Adobe Creative cloud

Full disclaimer: I’m a paying member of Adobe Creative Cloud and don’t condone or support piracy even if the software is over priced. I take no responsibility for your use of illegally obtained use of Adobe CC products.

One of the big reasons Adobe made the move to a subscription based service is to reduce piracy. Adobe products have consistently been at the top of the pirated software list over the past few years and it was hoped that the new cloud model would drastically reduce the piracy problem by requiring the software to call home on a regular bases. However, after only a few days of it’s release, there are reports of Adobe CC showing up on torrent sites. Apparently all the new features are enabled and working.

Sure, there will always be people willing to nab something for free as apposed to paying for it, but it seems to me that Adobe could do a lot more volume in sales if they’d just address their pricing structure. For many people if the price of buying software is less of a burden then trying to hunt it down on a torrent site they’ll go with the easier solution.

So here’s the problem as I see it. Many thought the interdiction of a subscription model would reduce prices in the long run and make things more affordable for everyone. The problem with that assumption is that many users (including myself) would usually hold out on updates until there was a feature announced that they couldn’t live without. Sure you pay around $1500 for a copy of Adobe Production Premium, but if you can make that last for 3 years you’ve effectively saved $300 when compared to the $599 a year subscription fee. On top of that, there is still a good after market for old software, your no longer used copy of CS5 production Premium for example could easily fetch $600 on ebay. When you factor selling your old copy of production premium into the cost, the subscription service starts to look like a rip off.

Some will argue that you get access to more adobe products with the new subscription service. The problem for people like me is that I still wont be using Flash, Dreamweaver, Muse, or any of the other new programs I now have access to, but I’m still paying for them as a package. Right now as a former CS6 user I’m getting the introductory price of $19.99 a month (just about right for my budget), but that discounted pricing goes away after the first 12 months. At which point it’s back to $50 a month for all of those extras I don’t really need.

If adobe really wants to increase their subscribers and encourage more people to give them money, why not incorporate good tiered pricing. Sure you can get a single program from adobe for $20 a month or you can get 20 plus programs for $50 a month, but that really isn’t much of a tiered pricing structure. Why not make a single program $5 a month, something like production premium $20 a month, and an everything under the sun plan for $40 a month. After all, who’s going to buy Premiere Pro with out Audition and After Effects? That’s an automatic $15 a month for adobe, and if they want to use speed grade and a few other things, they may as well upgrade their plan to production Premium.

Adobe brings value to my workflow, but i don’t know if that value is worth more then $1 a day. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what kind of discounts and price intensives they offer once my 12 month membership is up for renewal.