∞ Adobe responds to Creative Suite pricing criticism

Following criticism of its pricing for future versions of Creative Suite, Adobe responded on Monday with a statement sent to The Loop.

“Our aggressive subscription price for Adobe Creative Cloud – $49 per month for every Adobe Creative Suite application, our new touch apps and new cloud-based services – will provide incredible value for the creative community and we will clarify and promote these benefits to our customers over the next few months,” reads the statement. “The changes to our upgrade policy, for customers who would like to continue to purchase CS software as a perpetual license, benefits customers who are on the latest versions of our software. We have promotions that enable customers to upgrade to the latest CS version ahead of CS6 at a reduced rate – at the moment we are offering 20% off any upgrade to the latest version of their Adobe software.”

The response to Adobe’s pricing has been strong throughout the community, but that stands to reason considering how many creative pros use the company’s software.

  • JeffCGD

    DoublePlusGood MarketingBuzzword BleebleBloop!

    Way to clarify your position, Adobe.

  • It’s hard to speak clearly when you don’t take your head out of your ass!

  • “aggressive subscription price”

    Can Adobe possibly be this out of touch? Is there an implicit assumption that “creatives” can’t do math or is it an inbred arrogance that nothing could ever unseat Photoshop?

    • To be fair, the subscription price is aggressive… if and only if you need access to the entire suite. 

      At $588 per year (on a 12-month contract), you can subscribe for nearly five years before you hit the cost of your initial copy of Creative Suite Master Collection. The numbers only get better as you figure in upgrades ($949 a pop to buy, $0 additional to rent). If you need the whole shebang, it makes no fiscal sense to buy instead of using Creative Cloud.

      Problem is, of course, most creatives don’t need Master Collection. 

      • I agree that the subscription price isn’t terrible considering what you get. However, most creatives I know only work with 3-4 apps within the suite. Personally, I only use AE, PS, and AI. Maybe sometimes Premiere. For a brief moment I considered the subscription, but if they stick to 12-month .5 upgrades and maintain their “last full version only” upgrade policy, it’s cheaper for me to upgrade my Production Premium license every two years.

  • Anonymous

    They just let the Flash franchise die on the vine. Why should this come as a surprise?

  • Adobe needs to make their products better rather than play games to get more money out of their existing customers and forcing them to use more of their products. I have not upgraded from CS4 I am tired of paying for upgrades to get bug fixes and system maintenance upgrades, while interface and performance continues to go down hill. 

  • downpour

    But why do they charge their UK customers more than their US customers, when we are downloading creative suite?

    • Vamsmack

      They mentioned that a little while ago in a blog post. It boiled down to they charged what they thought people would pay in different markets. It’s similar down here in OZ we end up paying more because they think we’re willing to. 

      • downpour

        They ‘think’ we are willing to pay more… LOL Maybe they should try asking us first.

        I won’t be upgrading to CS6.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. Outrageous pricing will only speed the development of competitor products, especially in a depressed world economy with lots of talented people looking for work. I’ve waited patiently for over 5 years for Adobe to get a clue and consider its customer service failings. Done now.

    • Rechumhmo

      Yes and also helps piracy, the more expensive the suite the more people downloading it from hackz sites… That’s dumb, besides is a lot better to sell 1 billion at $100 than 100 thousand at $800…

  • …and you don’t even get a native GUI.

    It’s also one of the reasons we moved from a Mac Pro to an iMac. Why buy 12 cores when the tools I’m going to be working with end up using one most of the time. 

    • I’m not sure I follow you. I agree on the GUI part. I hate the whole Flash panel thing. But I most certainly use all my cores when I’m working in After Effects.

      • Photoshop, InDesign, etc. Very little multithreading. I don’t mess with video. They couldn’t compete if AE ran like PS or ID.

  • Nothing about Adobe’s non-response to this criticism surprises me. Like HP, a company founded by engineers is now being run by marketing weasels.

  • Uhhhh, WTF kind of a response was this?

    I don’t feel like Adobe’s apps are overpriced to begin with, I make up the cost of the entire Design Premium Suite with one brochure design – as I suspect most designers do. But I do have a problem with the “you must keep up to date to get upgrade pricing” policy. This is ridiculous. With downloadable purchasing, Adobe should be able to offer a fairly decent discount, but they haven’t in the past. Creative Cloud is not what we were looking for in this arena; Forcing me to buy 18 applications when I only use 5 is obscene.

    • The way I see it, Adobe knows they’re making crap, they know the users know, and they’ve decided the only way they can keep the money coming in is by forcing us to spend it.

      Conversely, they could make us WANT to buy the software, and we would. But that takes actual effort on their part.

      • I don’t consider the Creative Suite apps “crap.” They’re getting a bit bloated (especially ID and AI), but crap they’re not.

  • I see no pressure to upgrade because they don’t innovate anymore. I most certainly won’t be paying them a monthly fee. For what? To fund more ridiculous plans to wring even more money out of me and stifle innovation? 

  • As soon as Macromedia was acquired, Adobe became the de facto standard with little or no competition. Although there have been some innovative features added (Content-aware fills) it’s not nearly enough given what you pay. What Adobe really needs is COMPETITION!!! And an open mind from the design community to explore other tools not built by Adobe.

  • Yup, $49/month seems cheap alright…. until 3 years from now when you’re still paying your monthly fee (now $99/month) and there’s virtually no difference between your current CS and the one you first got at such a cheap entry price. 😉

    Maybe you can lock in pricing for a year or two, but then if you don’t want it anymore there’s an early termination fee. Maybe they’ll do special deals where you get the whole suite for $49/month for 3 months, then it goes to regular pricing. Any of this starting to sound familiar? Subscriptions are, by design, meant to disenfranchise the subscriber by denying them the power of ownership and thus, control. Once everyone is on the subscription hook, what incentive is there for innovation? What are you gonna do? When they raise the subscription price, what are you gonna do?

  • dan

    The whole Suite for $50 a month is not bad at all considering what you get. Yes, I understand that many people only use 2 or 3 apps, so it doesn’t make sense for all users. Because of this, I think Adobe will eventually come around and offer different packages through creative cloud. As Adobe customer’s we must keep pushing for these smaller packages.

    Anyway, I pay something like $30/month for internet on my phone – and this doesn’t make me any money. Shelling out $50/month is more than doable considering I can easily make that amount back with a couple hours of work. While I do only use PS and AI, I’m looking forward to pushing my skillset and trying out AE and ID.

  • Being FORCED down a road is horrible. The only programs I give a rats behind about are Photoshop and Lightroom. Lightroom is my MUST HAVE. Dreamweaver is an atomic flyswatter. I don’t need all of that; I use Freeway Pro for my personal website. Some of the other programs in the creative cloud are of no interest to me or totally unusable so they have no value to me. So telling me this is a great deal because y’all get so much… I say… for programs I don’t want or need? How is that a great deal? Introductory price.. .yeah, almost makes sense for a year, THEN WHAT? They double the price?