New Adobe Subscription Model
The recent announcement by Adobe to move all their future products to the Creative Cloud has stirred up quite a hornet’s nest of negative comments on many creative forums. For those who have not heard is this, here’s the basic plan: Adobe’s products will no longer be sold in a perpetual license form but in a subscription format. This is a trend in the software industry, as many companies have moved to a web delivery system, but are still selling the licensing. Apple is a prime example of this. Adobe has taken the next step with the subscription model, akin to Netflix and the like.
The Creative Cloud will replace the CS product line, though the latest release of CS6 remains in place and is and will be available and supported. The subscription model for the CC has several tiers, depending on your needs and what your level is. See a full listing of the levels and pricing here. Adobe is offering special pricing until the end of July for existing license holders of CS3 and newer.
The big negatives that have been talked about are the thought that with this model we are renting the software, and many small shops will have a hard time justifying or budgeting the monthly costs. There’s also concern about what happens to the content we’ve stored on the cloud when we stop paying the monthly charge. The other talk has revolved around the hobbyist and occasional users with the same cost concerns.
I will have to say that when I first got wind of this, I had much the same reaction, wondering why Adobe would want to spike its loyal followers with such a plan. But the more I read and thought about this, and when I truly looked at the costs, I started to come around. We will no longer have to have the internal debates on budgeting funds for up-grades as they are built in the subscription. For those businesses having issues with a $50 a month charge to stay on the cutting edge of the tools they use have other issues to consider. This is a cost of doing business and can be amortized into their billing.
Adobe is addressing the concerns of the occasional users and of those who are worried about content stored in the cloud. More information on these issues will be coming.
All in all, I have decided that is will be good thing for those of us loyal to Adobe. I think one of the best benefits will come down this line: Photoshop is the single most pirated software program, and the subscription format will do away with this and may make Adobe look at the losses they have incurred over the years and rethink the pricing at some point to compensate for this.
The other big benefit I see is that with one price, you get it all, not just what you could afford as in the past. So you will have access to applications you may have never used because of cost and can expand both your skills and your client base. We all are delving into new tasks all this time; photographers are becoming videographers, and designers are expanding into web developers. With access to all the tools you need, your assignments just become easier to complete, and your professional value is now better to your clients.