Today Adobe announced that they are moving to an all-rental model for their creative software. You'll be able to rent a single title like Photoshop for $10 a month ($20 after the first year), or get access to the entire Adobe collection for $50 a month (there's some discounts for the first year for current users.)
I've been using Photoshop since version 1.0, and Illustrator almost as long, and I just switched back to Premiere from Final Cut Pro, so I'm not an Adobe hater, but I must admit that I'm not a fan of being forced into a rental model. I already wrote at some length about this last year when they first announced the Creative Cloud: Are Software Subscriptions A Good Idea?
Color me a little skeptical about Adobe's justification for moving to the rental model: on the one hand they say that maintaining the Creative Cloud and Suite was a distraction:
Producing these different versions was a distraction, and this move, Morris told me, will “give Adobe the ability to focus” and make life easier for its engineers.Yet when I bought the last version of Creative Suite I downloaded it online, registered it online, and I've downloaded updates online. Sorry, but I'm not sure what the big difference is between that and the Creative Cloud rental; is the impact on the software that dramatic depending upon the routine that verifies if you're running a valid version?
They also talk about how they can't roll out new features in versions that people bought (rather than rent) due to some legal issues...yet Apple seemed to figure out how to roll out new features in Final Cut Pro X without having a rental fee.
On the other hand, at current prices, the $50 a month rental fee to get everything is a pretty good deal; if you use all the programs regularly, and were in the habit of updating every time a new release came out. If you weren't such an enthusiastic updater, then you will be paying more. And what stops Adobe from increasing the price?
In my office I have Photoshop CS3 running on a PC and CS6 running on a Mac. Quite frankly, for the things that I do with Photoshop (resizing, levels adjustments and other simple things) CS3 does everything I need, which is the reason I haven't upgraded. To be honest, I barely scratch the surface on several of their apps.
At the same time, I like the new features in Premiere CS6...which brings me back to the fact that I used to use Premiere Pro, then I switched to Final Cut Pro for about five years, and now I've switched back to Premiere. If I were to switch back again, it may be several years before I can stop paying the rental fee because I might want to access old projects.
Finally, I've read several people talk about subscriptions as being the "future" of software sales. I find that ironic because I'm old enough to remember the past. Back in the days of mini-computers and main frames, most business software was rented or licensed on a yearly basis, not purchased. Micro-computers changed that, turning the majority of software into a purchase model. Now the Internet has managed to bring us forward...into the past.
In this 45th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your host Paul Antico is joined now new permanent co-host Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions to talk changes in the show, and the latest news. We also go over listener feedback, especially from the last show, and much more. [Note: We will return with a new show in two weeks.]
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