So as if anyone working in photography, graphics or video hasn’t heard yet, Adobe is going subscription only on their next software version. There’s a lot of debate online as well as to what that really means, what the costs are, etc. I thought I’d lay my 2 cents down as well.
Let us look at the pricing first. Your average user is going to need more than one program so you’ll be on the 50 dollar a month plan, single app plans are about 20 dollars. All the price comparisons I’ve seen online seem to compare this price with a newly purchased Adobe license. I’ve been using Adobe products for about 14 years now. Many professionals I know have been using it longer than that, some not quite so much. The point being, I highly doubt that Adobe’s biggest customer segment is new users. With that assumption, comparing CC licensing with a new CS6 purchase is a waste of time for the existing user base.
My first Adobe purchase was Photoshop 5.5. It was awesome and had the History pallet, yay! That was purchased for $599. Then came upgrades to Photoshop 7 $299, Photoshop CS $299, Design Standard CS3 $899, Design Standard CS5 $649, DS CS6 $549; totaling $3294 over 14 years. What will that $3294 buy me from CC, 66 months. Now to be fair I used a single app for the first 9 years and the last 5 years a suite. So I had roughly 108 months of single app use and 60 of suite use. Can my $3294 buy me that same time from CC? Let’s see the single app time frame, 108 Months * $20 = $2,160. Now we’ll look at the suite, 60 Months * $50 = $3,000. And now without even adding it up to the $5,160 you know it’s more than the $3,294 spent the previous decade and half.
Another thing that’s not told in this pricing and upgrade cycle is the when and why of my upgrades. Many upgrades were planned around hardware and system software revisions. Having a plan of action and a known requirement for software is a must in a production environment. Also, what’s not told is that I own my copies of this software. I can still run CS3 and CS5 while using CS6 on my most current machine. If I really wanted to get into it I could get an old PowerPC Mac and put my original CS or 7 copy on it, because I have the discs and perpetual license for it. They don’t go away immediately after one month of non payment. So $5,160 in and if you don’t go to $5,210 you’re locked out of a 14 years of work. That is the biggest problem.
Adobe has you locked into an ecosystem that you have no way out of. This couldn’t exist when Macromedia was around. This couldn’t exist if Corel was a bigger competitor. This leaves a huge hole for Corel, Pixelmator, Acorn, Sketch, Apple and other developers to jump in. It may eventually be a good thing for creatives and consumers, but getting there may be a pain. And being forced out of a respectful relationship with a vendor is somewhat disappointing as well.
So there you go. Two hundredths of a dollar worth of words from me on CC.