I think it’s been four years now that Adobe started it’s subscription based model with the Creative Cloud. About two years back, you could no longer have a physical version you can buy and keep, instead of constantly paying a monthly subscription. It didn’t take long for them to only offer cloud versions of their applications. I was a very slow adopter of this model. I mean why would I want to constantly pay for an application.
Of course Adobe makes it easy to convince you, with your online membership you can log in to any computer and run your version of Photoshop or whatever application. You can sign up for a month utilize all the programs you want and then suspend your account. The simplest package is just one app running you about $9.95 a month. So for one year you could spend $120, a fraction of cost of buying full package. Then you can upgrade to have access to all of Adobe’s products for $39.95, so a year runs you $480. Now this starts to creep into a stiffer bill. What’s great though is you do have unlimited access to all of Adobe’s software, but then depending on what you do for digital work who uses all of the applications. Of course there’s the you can write this off as a business expense, which is valid argument and a way to lower your taxable deductions.
I’m not knocking what Adobe is doing here. It’s a double edged sword. You get the latest and greatest applications, but you are perpetually paying for them. Adobe isn’t the only one doing this now. Autodesk has gotten into this practice as well. It reminds me of the gym memberships, you sign up, utilize it for a few months and then forget about it. Meanwhile the gym collects your money every month even if you aren’t using their services. This is a very lucrative business model, I get it. The other model that some companies are doing is a free or student version of their application. Foundry is doing this with Nuke and Autodesk is also doing this as well. There are some restrictions, but at least it allows either students or someone with low discretionary funds to utilize and train on their applications.
I don’t really have an argument or solution for this. It is the lay of the landscape for now. Just something I figured to mention. At some point everyone will be forced to convert just by nature the old programs will be too obsolete to run. Be curious to see how many people has adopted the subscription model versus just keeping their older versioned applications.