AI Images Are Outperforming Photos on Adobe Stock


In recently compiled data, it was shown that images generated from artificial intelligence (AI) are performing better than photographs on Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock is currently the only major stock website accepting AI image submissions from contributors and while it is still early days and the data is uncomprehensive — the signs are that synthetic media is doing well for its makers.

Stock Performer, an analytic website for stock photographers, compiled the data in a recent blog post where it found that the average revenue per image per month (RPI/m for short) for AI images is a whopping four and a half times bigger than photos or any other format.

Stock Performer found that the RPI/m of any media file on Adobe Stock was averaging 3.75 cents. But AI-generated images are returning a much healthier RPI/m of 17 cents.

Furthermore, the revenue per download (RPD) for AI images is $1.94 compared to any other file which is $1.22.

However, AI images aren’t outperforming photos in every metric. The sell-through rate (STR), which measures the percentage of files that get at least one sale, is 13 percent on Adobe Stock for all files. While AI-generated images have a lower 9 percent STR.

‘AI Gold Rush’

All the above data has to be taken with a pinch of salt. It is compiled from Stock Performer’s customers who do not represent all stock contributors and not all Stock Performer customers choose to hand over their performance data.

“It’s still early days. We will likely post an update at some point and we expect that the numbers will be very different. So this is more of a preliminary snapshot and not a final verdict,” writes the blog’s author.

However, Stock Performer speaks of an AI gold rush and speculates that Adobe Stock is getting so many AI image submissions that they are overrun and falling behind on inspecting the images.

It also highlights the fact that just because AI image generators are now available to all, it doesn’t mean that companies can make images themselves.

Prompt engineering, the discipline of instructing image synthesis models such as Midjourney, is a skill much like photography. So buyers will continue to turn to stock websites and buy AI images “off the shelf” from creative professionals.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.