Adobe Systems is the house that desktop publishing software
built, and now it helps customers create, distribute, and manage
digital content from the cloud. One of the top publishing software
providers, it has been known for brands such as Acrobat, Photoshop,
Flash, and Dreamweaver. Adobe serves customers such as content
creators and Web application developers with its digital media
products, and marketers, advertisers, publishers, and others with
its digital marketing business. A long-time publisher of
traditional software packages, Adobe is moving its products (and
its customers, it hopes) to cloud-based versions. Subscriptions
account for two-thirds of revenue. Adobe operates worldwide, but
the US generates a little more than half of sales.
Adobe's digital media segment (about two-thirds of sales)
includes products such as Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Its
digital marketing segment (31% of sales) includes a host of tools
for creating, managing, and measuring digital advertising and
marketing initiatives. The print and publishing unit (4% of sales)
includes authoring and publishing software and tools.
The US is Adobe's largest market, representing about 53% of
sales. The EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region generates
nearly 30% of sales and the Asia-Pacific region, led by Japan,
contributes about 14%.
Sales and Marketing
Adobe sells directly and through distributors, resellers, systems
integrators, and retailers. In addition, it licenses its technology
to hardware manufacturers for integration into their products. The
company significantly boosted advertising spending in 2015,
reporting about $113 million in ad expenses. Advertising costs for
the two previous years were $87.9 million and $88.5 million.
Adobe posted robust increases in revenue and profit in 2015,
compared to 2014.
The 19% rise in digital media sales drove a 15% increase in
revenue to $4.8 billion in 2015. The company reported strong
adoption of its Creative Cloud software, which propelled digital
media revenue. Digital marketing sales rose 11% and print and
publishing contributed a 1% gain.
Several factors, including higher revenue, drove Adobe's profit
134% higher in 2015 to about $630 million. The company reported
gains on the sale of property assets and interest and other income
and decreases in restructuring and other charges.
Cash flow from operations hit $1.47 billion in 2015, compared to
$1.29 billion in 2014.
Adobe's digital media and digital marketing strategy is focused in
part on driving growth of its cloud subscription model, including
converting existing licensing customers to the service. It plans to
attract new cloud customers via more frequent product updates and
enhancements. The company is also looking to expand into new
industry verticals and geographies with its Adobe Marketing Cloud
In 2016 moved to dig deeper into web and mobile content with the
introduction of Adobe Spark platform. It helps users develop visual
content that can be viewed on multiple platforms. With Adobe
Spark's web app users can make social posts, images, web stories,
and videos. It include three mobile apps for the iOS mobile
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016, Adobe agreed to acquire Livefyre, a privately-held
content curation and audience engagement company. Livefyre will be
part of Adobe Experience Manager and integrated across Adobe
Marketing Cloud to make user-generated content available across all
digital marketing solutions.
To further expand its product offerings, in 2014 Adobe purchased
the privately-held, stock-photography website company Fotolia for
roughly $800 million. The acquisition will allow Adobe to obtain a
market exchange with over 34 million stock images and videos and
sell them to its Creative Cloud customers on one cloud-based