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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 06 May 2013 (Monday) 13:01
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Adobe goes Subscription only

 
phantelope
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May 06, 2013 21:14 |  #106

I think if you only sub to PS it's $20/month = 240/year. Can't remember what the upgrade cost was, but hopefully they'll a) add more tweaks and features all the time instead of waiting for a big launch, and b) lower the price once a lot of people are on board (which I'm sure will happen). And LR will get more powerful. I'm sure they know a lot more about their business than we do, LOL

Of course, there are other options for anybody to use, I don't need the extra learning curve and I'm happy with the options I get from Adobe, work for me. Never used any other photo editing suite. $20/month is nothing I'd ever think about, I spend more on less useful things like books I'll read once and then give away or magazines. Not everybody's cup of tea, not is it intended to be. Works for me, if it doesn't work for others, well, there are other options. I don't think they'll ever come close to PS, but any behemoth can and will fall, we'll just have to wait and see :-)


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adza77
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May 06, 2013 21:35 |  #107

I too will never pay for subscription products.

However, I see the possibility that this could actually be a good thing for consumers long run.

As others have suggested - Adobe's reason for going this way may well be due to the lack of upgrades because of the lack of additional 'worthwhile' features in Photoshop - but they still want to get paid even if they can't come up with great new inspiring ideas - hence the 'cloud' subscription option. Subscription service removes the need for developers to have to work as hard - so I see that in turn, we will see a significant slow down in future features regardless...

As such - eventually other developers may now have the opportunity to 'catch up' to Adobe's quality. This means more competition, and more choice. In turn companies will be chasing again to find out what customers want to win their business, instead of dictating to them what they believe is best.

In addition to this, Adobe has been the 'industry standard' for professionals for quite some time. This may just be the opportunity needed for a revolution of industry standard. (Wishful thinking I agree - but still a possibility)...

Either way - I can see CS6 being 'the last 'Adobe' expense' that many businesses will pay for Photoshop products for quite some time.


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Luckless
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May 06, 2013 21:45 |  #108

J_TULLAR wrote in post #15904991 (external link)
Well this biggest problem I can see already is that by signing up to this subscription policy adobe has you by the balls. Yes its 20 bucks a month for a year initially but then rises to $50 bucks a month. So whats to say they dont just keep jacking up the monthly fee every year? This is utter crap.

They only have you by the balls as long as you insist on using photoshop, and are not willing to explore other options.

Plus, in all likely hood a subscription model such as this will lead to the price Dropping over time. Adobe holds a very solid chunk of market share, but at this point they are rather unlikely to expand their development base much further than it is. (There are limits to how big of a software project and its rate of expansion are. After a given point it simply becomes much too hard to manage and control) So their costs are unlikely to expand by an ungodly margin anytime soon. However, this "Cheap" subscription based marketing of their products is more than likely going to expand their user base and generate a sustained income.

Eventually they are going to have convinced everyone who is willing to pay the current amount that it is worth it to them, and they will hit a marketing wall. Few new customers at that point would be willing to fork over that much every month that they're using the product. Expanding the feature base or adding new products isn't likely to have much of an effect either. So what is left? Drop the price and convince more people that it is worth the new lesser amount of money.

And face it, there are many times the number of people who would be willing to pay $5 a month than there are who would be willing to pay $50. Likely on an order well above the 10:1 ratio that would keep revenue levels the same.

When you consider that the majority of software customers do NOT use directed support, the cost of providing service to 15 million customers paying $5 a pop will not be 15 times that of providing service to 1 million customers paying $50 a pop.


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cwood
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May 06, 2013 21:56 |  #109

I have owned Lightroom 1.x and 4.x
Nothing in between inspired me to spend money to upgrade. And nothing in my beta of LR 5 is inspiring me to upgrade.

Since about 1996 I owned Photoshop 3, photoshop 5.5, CS, CS3 and CS5. Nothing in the middle of those inpsired me to upgrade and nothing in CS6 is inspiring me to upgrade (since LR4 can handle the RAW processing for my new cameras that is lacking in CS5).

The subscription service takes away the ability for me to make the decisions appropriate to my business. Maybe I really don't need to spend money on an upgrade? Or maybe business is not going well and I can't afford an upgrade? This fee-per-month BS is going to turn me sour on Adobe in a major hurry in 2 or 3 years when I lose support for the next generation of cameras and the newest workflows are worthy of an upgrade.

But I suppose this time lag between their implementation of the monthly fee and any future upgrades I require will allow Google to step in and create a viable alternative at a better value. Or maybe Adobe will come to their senses?


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Kent ­ Clark
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May 06, 2013 22:02 |  #110

phantelope wrote in post #15905035 (external link)
hopefully they'll a) add more tweaks and features all the time instead of waiting for a big launch

What incentive do they have for doing this? Before they had to make improvements to entice people to buy or upgrade. But if you're paying a monthly fee, no matter what, they have you hooked, whether they make improvements or not. They have no incentive at all.




  
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benttop
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May 06, 2013 22:05 as a reply to  @ cwood's post |  #111

I've been using Creative Cloud for over a year. It is a tremendous value if you use more than just Photoshop. As a Photoshop/Dreamweaver/​Premier Pro/Illustrator/etc. user I'm getting a great deal over paying upgrades on all of those every couple years.

BTW, Adobe have upgraded my copies with added or improved functionality about six or seven times during the year.


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brettjrob
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May 06, 2013 22:07 |  #112

adza77 wrote in post #15905106 (external link)
As others have suggested - Adobe's reason for going this way may well be due to the lack of upgrades because of the lack of additional 'worthwhile' features in Photoshop - but they still want to get paid even if they can't come up with great new inspiring ideas - hence the 'cloud' subscription option. Subscription service removes the need for developers to have to work as hard - so I see that in turn, we will see a significant slow down in future features regardless....

This is a great point. Really, what is the incentive now for them to develop revolutionary new features? Until or unless competitors start nipping at their heels for any given program in the suite, absolutely none.


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gjl711
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May 06, 2013 22:29 |  #113

phantelope wrote in post #15905035 (external link)
I think if you only sub to PS it's $20/month = 240/year. Can't remember what the upgrade cost was,

I just did my last Adobe upgrade $194 so about 10 months worth of subscription.


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drvnbysound
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May 06, 2013 22:49 as a reply to  @ post 15903630 |  #114

As I understand it, the program is still installed locally on your machine (99% sure about this), the difference being that when you open the program your computer must have internet access, which then reaches out to Adobe servers to validate your version and allow you to use the program. I need to do some more reading, but if this is the case I wouldn't be able to use PS the majority of the time that I travel due to lack of Internet access... Additionally, I know people who edit on machines without Internet access to help combat the threat of viruses... this won't be possible, which could mean re-formatting more often for these people.

What I don't understand is how they think this will stop piracy. I'm pretty certain that someone will be able to figure out what the message/validation process looks like between the users computer and the Adobe servers and re-create this. All this does is prevent it for some time while the hackers figure out how to crack it.


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Mark-B
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May 06, 2013 22:53 |  #115

benttop wrote in post #15905196 (external link)
I've been using Creative Cloud for over a year. It is a tremendous value if you use more than just Photoshop

No doubt, but it is NOT a tremendous value if you only use Photoshop or any other single product that costs $300 or less to upgrade, especially if you did not elect to upgrade every time a new version came out.

This is a drastic change in pricing strategy that will have a negative financial impact many users. Adobe had to know the backlash was coming.

I'm a CS6 user and it's unlikely that I would have upgraded to CS7, so I will continue to use my CS6 just like I would have anyway. Given their past 18 - 24 month release cycle and my choice to upgrade every other version, I would not have upgraded until around the end of 2014 anyway. That gives me plenty of time to see what happens next.


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tkbslc
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May 06, 2013 22:57 |  #116

Luckless wrote in post #15905135 (external link)
They only have you by the balls as long as you insist on using photoshop, and are not willing to explore other options.

Or if you save your edits/files in Adobe proprietary formats.


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gjl711
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May 06, 2013 23:02 |  #117

Mark-B wrote in post #15905312 (external link)
No doubt, but it is NOT a tremendous value if you only use Photoshop or any other single product that costs $300 or less to upgrade, especially if you did not elect to upgrade every time a new version came out.

This is a drastic change in pricing strategy that will have a negative financial impact many users. Adobe had to know the backlash was coming...

I kind of see it the same way. Adobe is clearly catering to the business where it's easy to pass the costs along to the customer and giving up on the small single owner shops or the enthusiasts where as you say, it makes no financial sense.

I wonder though, if I took their month by month option, I could shoot for say 2 months and work up a backlog, then sign up for a month, do my editing, then let it lapse again for a couple months. Maybe only use the service 3~4 times a year. Then the end cost would be lower.


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GeoffSobering
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May 06, 2013 23:03 |  #118

Mark-B wrote in post #15905312 (external link)
No doubt, but it is NOT a tremendous value if you only use Photoshop or any other single product that costs $300 or less to upgrade, especially if you did not elect to upgrade every time a new version came out. ...

Exactly!

It sounds like LR will remain a stand-alone (i.e. non "Creative Cloud") application for awhile. Adobe "throws in" LR with the full CC package, but it's not one of the "single app" options.

Here's an Adobe Forum thread where that's being discussed: http://forums.adobe.co​m/message/5295328#5295​328 (external link)

My personal favorite is the repeated phrase I've heard from Adobe folks that "the full CC option is the best for me". Yeah, like I'm going to give Adobe $600/year, ever!


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May 06, 2013 23:05 |  #119

I went over to the NAPP site and I see nothing on there about this. Scott Kelby is in bed with Adobe and most likely will stay out of this fight maybe???


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Luckless
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May 06, 2013 23:09 |  #120

Kent Clark wrote in post #15905187 (external link)
What incentive do they have for doing this? Before they had to make improvements to entice people to buy or upgrade. But if you're paying a monthly fee, no matter what, they have you hooked, whether they make improvements or not. They have no incentive at all.

To secure and hold onto market position. If they don't continue to push out new quality content, then users are going to lose faith and look at other options. We see this exact same thing in the video game industry with subscription based services.

Despite what many would tell you, Adobe isn't the only player in the industry, especially when it comes to the lighter edge of image editing that the majority of users are actually looking for. (I know far more people looking to adjust, crop, and do minor cloning work than I know who are creating major projects from scratch and really diving deep into all the tools Photoshop offers)

If Adobe sits on its hands, cuts development costs, and tries to simply milk things, then that just means that they will drive their customers into competitor's arms.


I work in software development, and honestly this subscription basis is a far better method of self funded projects. In a single payment licensing scheme it means that you lock your funding in and tie your hands. Your revenue stream becomes heavily focused on waves. Sure, you can make mad millions for the few months after a major release as everyone is upgrading, but then your revenue trickles off to nothing. Feast or famine, and those famines are what strangle your budget and design process. You don't know for sure how long a new feature, tool, or other part of your code base is going to take to actually develop, so you have to make educated guesses. You have to put down potentially good ideas that you can't be confident in being able to develop by a set milestone. After all, is this last income wave from the latest release going to fund 90% of the company till you can make your next big release? Will that next release be ready to ship in 12 months? Or will it be 16?

This subscription basis makes a stable and reliable income. If they're making X this month, odds are they're making X next month, and the months after. Probably more if the marketing department is doing its job right. With this reliable income you no longer have to worry as much about how you are going to pay expensive developers if multiple key features have major overruns in time requirements, because your income is steady. Development isn't paid for up front, it is paid for as it is being done. If things go sour, then you scale back your fringe projects and focus on the key money makers to bring your subscriptions back up to par.

This in turn means that you are more free to be creative and assign parts of the budget to projects that are traditionally "risky". In the last two years I have seen half a dozen game development companies do just this. They move from jumping from wave to wave of income, often on the razor's edge for finishing projects to try and get their next bit of major income to keep their business afloat, and they have switched to a far more quality centered approach. Gone are the "We have to ship this by the first of next month or we're likely going to go bankrupt", and instead I see them being far more open to delaying their next launch title for additional polishing and enhancement.


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