Screaming At Adobe May Actually Have Helped…!!!


As any of the regular viewers of the Damn Ugly Channel can attest (and by regular, I mean those who have stuck with me through this past Summers marked lack of action in here!), I have been a rather vocal opponent to Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription scheme. I made my feelings about their plans to charge $20/month to use Photoshop (and Lightroom, Behance, and have access to a 20GB Cloud Storage account) very well known, as I saw it for what it was…a blatant money grab! The smart kids in class realized very early on that moving to a subscription-based pricing scheme wasn’t about innovation and the seamless transfer of upgrades to its end-users, as Adobe claimed…no, the writing was on the wall that in order to keep their business going, Adobe had to do something to lock in a steady cash flow since it was obvious they weren’t gonna stay profitable forever relying on periodic upgrade fees alone. There are only so many new gizmos and filters they could add to any piece of software before the end user wouldn’t care and bail on paying for upgrades. Now comes word that all that screaming from the mountaintop by those of us in the Photo Community may have have a positive outcome as Adobe just announced a “New” Photoshop Photography Program…only $10/month…forever…if you’re already a Photoshop user (minimum CS3) and you sign up buy the end of the year.

Now by lowering the subscription price to $120/year, it kinda brings the cost down to what have been historically what users paid if they were fastidious about sticking to the Adobe upgrade path. But as good a move in the right direction as this might be, I’m not exactly ‘rejoicing’ at the news, as the PetaPixel Photo Blog suggests all photographers should be doing just yet. At ten bucks a month even I can’t come up with too many arguments for not joining…except one…why isn’t Adobe addressing the biggest issue with their plan for an ongoing subscription model…the lack of any viable exit strategy for loyal users once they get off the subscription track?!! I mean, I’m not planning my retirement party just yet, but there will come a day when I won’t wanna fork over even $10/month for occasional access to a program I will use sparingly at best! All Adobe would have to do to win over the entire Photo Community would be to say that after you’ve paid into “The Cloud” for a period of time…say three, four or even five years…the end user can end their subscription and their software will be locked in at that level of upgrade. This would ensure the user could still have full working access to their work and Adobe will have made a healthy profit over the subscription time frame. And best of all for Adobe, should that user decide at a later date that it is once again necessary to get back on “The Cloud”, then they would have to pay whatever the going rate was at that time to re-subscribe and build time credits towards the next allowed jumping off point.

See…very simple…why can’t everyone just listen to Damn Ugly Photography?!! But let me know…what do you think of Adobe’s price drop?

16 thoughts on “Screaming At Adobe May Actually Have Helped…!!!

  1. £10/$10 a month is about what I hoped to pay, so it looks like holding off and bitching about the high pricing worked, I like your idea of a locked in upgrade level if you decide to end subscription, but doubt Adobe would be so keen.

    Alistair…a month ago I would have thought Adobe wasn’t gonna lower the subscription price either! Never give up the fight…you can’t predict what might be around the corner!!! BT

  2. I think that $10/month would work for me. And all I would want for that money is PhotoShop and perhaps a LightRoom. Not much … Especially taking into account the “upgrade” prices. However, I really don’t wanna store my work @ their cloud. Well, consider me greedy. 🙂

    Adobe isn’t thinking of that 20GB Cloud account for ‘storing’ your work long-term…it’s more for if you need to keep things on a remote cloud location to access them when you’re away from your main computer, or if you have clients you want to deliver images to, or if you have outside people (retouchers, colleagues, etc) who need to access them. BT

  3. I would suck it up and pay the $10 per month if it weren’t for a few big “ifs”. Firstly, I have a full version of CS2. The entire suite. An entire suite that will not install on newer systems and has no support for the issue from Adobe. Why did I not upgrade before now? Because as an amateur I thought that dishing out the thousands of dollars that I did meant that I would at least have that reliable piece of software as long as I needed it. It was still performing the basic, occasional, functions that I need. Lightroom is where I do 98% of my work.

    So, if the offer was available to anyone and if Adobe provided support a perfectly functioning product to work on a newer system I would consider remaining one of their supporters. For now, I will stick to Lightroom 4 (I do want to get five when my budget permits it) and use GIMP 2 for my very occasional retouching needs.

    As for the exit strategy, that is not a problem for me at the moment but I completely understand how frustrating and long-term the costs make it. They’ve already got a noose around our neck, this just tightens it.

  4. At gunpoint, I jumped on the cloud last week to take advantage of the last days of the 29.99/mo offer for full access to everything. Becuase I need Premiere, I had to go whole hog because I switched platforms. (Despite having CS5 on WIN, they wouldn’t let me transfer licenses to a MAC unless I had CS6! Who switches platforms in the same year they buy $1000 worth of software?!?)

    Anyway, I feel pretty good about that deal – for the year at least, but your point about getting off the moving train is HUGE. I may or may not end up using Premiere continuously, but would definitely want access to a video tool down the road – and one I am used to. If they kick me off because I stop paying, I’m likely going to switch to Final Cut. And once I learn that, I’m NOT going back. Is that what they want? I think not. Same, obviously, for the still editing, which is where I live mostly. I don’t think people really understand the gravity of the legacy issues yet, or they’d be pissed too.

    Your proposal seems more than fair to me. Let’s go Adobe!

  5. You might recall my comment on your thread on June 18:
    “Actually, word on the street is that Adobe is considering dropping the price of the CC.”

    Hate to say, “I told ya so.”

    Many of the people arguing against the original cloud announcement said that it wasn’t about the money, but it was the principle of the thing that they opposed. Now that CC has gotten even more affordable it will be interesting to see if those arguments still exist.

  6. I like the proposal of earning into a perpetual license because it calls Adobe to account. They’re selling the subscription model by telling us that we’ll want all the upcoming updates. If they make the updates compelling, we will want to stay on the subscription. If innovation withers away, then so does their subscription base.

    Here’s why I don’t think Adobe would go for it.

    To put the “rent to own” model at par with Photoshop CS6 licensing, it would take nearly six years to earn the perpetual license at Photoshop CS6 prices. I’m too simple minded to do a “time value of money” calculation, but they don’t get the license fee all up-front like they did with CS6. So to appeal to Adobe, maybe it has be even longer … like seven years. And that doesn’t account for the cost of upgrades along the way.

    You said that CC was a blatant cash grab. My, such direct language, but I have no doubt Adobe’s trying to make as much money as they can so they won’t want the effective price of Photoshop to go down.

    If the buy-in period were shorter, say four years, then the savvy customer might go for a four years in, two (or three) years out plan. Pay the subscription long enough to earn the perpetual license, upgrading to the latest hardware and O/S level near the end. Then stick it out for two or three years and re-join the subscription when the equipment’s gone obsolete and the version of Photoshop they’re on doesn’t support the latest and greatest. That would save them 33% on the licensing. Bigger savings if they can delay the upgrade further.

  7. i don’t relish have to ante up on a monthly basis, but as i have been a steady upgrader, shelling out the $199 every 2-3 years (ok, skipping a version now and then) it’s not hideous.

    But — as soon as you slow down, they take it away? I guess that’s how Spotify works, ain’t it? You gotta pay to play, literally (I think that’s how you use literally.)

    I love the lock-in idea… as I’m nearing 60, and really really REALLY hope that at some point I won’t be moving massive amounts of images and can mess about with a version of PS that might not be the latest and greatest, but still works.

    And… those features they add? Who uses all those anyway? Who even knows what they are?

    Keep blogging, damn ugly. Dig your dancing GIF.

  8. Thanks for sending this out Brad! I read it thoroughly. You always post new and meaningful things (unlike the 5 re-posts I got on “linked in” talking about the new logo for Yahoo! – boring!). As a long time Adobe user and having a museum of ancient Mac computers in my basement, I don’t know what is really fair in terms if pricing. I think it’s good they dropped – I still have not gone to the monthly cloud. Even the upgrades were pricey and the programs often buggy or missing our favorite functions like “make a contact sheet”! Does anyone under 25 even know what a contact sheet is? Should they? Well, all in all, Adobe was getting a little like Quark in the old days and things got out of hand and customers weren’t so loyal. I think loyal customers should get a break.

  9. First congratulations for doing something and not just quietly moaning. I agree with your point that after a few years being allowed to stop paying and remaining at that ‘level’ is reasonable indeed. However modern economic practice seems to be drop prices but charge for everything for evermore!

    Look at flying. You just used to buy a ticket, turn up and that’s it. Now theres charges for luggage, hand luggage, online check-in and virtually anything else. I fear the cloud, from all suppliers , will go the same way.

  10. My wife and I were doing the math on this on a long drive this weekend, and looking at a 10-20 year, suite-level commitment, Adobe should be ashamed of having no offer of reciprocation for that level of pay-out and loyalty. $9,000 over 15 years and you couldn’t even look at an indd, eps or Premiere proj file the day you stop paying. As my wife says, that just seems unethical. Certainly, the “photographer” package is a step in the right direction, but I need Premiere, just as many photogs do these days, and that means we have to buy the whole suite.

    I’m sure the solutions will evolve as these things begin to effect people directly, but man, if anyone out there hasn’t emailed Adobe yet with a thoughtful proposal on alternatives to the current model, get up and get involved please. It takes a community to raise…hell. 🙂

  11. You still should free yourself from Adobe’s proprietary stuff!

    Start using The Gimp ! By simply using it and telling the developers what you don’t like it’ll quickly be better than Photoshop! .. and it’s free forever, hard written in its licence – never anyone can take it away, not even adobes cloud when (not if!) it crashes hard 😉

  12. I agree with Jim and Jan. This is the time to make a break. I’m getting a new computer and taking my old one off line. I can use my CS4 on the disconnected for years. On the new one, I’ll use Corel until I have time to learn GIMP. Corel does most of what I want, including Camera Raw, They save to all the formats I need. (I am a fine artist and microstock photographer). I can install it on 3 computers. I may also get Manga, actually better for my needs than Illustrator. I’m hoping other software companies will notice this opportunity and dive in. We could soon be better off than before. Other programs have, in the past, been “the industry standard” and no longer hold that position.

  13. Crowd sourcing works every time, even when complaining. Good job everyone!

    They do have competitionb too. In fact I use their competition’s products (Corel) mainly because of cost.

    Speaking of cost, Adobe is located in the most expensive location to do business. Corel is in Canada. Is it possible Adobe is just so strapped for money because of the high wages and taxes that a presence in Silicon Valley Inevitably brings?

  14. When I was working I did everything graphic related and paid $1320 for my last UPGRADE to CS5. Now I’m retired and, while I’m still doing a small amount of work, the cost of a subscription isn’t viable on my pension. Meanwhile I’m trying to update some books that I first worked on in 1995 and I keep getting ‘Out of memory messages’ in Indesign which appear to be common for anyone that hasn’t upgraded to subscription. Such a pain!

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