, and AI search.

Top alternatives & competitors to Adobe Stock

Shutterstock interface

1. Shutterstock

Best Adobe Stock alternative overall

Specifications
  • Images: 435 million
  • Cost: $0.22–$14.50/image
  • Licensing: Royalty-free standard and extended
  • Free trial: 30 days (10 images or 1 video or 2 audio tracks)
Today’s best deals

Visit Shutterstock

Reasons to buy
  • The largest collection of stock images (435 million)
  • 30-day free trial with 10 images worth $29
  • Wide variety of buying options.
  • Big discounts with the annual prepaid plans.
Reasons to avoid
  • Editorial images are expensive ($99.50–$199)
  • Enhanced License affordable only when bought in bulk

Shutterstock stands out as the best Adobe Stock alternative overall, offering a vast and diverse library of over 435 million high-quality images, illustrations, vectors, and video clips. The platform’s user-friendly interface and flexible pricing options cater to a wide range of creative needs. With a rigorous review process, Shutterstock maintains unparalleled image quality and variety, adding more than 100,000 new images each week to keep its library up-to-date and diverse.

Shutterstock’s competitive pricing structure combines images, videos, and audio tracks under a single subscription plan, available in monthly, annual, and annual prepaid commitments. On-demand packages and Enhanced licenses are also available for purchase. A 30-day free trial, which includes 10 royalty-free images, 1 video, or 2 audio tracks, allows users to try the service risk-free.

All images come with a comprehensive royalty-free license, including Standard and Enhanced options, suitable for various uses. Shutterstock provides 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring users can confidently choose this Adobe Stock alternative. Additional features include Creative Flow access, API for developers, WordPress plugin, and Adobe Creative Cloud add-on, making Shutterstock a top choice for creatives seeking a reliable and versatile stock image platform. Read our Shutterstock review.

Depositphotos interface

2. Depositphotos

Best cheap Adobe Stock alternative

Specifications
  • Images: 224 million
  • Cost: $0.22–$14.00/image
  • Licensing: Royalty-free standard and extended
  • Free trial: 7 days (10 images)
Today’s best deals
  • Depositphotos 30 monthly images: $24.92/mo (42% discount)
  • 15% discount code: PHOTUTORIAL15
  • Depositphotos free trial: free 7 days

Visit Depositphotos

Reasons to buy
  • 224+ million images
  • Good image quality
  • No daily limit
  • Reverse image search
  • Great customer support (phone, live chat, and email)
  • A collection of free images
Reasons to avoid
  • No custom packs (only available for enterprises).
  • Limited flexibility of on-demand options.

Depositphotos is an affordable alternative to Adobe Stock, featuring a collection of over 224 million images. With no daily limit, reverse image search, and excellent customer support available through phone, live chat, and email, Depositphotos is an attractive option for budget-conscious creatives. The platform also offers a selection of free images, though it lacks custom packs and has limited on-demand flexibility.

While the image quality and variety are generally good, Depositphotos falls short compared to Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, particularly for trending and new topics. Subscription prices start at $24.92 per month for 30 images and go up to $166.58 for 750 images. On-demand options and extended licenses are more expensive, and the platform’s indemnity offerings are lower than those of competitors.

Depositphotos’ customer support stands out as one of the best in the stock photo industry, with knowledgeable live chat agents and responsive email support. The platform’s stock library is integrated into the VistaCreate editor, and additional features include a free background remover, image upscaler, and API. The free trial lasts 7 days, offering 10 royalty-free images with the 25 images/month plan.

Discounts on Depositphotos include 16% off yearly subscriptions, up to 78.6% off bulk purchases with on-demand packs, 28.1% off when buying extended licenses in bulk, and an average 30% discount for buying videos in bulk. With its competitive pricing and range of features, Depositphotos is a top choice for those seeking a budget-friendly Adobe Stock alternative. Read our Depositphotos review.

Envato Elements interface

3. Envato Elements

Best Adobe Stock alternative with unlimited downloads

Specifications
  • Images: 7.4 million
  • Cost: $11.50–$39.00/mo
  • Licensing: Royalty-free standard
  • Free trial: Not anymore
Today’s best deals
  • Unlimited subscription yearly: $16.50/mo (57% discount)
  • Student discount: additional 30% off.

Visit Envato Elements

Reasons to buy
  • Unlimited downloads with no daily limits.
  • 7-day free trial with full access to all creative assets.
  • Assets can be used commercially.
  • Simple licensing.
  • Plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises.
Reasons to avoid
  • One of the lowest indemnities in the industry.
  • You can’t use creative assets for new projects after unsubscribing.
  • A small collection of photos and videos compared to other stock agencies.
  • No refunds.

Envato Elements is a top choice for those seeking an Adobe Stock alternative with unlimited downloads and no daily limits. Despite its smaller collection of photos and videos compared to other stock agencies, Envato Elements offers a good variety of images and sufficient quality for most projects. The platform features simple licensing and plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises, though it has one of the lowest indemnities in the industry.

Pricing for Envato Elements includes a single subscription plan with two commitments and one discount, all of which grant unlimited downloads of all creative assets. The monthly plan costs $39 per month, while the annual plan is priced at $16.50 per month. Students receive a 30% discount, reducing the annual plan cost to just $11.50 per month.

The platform’s royalty-free licensing is more limited due to the unlimited downloads feature, restricting the use of assets for merchandise or other purposes where the asset constitutes the majority of the value. Customer support is available through email or a help page.

Envato Elements offers several additional features, such as Placeit (a mockup and logo tool), tuts+ for learning, mixkit, and reshot. While the platform no longer offers a free trial, it provides various discounts, including 57% off yearly subscriptions for individuals, 30% off for students, and discounted rates for each additional team member. With its unlimited downloads and competitive pricing, Envato Elements is a popular choice for creatives looking for a versatile Adobe Stock alternative. Read our Envato Elements review.

Why choose a Adobe Stock alternative?

Adobe Stock is one of the best stock photo sites according to our in-depth research. However, it’s not the best fit for every customer. As we pointed out, Adobe Stock’s on-demand options lack flexibility. By analyzing hundreds of Adobe Stock reviews, we identified 4 reasons why one would choose a Adobe Stock alternative.

1. Too expensive.

While Adobe Stock is not a costly stock photo site, small businesses or individuals can not afford it. For those on a limited budget, we recommend Canva.

It’s an all-in-one tool, meaning you get a powerful graphic editor and unlimited downloads of stock photos. And all that costs only $9.99/month, which is affordable for anyone.

2. Inflexible on-demand plans.

Adobe Stock offers image and video packs separately. Moreover, the Standard and Extended licenses are sold separately. By counting also the music plans, you have 5 separate on-demand plans.

3. Lacking features.

Adobe Stock is a feature-rich stock photo site, but most of them are basic and not useful for advanced users. You can use the Shutterstock Editor and various converters, to name a few.

Customers who edit the images they download prefer more integrations. For that reason, they choose Adobe Stock with the integration into Creative Cloud of Canva’s suite of tools.

Note: Don’t forget that Shutterstock offers a free plugin for Creative Cloud integration.

4. Need an additional source of photos.

Not everyone who seeks Adobe Stock alternatives is dissatisfied with it. Some publishers, especially those with high demand for stock photos, use multiple sources.

According to our research, the most popular combination of stock photo sites includes Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Stock, Getty Images, Depositphotos, and Dreamstime. These are, unsurprisingly, the biggest stock photo agencies.

Frequently asked questions

What is a free alternative to Adobe Stock?

The best free Adobe Stock alternative is Unsplash with almost 4 million excellent stock photos. Other excellent free Adobe Stock alternatives include Pixabay, Pexels, and PikWizard.

Rating Methodology

To identify the best Adobe Stock alternatives, we took a holistic view of 31 stock photo agencies that incorporated image number, quality, variety, prices and pricing options, licensing terms, features, and customer support.

  • Image quality & variety: 20% of the score. We browsed each stock photo site for over 50 search terms and analyzed the resulting image quality and variety. Both were scored qualitatively based on our expertise and experience. The quality check comprised technical quality, including exposure, sharpness, grain, saturation, color temperature, and added value. The variety check was primarily focused on checking what percentage of images came from the same photo shoot.
  • Stock photo prices and pricing options: 20% of the score. Price is the crucial factor in choosing stock photos, and having various options helps customers find the best plans. We checked whether the stock photo agency offers subscriptions, on-demand options, and which sizes. In addition, having a free trial is a bonus as it allows customers to get an insight into what they can expect. Finally, we considered the minimum, median, and maximum price per image and the price per extended license image.
  • Licensing terms: 20% of the score. We read and took notes on every stock image license. We compared them based on how many copies, reprints, and impressions they allow and their indemnity value.
  • Image number: 15% of the score. The number of images is essential when rating stock photo sites because when you need thousands of images, you can quickly run out of free photos. We checked each stock photo site’s database and took notes on the number of images.
  • Additional features: 15% of the score. Additional features are meant to simplify or enhance a customer’s workflow. We reviewed and tested all the additional features where possible. Since some are limited to enterprises, or we couldn’t get in touch with the support team, we searched for customers with access to the additional features and asked for their opinion.
  • Customer support: 10% of the score. Crucially, when testing customer support, we didn’t tell them who we were, so we got treated like every other customer. We took notes of the response times, contact options (live chat, email, and telephone), and the usefulness and kindness of the support teams.

Comments

Leave a Comment