Today at Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas, Adobe announced a new packaged bundle tailored specifically for Photographers. It consists of the Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, Behance ProSite and 20 GB of cloud storage – all for $9.99 per month. There are two conditions with this deal: you have to sign up before December 31, 2013 and you must currently own CS3 or a newer version of Photoshop. Many photographers complained about Adobe’s decision to move the Creative Suite platform to the cloud and their new subscription-based pricing model. We wrote a number of articles criticizing Adobe’s decision and talked about the pitfalls of going to the cloud, including the high monthly costs.
Previously, Adobe’s pricing model was to charge $20 per software application, or $50 for everything. So if you wanted to subscribe to Lightroom and Photoshop (which are the two most used applications among photographers), you had have to pay $40 per month. Starting from September 17, 2013, which is the projected launch date for Lightroom 5.2, you will be able to get both software packages, along with some other extras at quarter of the price. Adobe has already discounted Creative Cloud pricing before and it is doing it in a much more aggressive manner again.
So why is Adobe cutting the price further and making this deal specifically for photographers? There are several reasons for this. First, it was the photographers that complained the most on Creative Cloud, giving plenty of negative feedback on photography sites and forums, which even led to online petitions such as this one (40K votes). That in itself steered many photographers away from buying Creative Cloud products. But the biggest drive, in my opinion, is company’s shareholders and projected sales numbers. Adobe’s leadership projected to bring in a total of 1.25 million Creative Cloud subscribers by the end of 2013, as clearly stated in this forecast document. Obviously, the company is nowhere near that number (the total number of CC subscribers was at 700K at the end of June 2013), so it has to do everything it possibly can to get closer to the goal. The $10 price is obviously meant to be a huge incentive for many photographers out there that still own packaged versions of Photoshop or Lightroom, so Adobe is hoping that it will gain a lot more customers by the end of the year. In a way, they simply don’t care about the dollar figures at this point – they just want to meet the 1.25 million goal. If it does not happen, company’s top management will get their hands slapped by shareholders and investors, while the stock prices of the company will plummet. That’s the fate of any company that over-promises and under-delivers in a market economy.
My recommendation – if you hate the whole Cloud idea, stay away from this lure. Adobe wants a 12 month commitment from you right now and it says that the pricing will stay the same once you sign up. I seriously doubt that you will be paying just $10 per month forever – the pricing will most likely increase once Adobe’s customer base is large enough and the shareholders are pleased.
However, if your main complaint was the high price tag earlier, then this is obviously a good opportunity to get the latest and greatest Adobe’s products for cheap…