I received an email from Adobe’s marketing staff today, which basically says that for a limited time, Adobe is now dropping eligibility requirements for its Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Bundle, which goes for $9.99 per month and includes Photoshop and Lightroom. This basically means that you do not have to prove ownership of any Adobe product in order to qualify for the $9.99 per month pricing. As you might already know, the photography bundle started back in September. Since the launch price of $20 per month for each application was too steep for many creative professionals and hobbyists, Adobe’s initially projected goal was not met. So in a desperate measure to increase the number of subscribers, Adobe dropped the price down to $9.99 per month, but with one condition – one had to prove ownership of CS3 or later in order to qualify. While it sounded like a good deal, many were ticked off when they found out that their particular version was not eligible for the photography bundle deal. Now Adobe is in yet another desperate mode to increase the number of subscribers, so it has dropped this requirement completely.
If you remember from a while ago, we posted a detailed article heavily criticizing Adobe for its move to the cloud and the gloom future of Photoshop as a retail product. We then found out that Adobe’s systems were hacked and user accounts, credit cards and other personal information were stolen. And we definitely were not the only ones that were highly critical of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. It seems like all the negative press had an adverse effect on Adobe’s financial forecast, which was to close off 2013 with a total of 1.25 million subscribers. Although Adobe did surpass the 1 million subscriber mark a couple of months ago, it looks like it still did not meet the projected numbers. Hence, it is taking yet another desperate measure to lure in more customers.
One thing for sure, at $9.99, it is hard to complain about the price anymore. At $120 per year for a full version of Adobe Photoshop (which normally retails for $650), plus Lightroom (which sells for $150), it would take over six years to justify the full cost of retail boxed versions of software. And that’s without adding the cost of upgrading when new versions of Lightroom come out (Photoshop is not upgrade-able, but Lightroom is). So this is definitely an attractive deal for someone that does not own Photoshop or Lightroom and does not want to invest $800 upfront. At the same time, one might argue that the $9.99 per year price is only for the first year and that the price will go up in the future. I wondered about that myself and asked Adobe if the price is only introductory. I was told that the photography bundle price will stay at $9.99 going forward, as long as you “lock in” at that rate. Now there is no guarantee that the price will stay at $9.99 forever, but I was told that it would not fall back to the regular price of $20 per application after the first year. Don’t know how much of this is true, since the information is not official.
Given how many issues Adobe has had with its Creative Cloud’s security earlier this year, it is hard to say if Adobe will be able to convince more people to switch. In this case, the low price is Adobe’s last attempt to sell something that many actively resist. And dropping the requirement to own a previous product means that Adobe simply does not care anymore if you have invested in their products before – it just wants your subscription, period. Another type of consumer Adobe wants to get is one that has been using pirated versions of its software. If no purchase history has to be proven, it makes it easy to take advantage of the $9.99 deal and have a chance to own licensed software.
Here is the letter that I received from Adobe:
Adobe initially launched the Photoshop Photography Program in September to support the needs and workflow of photographers who use CS3 or later. Now, for a limited time, Adobe it is extending this offer to all photographers for $9.99/month as an annual subscription – valid from Nov. 20 (9:00 a.m. PST) through Dec. 2, 2013 (11:59 p.m. PST) on Adobe.com.
The Program offers access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 (plus respective feature updates and upgrades as they are available), 20GB of cloud storage and Behance ProSite, all via Adobe Creative Cloud all for $9.99/month as an annual subscription.
Upon the expiration of this limited offer, the Photoshop Photography Program will continue to be available for $9.99/month to those photography customers who own a previous version of Photoshop Photoshop Extended, or Creative Suite, version CS3 or later (CS3.x, CS4, CS5.x, or CS6). This offer expires Dec. 31, 2013. For more information on the Photoshop Photography Program, visit http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html#pslr-bundle.
Please share this deal with your readers and let me know if you have any questions.
If you would like to take advantage of this offer, follow this link to sign up.