It has been almost a week now since Adobe announced that they were going to be taking the Creative Suite and rebranding it as Creative Cloud and changing their business model to one exclusively subscription based. Prices have been give of $50 per month to be able to download and use any of the applications of the Creative Cloud. A $20 per month Photoshop only subscription was also advanced as an option. The real catch to the announcement is that once you drop your subscription the program from Adobe that are downloaded to you computer will cease to work. This is a big change from the buying a perpetual license for software where there was no further payment made to Adobe unless you wanted to purchase an upgrade to the next version. It has also kept me up nights.
It took me several days to actually get to the bottom of why I felt betrayed, bamboozled, and basically had the rug pulled out from under me. It is not about the price, I was pretty much
resigned willing to paying about that much every year for the continued upgrades to the one part of the Creative Suite I use, Photoshop. And I can see some really good reasons for subscribing to the Creative Cloud if I were a business with employees who would be using the software most of their work day. If I had graphic designer who I was paying $60k or $80k a year to produce art (using the term loosely) an investment of $600 per year for the latest software would be cheap. Less than 1% of the employee costs per year. If I no longer need the employee for some reason, lack of work, employee changes jobs, etc. I just cancel the subscription and I have no further issues.
As far as subscriptions go Photoshop for $240 a year probably is a good deal, I pay more than that to Kelby Training each year for my NAPP membership and my Kebly Training subscription. And that is where the rub is. I like my Kelby Training subscription, it gives me access to some wonderful training by some of the best instructors in the business including the likes of Jay Maisel and Joe McNally. I really want to continue with those subscriptions, especially the Kelby Training one because it is about a lot more than how to move pixels in Photoshop. But I am not giving Kelby Training $279.00 a year for instructions I can only use at Kelby Training.
My issue is that while I’ve spent probably $1500 dollars for Photoshop from Version 7 (I think) through the CS series, I probably have invested
twice four or six times that amount in books and instruction on Photoshop and now Lightroom. I’ve spent $3K just on going to PhotoshopWord three times. Then there is the large number of hours of my time spent reading and practicing the instructions from the books and videos. I don’t begrudge any of those hours or any of the dollars because I loved to learn and I love to apply what I’ve learned. Problem is that now I don’t feel it would be worth my while to learn anymore about Photoshop if what I learn can’t continue to be applied down the road if time and travel prevents me from keeping up on my payments to Adobe.
I really don’t want to write a check each month for $20.00 to Adobe (forget about the first year discount). And all I have for all that check writing is, well nothing. On the same note I’m sure that Adobe’s Board of Directors and shareholders would like to make a profit. I’ve tried my best to come up with a solution that is fair to Adobe as well as me. Personally I wouldn’t mind paying out a yearly upgrade subscription if I was assured that at the end I would still have a perpetual license for Photoshop that I could still use after I no longer desire upgrades. And I would give even a bit more, say a one time upgrade fee from CS6 to CC. So in my mind a one time fee of $200 for a perpetual upgrade to Photoshop CC plus maybe a once a year $199 subscription would be something I could accept and manage. This gives me the next version of Photoshop plus it gives me 1 year to see if Adobe is really ready and willing to give us continuous improvements to the program. After that year I can make a decision if the subscription for updates is of further worth.