Rant: Adobe Switching to Pure Subscription Model

As you may have heard, Adobe recently announced that they would no longer be offering programs in their Creative Suite like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver for purchase after CS6 (you can read the official announcement here). Instead, the only way to use these products is to sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud Service. For $50.00 a month (they also offer a subscription model for a single program at $20.00 a month).

Want Adobe Products? You'll have to subscribe soon.

Now, for bigger shops or people who tend to upgrade every time Adobe releases a new version of their Creative Suite product, this is likely no big deal. They’re pretty much already paying this, and as an added bonus, they get access to the entire collection of products.

However, for those of us who only buy what we need, and only update every few versions, this is a huge price increase. I’m a one man operation here, which means I need to be extremely budget conscious. As a result, I’m still using Adobe’s CS4, and only part of it to boot. I do freelance work on the side; I work a full time (and then some) job Monday through Friday, so I generally only take on a few design projects a year. That $50.00 a month adds up to $600.00 a year, which would be a huge portion of my current operating budget.

Long story short, for small shops and part-time freelancers, it feels like Adobe is saying “You don’t matter”. We’re not big customers that spend hundreds or thousands a year on their product family, so they just don’t care about us.

Furthermore, I hate the subscription model in general. Call me old fashioned, but I like to own something. If I’m going to put my hard earned money toward a product, I want to be able to keep it forever. With this subscription model, as soon as I stop paying, I can no longer use the software. So the longer you pay, the more money you have invested into it, and the harder it is to let it go.

Now I understand the counter-argument here: you’re renting the application for the utility you get from it. You might not own the software at the end of the day, but you own whatever you produced with it during that time. It’s just like cable or mobile phone service in that regard.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying it. This feels like a cheap money grab on Adobe’s part, and little more.

I didn’t mind Creative Cloud when it was optional, but as the only option? I hope it fails. Quickly.

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