Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program

The Photoshop Photography Program is a new packaged price for the creative cloud versions of Photoshop (PS) and Lightroom (LR) that Adobe announced during Photoshop world (Sept’13). This was their response to the overwhelming backlash from the photography community who thought that the $20/month price point for essentially a Photoshop rental was way too much when compared to the old price when updating the standalone license approx. every 18 months. I agreed with the majority of Photoshop only users and said I’d never subscribe.

  So Adobe will now RENT (yes it is still a rental model Bus. plan) you Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/month under this new program as long as you own a Photoshop CS3 or a newer license and agree to subscribe for a yearly membership before 31-Dec-2013. This reduced price is not an introductory price which will increase after the 1st year, it is a reduced membership plan for who knows how long. Adobe has said that the price will remain as long as you retain your monthly payments. If you decide to unsubscribe, and rejoin sometime later your monthly fee will revert back to the original $20/month plan. 

 I had said I would never subscribe, but I have decided that at $10/month this makes sense for me. In the past I have updated both applications soon after they were launched. I’d always wait until early adopters had identified any major bugs before I updated but soon after the dust had settled I was handing over $200+ for PS and $80 for LR. In fact I had just updated to LR5 when this announcement was made. I asked Adobe for a refund and since I had purchased LR within 30 days, they gave me a full refund which paid for the 1st 8 months of my CC membership. I have always wanted access to some of the PS extended features, but to upgrade from my standard version was alway too expensive, now I have an extended version which is another reason for my subscription decision. 

Scott Kelby did a very good job of explaining why Adobe made the leap to a subscription business model on his Grid Live pod cast available on the Kelby TV web site. I wont go into the details but it comes down to Adobe being able to roll out new features quickly to users and still meet the tax law requirements they operate under. The tax law states that new content could only be rolled out if customers paid a nominal fee for them. This happened with creative suite 5.5, the new features couldn't wait for a tradition 18 month roll out, so for $45 they made the content available with a half version update. Instead of waiting for application roll outs every 18 months, under this subscription model they can make them available to users sooner and still meet the requirements of the USA tax code. Scott states that regardless what you think about Adobe's business model, protest all you want they will not return to a stand alone license model. To provide content and stay relevant in this world of quickly changing technology they can't go back. 

I'm still skeptical about Adobe keeping the monthly subscription fees at the current $10/month level and I'm still not carzy about renting software. I'm sure like everything else the price will increase, when and by how much only time will tell. But for me at this price point this made sense, it may not be for you and that is your choice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment