April 11, 2011

CS 5.5 introduces subscription options

As an alternative to paying upfront for Photoshop and other Adobe applications, you can now subscribe to them. This video nicely summarizes things in under four minutes:

For detailed questions, please see the subscriptions FAQ on Adobe.com.

Posted by John Nack at 4:48 PM on April 11, 2011

Comments

  • Glyn Dewis — 9:41 PM on April 11, 2011

    John, this subscription plan idea is a stroke of genius!

    One question though…When you’re a subscriber is it possible to install the software onto more than one computer e.g. iMac for home use and a MacBook Pro for ‘in the field’?

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • Adam Pratt — 8:55 AM on April 12, 2011

    Glyn,

    I work for Adobe and just confirmed with the somebody on the CS Subscription team and they confirmed that with subscription there is still the provision for a primary and secondary computer (work/home, desktop/laptop), just like always, as long as two people aren’t using the software at the same time.

    Hope that’s good news for you!

  • Landon — 9:45 AM on April 12, 2011

    John,

    I think this is a great idea for new companies or freelancers that don’t have the capital to throw at purchasing the software. It was really tough for me starting out to scrape up enough money to buy each product (this was before the suites) and I would have very much appreciated this new option–especially to be able to have a master suite available for certain jobs.

    That said, my guts are turning at the thought that with software activation and subscription services, purchasing software may one day be removed as an option. I sure hope that won’t be the case with Adobe software. I’m one of those guys that bought a $20 answering machine that has worked for 10 years while his friends pay $5-$10/month for voice mail–and they think I’m crazy. I do tend to upgrade every 1-2 cycles, and I see value in short term subscriptions, but long term I don’t.

    Anyway, good luck with CS5.5, I don’t recall a major point upgrade since Photoshop 5.5, so I’m excited to see what’s in this so soon on the heels of CS5.

  • BJN — 2:17 PM on April 12, 2011

    Douchebags. With Camera Raw tied to latest version only, Adobe gets two dips into my pocket if I want to retain my raw workflow with new cameras before the next full release.

    [If you’re under the impression that one must now buy 5.5 to get Camera Raw updates, you’re mistaken. ACR6 will support PS CS5 for the entire cycle. And of course you don’t need to subscribe to anything. Now you have more options, not fewer. –J.]

    I dread being hooked up to the Adobe “subscription” model where I can provide a constant stream of cash to the Adobe monopoly through the rest of my career.

    I’ve been a defender of Adobe’s upgrades over many versions, but this move has most decidedly changed my mind.

  • BJN — 2:23 PM on April 12, 2011

    Oh, and anyone who thinks downloading an Adobe Suite package is convenient has never done it. Downloading is slow and installing it is extremely cumbersome (lots and lots of serial numbers to enter, several installs to run). I had to do this twice after needing to rebuild a system, and I’ll never make the mistake of buying a download license again.

  • earth — 10:31 AM on April 13, 2011

    one thing i think is missing from this subscription service is that one should be entitled to ownership of the software after the full price has been paid. Kind of a rent to own scenario.

    [Note, though, that traditionally RTO schemes work only by making the total cost of ownership higher than if you’d bought outright. (Otherwise, why wouldn’t everyone just take this approach?) –J.]

    Personally tho, i would prefer a per hourly usage model rather than a monthly/yearly subscription, with eventual ownership included as well.

  • Jesper — 3:28 AM on April 15, 2011

    Sir,

    I love the move towards subscriptions. Especially the fact that one can easily upgrade to the latest edition and keep ones costs low. However, that being said, my toes curl up when I look at Adobe’s pricing here in Denmark, as it is completely ridiculous.

    I quick comparison of Adobe’s and Apple’s prices for digital downloaded products in Denmark (English language, so no extra cost for translation):

    Apple, using the App Store, charges DKK 210 for a $35 product.
    Adobe, using the online store, charges DKK 315 for a $35 product.

    That is, Adobe is 50% more expensive than Apple, which is one of the main reasons many of my photography/videography friends are choosing Apple products over Adobe.

    Personally, I love Lightroom and Photoshop and would considering getting a subscription for Photoshop in the future (I’m running CS5 now), I just don’t want to be ripped off by Adobe’s pricing policy.

  • John — 12:10 PM on May 03, 2011

    We’ve been using the Adobe Production Suite with our business for a long time. I am also a bit concerned about this change in pricing.

    The subscription should not cost more than the other options. A subscription gives Adobe a constant cash flow. The upgrade model allows the user to skip upgrades that we feel are unnecessary. We would probably get a subscription if it was designed as more of a customer loyalty thing. Instead, I’ll wait until I see a significant update and at that time if the upgrade cost is very high (because I may be a few releases back) I’ll be forced into considering other editing platforms. This is not what you want, Adobe.

    Does this make sense? Lower cost subscription equals more users subscribing and effectively upgrading with EACH new release. Higher cost subscription means less subscribers and more customers evaluating each release in depth and making decisions at each update whether or not to stick with Adobe.

  • josephine_b — 12:11 PM on August 23, 2011

    Why isn’t there a discount for those of us who already have one version back from the latest? I have the Design Premium suite and adding the subscription doesn’t make sense cost-wise.

  • Lonnie b — 1:20 PM on November 21, 2011

    Well, Adobe, I see you have taken the road that many companies seem to be going down these days…the greed road, the “to hell with my current customers, because we’ll find new ones” road!

    I really dislike the idea of subscriptions (since the business of graphics and advertising isn’t always paying by the month, and the subscription price seems quite inflated), and further dislike the idea of NOT receiving a hard copy of the very expensive software you sell!! Wonderful for YOU, but very inconvenient when it comes to reinstalling software after a major computer crash or major OS software update (yeah, I know about “archive and install”…it hardly ever works correctly)

    I have yet to download an entire adobe suite, and can’t imagine how long that would take, based on how long it takes to just install the software!! But you are like most companies, and my time (tying up my computer for hours and hours downloading your software) is not really important to you. Very sad state of affairs.

    Like most companies today…you make more profits, and provide LESS convenience and value to your customers. That must be the new American business model!

    Netflix tried it and almost went out of business. I wish you the best of luck with your new business plan!

    sincerely,

    a long time user (since version 5) and now a much disappointed one

  • Ben Hunt — 3:49 AM on December 09, 2011

    I’m renting Photoshop, and I think it’s a great idea for creatives who are not necessarily cash-rich. I assume we’ll get free upgrades. That would make a lot of sense.

    And it’s great that you can run the software on two machines (although not concurrently).

    My gripe is that I have a PC on my desk at work, but an iMac and a MacBook Air at home. Because I only subscribe to the Windows version, it doesn’t seem I can run it at home without buying another license. Boo!

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