Goodbye Creative Suite, welcome Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Announced in this morning’s Keynote (or perhaps Techcrunch jumped the gun) Adobe will no longer be selling Creative Suite – software you can buy – and going subscription only with Creative Cloud.

I worked out at NAB that it was likely that “CS Next” wasn’t going to be CS at all, but subscription only. To me this make great sense for Adobe: with the success of Creative Cloud already assured it was inevitable. But it’s good news for users as well.

Under the Creative Cloud (which we are paying subscribers to) we get all the Adobe apps – the old Master Collection – for very little per month. It will also likely mean that updates do not have to wait for a company-wide roll out. Updates to any app can be rolled out when they’re ready.

There will be some that prefer to “own” their software, the truth is that you never have. Software is licensed not sold.

The small downside to the flexibility and value of Creative Cloud is that you have to connect to the Internet once a month. Frankly I don’t know how you could be in business or production without a connection to the Internet once a month. (We did run into an odd situation driving to NAB where Greg wanted to prepare with Audition for the BuZZ but had to authorize it on his laptop: challenging driving across the desert but a really unusual situation.)

All in all, a good move Adobe. (And yes, the new CC offering is very amazing.)

You might also be interested in 5 Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe’s FAQ on the subject.

23 thoughts on “Goodbye Creative Suite, welcome Creative Cloud subscriptions.”

  1. I think I’m fine with just doing the Cloud. I like physical products, and I suppose if it’s subscription-based Adobe could pull the plug at any moment, but overall I think it will work. Now they just need to focus on making the downloads and installation smoother. I despise the Download “Assistant”.

  2. I just wish you could pick and choose the apps that you want for a lower price, or turn them on and off on a monthly basis. I do like the model outside of that, though.

    1. You can subscribe to individual apps if you prefer, but if you want two or more, the full bundle is cheaper (as it always has been with Adobe).

      1. Oops. Didn’t read everything thoroughly. Thanks for the correction.

        $50 per month is a really good deal. It’d be nice if the per app price was a bit lower, but how much cheaper does it need to be? This model makes it easy for those who don’t have a significant cash flow to dive on and be able to have a full suite of creative tools. Also, this software was prohibitively expensive to people trying to crack into the biz not long ago. I wish I would’ve had access to this when I was first starting out. Pretty democratizing. It’ll allow talent access to tools they didn’t have before… Of course, we’ll see plenty of the not so talented as well…

  3. Ultimately this approach is short-sighted. Adobe exists largely as a result of customer loyalty. By treating their loyal customer base equal with a fickle subscriber they will lose brand loyalty. For example, a friend of mine just signed up with Adobe Cloud now gets nearly the same cost as myself who has purchased heavy amounts of software. How likely am I to stick with Adobe when competitors come by? I have no significant “stake in the game” to stick with Adobe. Once a market downturn happens, they will lose subscribers like flies and they will lose their most loyal customers to competitors.

  4. What happens if you use certain product and Adobe decides to abandon it. as the have been known to do now and then?

    And what makes you think Adobe won’t raise the membership prices every year?

    Plus what happens if Adobe goes under? Then you are left with a hard drive full of deadware.

    Or what if you need to support a customer who is set up with older versions of Adobe software?

    No thanks Adobe. CS6 is the last Adobe software I’ll buy.

    1. You could fight anything with the “What happens if…” What happens if the sky falls in? What happens if the Internet goes down for more than a month? What if cars stopped working? What if the electric grid failed. What if I get bored with this answer?

      1. While I personally find the decreased up-front investment appealing, I can’t help but feel that the concerns raised about discontinuing products or the company going under are perfectly valid.

        Most of my colleagues have favorite pieces of software (though usually not Adobe) that have long-since been discontinued that they still run. Some of them even have older systems dedicated to maintaining compatibility. Adobe (like many other companies) has also discontinued support for various OS versions over the years. Let’s also keep in mind that several software vendors have shown themselves to be out of touch with the market in their revisions: Microsoft and Windows 8, Google’s recent revisions to their search (I saw over 900 entries in their own groups in response to a change they made to image search alone).

        So if Adobe wants users to feel “safe” in those areas, then they must commit to supporting legacy products even as they release new versions.

        Now, it is worth noting that the disincentive for Adobe to maintain older versions is substantially reduced by the fact that they would be getting identical monthly revenue from users of the older version as from the new. So if they handle this well, it can rapidly become a non-issue.

        On the other hand the “what if the company goes out of business” question is a more difficult one to assuage fears about. Adobe is one of the largest software companies in the world with thousands of employees and it would take something fairly major to bring them down at this point – far more than the active competition they’ve been facing in regards to most of their individual products.

        In other words, I am willing to give Adobe the benefit of the doubt on this one for the time being – as long as they seem to stay responsive to what users actually need in terms of legacy support, etc. and as long as they make an effort to find solutions for the rare situations where people might access the Internet less frequently. It doesn’t seem very difficult to create a special 3 month activation for people working in remote areas, etc.

        1. Adobe have said that they will keep a stable version of each future release available indefinitely, so if you are locked to an OS that stops being supported on the newer versions, you’ll still have CC versions of the “old” software.

      1. And this is the one part that seems a little weird. Shouldn’t it be either machine specific or user specific, not somewhere in-between?

        1. Not really. It’s the user that has the account but the account requires activation on a computer as it can’t be activated without tying it to a computer.

  5. Never, never, never…I have been to many other sites re: this issue and on every one of them the negative posts far outweigh the positives…which leads me to think that a bunch of corporate shills posted these. The biggest mistake a business can make is to not listen to their customers, and you have now made me an ex-customer. Moving to Sony Vegas…no hassle, no fees, no BS…it does the job. Bye Adobe…I won’t rent software.

    1. I have not heard or read any information on how it would work in educational institutions, but I’ll bet they find a way. 🙂

  6. It’s all fine and dandy till my government bosses slash the budget as they do since state governments have to balance. Then what happens Phil? I got nothing to work with. At least with box versions I have something to work with no matter how behind current features it is.

    1. Hey, just because it works for me, doesn’t mean: a) that it will work for everyone or b) that in some way I’m influenced by something other than my honest opinion. Take it up with Adobe, I’m not their spokesman. I like what Adobe have done with the subscription. I choose to pay for it when I could probably get NFR product from Adobe at no charge to me.

      As I understand it, you will be locked at CS6 for the indefinite future. But I wonder how you handle upgrades now and why there’s not a way of offsetting the much lower monthly cost. I know a lot of organizations (particularly in the production industry) prefers to rent and not own. It’s much easier for accounting purposes.

  7. If you don’t like Adobe software, then don’t use/buy it! There are lots of other competing products if you care to look…

  8. Sorry to say, but I do not understand the upgrade argument which Adobe never gets tired of repeatingt. Even if you deliver software physically, there is no reason in the world that would keep a company like Adobe from delivering constant updates via the web. That is what hundreds of companies do every day and it perfectly works without a subscription model.
    For sure subscription has its advantages, but in the end it is about total control of their software, especially draining the 2nd hand market which does exist worldwide. There are many countries where reselling of physical good i(incl. software) s allowed, even if the EULA says differently. With the subscription model, reselling will no longer be legal, because there is nothing physical anymore and you only rent the item.

    1. Actually there is a reason why Adobe can’t continually update unless it’s a subscription (or if they don’t charge for it.) Otherwise they run into severe Sarbanes Oxley problems with their accounting.

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