In the digital and social media marketing arenas, marketers are shifting their focus toward contextual and interactive content in order to improve customer engagement. Images and videos supported by Google’s Hummingbird update are providing digital marketers with strong social and digital media engagement rates. This changing digital-marketing landscape is driving the production of creative software and Internet application vendors to deliver a portfolio of end-to-end content marketing services to streamline design and publishing workflows. In December 2014, Adobe Systems acquired for $800m a 100% stake in Fotolia, a micro-stock photography agency holding 35 million images and a video repository. This acquisition aligns tactically with Adobe's Behance purchase in December 2012 and complements its strategic vision of providing a one-stop, cloud-centric content management services portfolio to creative and marketing stakeholders.
Fotolia critical to Adobe delivering a flexible, converged, creative marketing solution in the cloud
Adobe Systems plans to integrate Fotolia’s stock images and audio and video catalog into its flagship subscription-based Creative Cloud service, which hosts 3.4 million members worldwide. Similar to Adobe’s earlier acquisitions of Behance and Typekit, Fotolia will have a dual operating model, providing a standalone micro-stock photography agency and a value-added plug-in for Creative Cloud subscribers. The acquisition is an important move toward offering a dynamic marketplace for creatives, where they can buy and sell digital assets and services, and for marketers, where they can gain real-time access to royalty-free images, HD videos on multiple devices, and creative talent.
Fotolia has a long-standing relationship with Adobe, with its content library plug-in having been available since Adobe Creative Suite 5.0. Fotolia has a widespread community sharing content and a strong market presence in Germany and France, with Europe accounting for the majority of its revenues. Fotolia’s strong European presence has been instrumental in its diversification of market and business risks, with it expanding its footprint into the BRIC countries and extending its partnership with third-party, on-demand print labels such as Printing.com, PrintMonkey, and GiganticArt. Fotolia’s partnership agreements with on-demand printing websites will strengthen Adobe Systems’ position in the EMEA print and publishing business segment.
In the past two to three years, Adobe Systems has invested aggressively in its SaaS-based marketing portfolio of creative and marketing cloud platforms. This is reflected in Creative Cloud’s advanced functionalities, including digital tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro), talent search (Behance), tight integration with mobile applications, and a richer font library (Typekit). Both creative and marketing cloud users can leverage Fotolia’s unique content repository to streamline design workflows in collaboration with selected Behance communities.
Creative and marketing cloud users can take advantage of Fotolia’s personalized recommendation engine to increase their access to the right image and video assets for their content marketing campaigns. In the converging advertising landscape, marketers are shifting toward content marketing due to the reduced barriers between paid, earned, and owned media. Therefore, as the importance of content marketing rises, it will be critical to record how the Fotolia acquisition strengthens Adobe’s position across the digital marketing technology segment in the next two to three years.
Kedar Mohite, Senior Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology Services