4.5% of Adobe Stock Catalog is Now AI

And These Are the Top Sellers...

The math is easy to do.

As of this writing, Adobe Stock offers a collection of 334,595,774 images.

And of those, 16,260,431 were generated by AI platforms like Midjourney.

That means about 5% of Adobe’s image catalog was generated by AI, a stunning start to what will certainly be a revolution for the #1 stock agency.

If you’re a contributor of still images to Adobe Stock, it’s a new world for you. And whether you’re submitting AI images or sticking with your traditional media, there’s a lot to learn in the data that’s coming together on what customers like most from these new offerings.

Clicking the filter “Generated by AI” in an otherwise blank Adobe Stock search will show you all 16,260,431 images (and certainly a higher number if you do so right now). And if you sort by downloads, you’ll see what customers have bought the most. Here’s a look at what was most downloaded as of this afternoon, on September 18:

It should come as no surprise that several of the top images — including the #1 downloaded picture — are abstract backgrounds. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, EVERYONE seems to be generating abstracts. But while you can strike gold like Robert Kneschke has with his image "Abstract organic green lines as wallpaper background illustration,” you’re more likely to drown in an ocean of competition.

In fact, 3,026,542 — or 18.6% — of the 16+ million AI images are "abstracts" according to their keywords. That’s a LOT of competition if you’re creating AI abstract images today. If you wanted to narrow down, you could generate green abstracts and face only 431,328 competitors. Include nature in the theme and you're down to 264,648 other pics standing between you and your prospective buyer. The point is... stick a fork in the opportunity to make a lot of money from abstract AI images, it's done.

But check out the others in the screenshot above of top downloaded AI images and you’ll find more interesting opportunities.

It appears JuanM is pursuing a path similar to mine, honing in on the high commercial value subject of diversity. His colorful top-seller "Pop art illustration, banner, texture or background depicting the pride day and the LGBT community with diverse people" is the top image when you search "diverse people." That search yields a relatively paltry 33,482 results, so you can see why I'm much more bullish on AI when it's used for specific, in-demand topics. Much less competition than generic abstracts, and the potential for big sales.

That’s my take, anyway. Check out my video How Much Money Can You REALLY Make Selling AI Images Adobe Stock and let me know what you think about the true revenue potential of creating and uploading AI images today.

Adobe Bonuses - Firefly and Free Collection

Many contributors to Adobe Stock reported seeing significant bonuses hit their earnings dashboard when they woke up on September 13. You might have received hundreds or even thousands of dollars, if you were lucky.

While many assumed these mysterious figures were the payouts for images accepted into the Free Collection (paying a one-time $5 payout for each pic you nominated and Adobe accepted), it turned out to be something completely different. The bonus was the inaugural annual payment for Adobe using our portfolios to train its Firefly AI software, which is already integrated into Photoshop for its new “generative fill” feature. More features are sure to roll out in the future, with our creative work guiding Adobe’s AI brain.

The amount you received was based on your performance to date at Adobe. As the company explains, “This initial bonus, which will be different for each contributor, is based on the all-time total number of approved images submitted to Adobe Stock that were used for Firefly training, and the number of licenses that those images generated in the 12-month period between June 3rd, 2022, to June 2nd, 2023. The bonus is planned to pay out once a year and is currently weighted towards number of licenses issued for an image, which we consider a useful proxy for the demand and usefulness of those images.”

You can read Adobe’s full explanation here, and in the meantime, we can look forward to our next “bonus” from Adobe in the form of Free Collection payouts. (OK, it’s not truly a bonus because we are trading potential future sales for upfront payments now… but it will be nice to see a chunk of money pop up all at once.) I’ve seen the date of September 23 appear as a possible day for these lump sums to appear, but that may not be confirmed.

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