Adobe, one of the largest creative software services providers, is now fully pursuing a subscription business model. The company’s flagship product, Adobe Creative Suite, has been evolved to be accessible on the cloud on a subscription basis. What does this mean for creatives and other software services competitors?
For over three decades, creatives have been paying a license fee to use Adobe design software. However, as the subscription business evolves, large software companies are not being left behind. Adobe Creative Cloud was introduced in late 2012 as a subscription option and so far, everything indicates the company got it right. In the first 9 months, over 450,000 premium users and more than 2 million free members had subscribe to the subscription package.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud Pricing
Creative Cloud was initially introduced to individual members and later to teams. The response has been positive so far. Users can access a single Adobe product for a monthly fee of $29.99 or the entire Creative Suite for a monthly fee of $49.99.
As consumer software consumption moves from perpetual licensing (where you purchase a software to install to your PC) to a SaaS model, Adobe has decided to go all-in to offer a SaaS service with its Creative Cloud. While the company will continue selling the current versions of its products, no further feature updates will be made for them
Benefits of the Cloud
Together with its cloud storage service, Adobe is providing creative professionals with all they need to successfully execute projects. According to Adobe senior executives, the shift to a subscription based model is a major but necessary step for the company’s future sustainability. Users can now expect more stable versions and quicker patches, fixes and updates with the Creative Cloud.
While the subscription model will reduce the instance of cracked and patched Adobe products, the company says this way not their major drive into the subscription model. For example, it cites Poland, a country where piracy levels are traditionally high, to have more than average number of registered users. The point is that creatives are willing to pay for software if they are given a pricing option that they can afford. Instead of the large upfront cost typical of the perpetual licensing model, creative professionals can pay affordable monthly subscription fees to access the products they need.
Is Adobe Getting it Right?
Design software are typically RAM intensive and require PCs with robust performance features. How does Adobe Creative Cloud augur in performance?
Application performance is one of the issues that Adobe has to deal with when designing the cloud offering. Unlike most other SaaS software, Adobe has to deal with the reality of performance issues with its products. Creatives need robust PCs to optimally run products like Photoshop and After Effects. As a result, the company decided to offer the application offline but users need to log into the Internet at least once a month to verify their subscription.
Several shots have been fired at Adobe from different quarters, including Microsoft, for abandoning the packaged software services to focus on cloud services. Unlike Adobe, Microsoft does not plan to stop its packaged software services even as it pushes for its subscription based Office365.
There has been an outcry on the internet from creative professionals who see they will be affected by the subscription based services. Over 5000 creative professionals have signed a petition at Change.org asking Adobe to keep its perpetual licensing products. Some consumers are wary of having to be locked up in subscription pricing plans. However, others are happy with the new move, citing the lower cost.