The day has come that has been on the horizon for a while. Adobe products will no longer be sold as single paid units they will be subscription based under the new name Adobe CC (Creative Cloud). This was sort of hinted at last year when they enabled users of their products to subscribe to them, paying a monthly fee for the use of the whole suite. Next came updates only for users of Creative Cloud and from June 2013 the newest versions of Adobe’s flagship lines will only be available via subscription.
The subscription will cost $50 a month for the whole Creative Suite if you sign up for a one year commitment. Although discounts will be made to users of CS products, who will pay $30 and to make sure CS6 users are not burned they will get to pay $20.
These discounts are an introductory offer and the payments will increase to $50. If you don’t wish to sign up for a year you can pay month by month for $75. If you don’t want to use the whole Adobe suite but just one program then it will only cost you $10 at the beginning rising to $20.
Adobe believes that the majority of users want to use creative cloud as it also comes with a cloud storage system to save your work and access it anywhere on any device.
Scott Morris, senior director of product marketing for Creative Cloud, said “Overwhelmingly, when you compare the people who’ve complained about the new model to the people who loved it, it definitely skewed heavily to the new model,” he said. “Obviously we would not be making a decision this big if the percentage of people in that category was so big it was the wrong thing for us to do.”
In using the subscription methods, the programs will be continually updated without the need to buy the next version of the program.
How often will these updates be? Well I am not sure but it feels like they will be yearly updates as they will want subscribers to renew their subscriptions.
Morris also said that Adobe has found that most people who already use Creative Cloud subscription have been downloading more programs. He has also been reassuring users that Adobe is not going to suddenly hike the prices to $100.
Well this was not really a shock.
What do I think?
I think this is ridicules.
This is not just at Adobe but at all digital products at the moment. When I buy something it should be mine. I should be able to do what I want. I first came across this when buying games on steam. You don’t own the game just the license and if the license is removed form steam will you lose the license.
Some people are saying well you never owned your copy you always owned the license. Yes but I do have the CD in my hand. Once I had bought the program and I had the CD someone could not say a year down the line, ”Pay more or you cant use it.”.
I also would be wary of what updates will be. The difference between CS4 and 5 was so slight it wasn’t worth the upgrade the same could be said for going from 5-6. Adobe knows you are tied to the platform, because your tiff files with layers and smart objects won’t be editable in another program. Camera Raw support has been the main reason for me upgrading as when the new version of PS came out Adobe would stop supporting new camera releases on the older versions.
This has also been touted as a way to fight pirates who use the programs and share them online. Well I will disagree. In the gaming scene there are subscription based games that have been pirated successfully. It may take the pirates a bit longer to find a way around the system but you know they will.
I am also concerned about what the pricing will be around the world. $30 a month for Photoshop sounds reasonable in dollars and if it was £30, 30 Euros or 30zl I think I could live with the change, but customers outside America have always been screwed on pricing in my experience. I feel that if it was not a fair price, taking the exchange rate into consideration, this could be a big negative, esp. if it works out Americans are getting a significantly cheaper ride.
One of the other benefits is the cloud storage. Yes great I have 50GB of dropbox storage free, linked to my computer, my net book, my laptop and my tablet. Why do I need to pay a subscription to get Adobes cloud storage?
I liked the idea originally that people could choose the subscription method or the single sales payment. I would have liked to have seen a new version of Photoshop every 2 years then with the Creative Cloud updates. This gives people choice. People can choose how they spend their money, and not forced down one particular route because it favours Adobes cash flow.
For me I am sticking with CS6 for the minute and will wait for the dust to settle to see where my path lies. This could mean that I jump ship to another photo editor as there are a few good competitors out there. This could also open a space for someone to come in to rival adobe.
Over To You
What are your feelings about the change in pricing? Do you think this is positive? Will you be looking for another image editor in the future?
Le me know what you feel in the comment section below.
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