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Adobe Doubles Down on Creative Cloud, Adopts Subscription-Only Model

All CC-Branded Product Releases Will Be Available with Payment of Single Monthly Fee

Adobe closed the door on the Creative Suite at its Adobe MAX conference this morning, announcing that it's moving to an all-subscription model and dropping the existing branding of its Creative Suite software products. Starting in June, new versions of Adobe's CS software will be available only online, and only as part of a Creative Cloud subscription. 
That's right — say goodbye to After Effects CS6 and say hello to After Effects CC.
You'll still be able to buy CS6 products, if you really want them — for the time being — but you won't get the latest and greatest, such as all of the new features that were showcased at NAB last month. If you want to stay current with Adobe's line-up, you'll be spending at least $49.99/month for an individual subscription to Creative Cloud with 20 GB of cloud storage (existing users of CS3 or later will get a discounted rate of $29.99/month for the first year) or $69.99/month per seat for a "team" version that comes with 100 GB of storage plus "centralized deployment and administration capabilities" (existing users with a volume license get a rate of $39.99/month per seat between now and August 31). The $49.99 month pricing requires a one-year commitment; users who cancel pay a penalty of 50 percent of the remainder of their contract. Note that the fee gets you access to everything, not just the video apps. All subscribers have access to Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and more. (Subscriptions will be available for individual pieces of software, but they're not likely to be cost-effective for pro users.)
The move is almost guaranteed to be controversial, especially among users who try to save money on software by skipping the annual upgrade process, or for those who worry about the security implications of putting high-value assets to the cloud. But for users who already stay up to date with Adobe's product releases, the effective annual fee of $840 per seat on a team will look pretty good, especially if they're looking to take advantage of some of the new Creative Cloud features announced today. Those features include access to what Adobe said is $25,000 worth of professional fonts on the desktop through TypeKit, which should appeal to anyone who's built a logo or a title sequence in Premiere Pro or After Effects. 
Many Creative Cloud features are design-oriented. Adobe announced Kuler for iPhone, an app that lets you grab interesting color palettes from your environment by pointing your iPhone's camera at something in the real world that catches your eye. Coming soon are a pair of "cloud-enabled hardware" products in development: Mighty, a Bluetooth-connected "smart stylus" for drawing, and Napoleon, a kind of "digital ruler" that, when touched against a tablet screen, helps users draw precisely by displaying shapes for them to trace. Creative Cloud also includes a free subscription to Behance Prosite, a personal portfolio site builder that cost $99 per year before Adobe purchased the company in 2012 and is now integrated with the CC suite of applications. 
The company sought to fend off as many objections as it could, noting that desktop applications will remain usable even without an Internet connection. Users will be expected to connect to the web every 30 days to validate their software licenses, but Adobe says products will work offline for 180 days. Adobe is also customizing separate versions of the subscription for business users who can't use the cloud, such as some governmental and educational institutions. A single Creative Cloud membership also lets you install your software on two different machines with cross-platform privileges, meaning you can load up your PC workstation as well as your MacBook Pro. And older versions of all the apps will remain available, beginning with CS6, just in case you need to fall back to an older version for a particular project.
Of course, under the new plan, if you stop paying for the Creative Cloud subscription, you'll no longer have any version at all to fall back on. But the files stored on your own computer are yours to keep, and Adobe is allowing users a 90-day grace period after their membership lapses to download their work, or at least get their online stash down to the 2 GB that comes with a free Creative Cloud membership.
For more information, including details on different membership plans and a detailed FAQ, visit: www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud.html


Categories: Editing, News, Post/Finishing, Technology, VFX/Animation
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  • John Brune

    Dumbest move ever. I will never purchase (or lease) software on the cloud. They just lost me as a repeat customer. I really hope this does not become a trend. I fear that it will because society is so into trends right now. In this industry it’s 4K, 3D, and the cloud. Now I know how all those FCP 7 users felt when FCP X was introduced.

    • Guest

      4K is hardly a trend, it’s a delivery STANDARD. It’s amazing how much people whine in this industry.

      • test

        4k isn’t a delivery for hardly anything. at all. Give me a break

        • http://www.facebook.com/vfxkid Sean Mullen

          We deliver feature shots at 4K every week. The majority of films are delivered at 4K. How is that “hardly anything?”

  • CS6’er

    This is an absolute horrible move on Adobe’s behalf. I’ll be sticking with CS6 for the next 2-3 years I guess, at least until I am FORCED to move everything to the cloud. I don’t know why but this reminds me of when Apple released Final Cut Pro X which was obviously geared towards amateurs and not professionals and they spent those following years trying to make up for it as everyone moved on to other products. When it comes to Adobe, I primarily use After Effects and once it’s outdated, I’ll be looking more into other compositing programs. I guess Adobe is getting in line with all the other greedy corporations out there, with the idea of tapping your credit card every month rather than letting you own the product and buy it out right. They’ve got their bean counters figuring out how to up the ante and make sure every dime, nickel and penny gets accounted for. A very sad day for such an awesome company. They’ve definitely left a bad taste in my mouth on such a sudden decision.

    • Warren

      Heya, CS6’er.

      Are you just worried about having the software on our computer?

      CC downloads that applications via the Adobe Download Manager directly to your computer and the software runs directly from your computer. The main change to worry about is not having DVD media to install from if you relied on that in the past (like, you have slow or no internet).

      As long as your subscription is current, you can run all the CC applications just as you would the CS counterparts. And, if it’s not current, then it goes into trial mode.


      • j

        “Adobe Download Manager”

        google search for “Adobe download manager” and “errors bugs”
        returns nearly 5 million results. This is on top of my own frustrations with that horrible, horrible piece of malware.

  • Anonymous

    So, Adobe decided to help Apple by driving the little guys to Final Cut Pro X. That’s OK. We’re used to getting short shrift. At least, I can keep working with my current CS until I can make the transition to FCP. Now, as long as Apple doesn’t decide that Adobe had a good idea…

    • Warren

      Just aheads up: If you’re used to having more than on Sequence in the project file (lie FCP 1.25 through 7 and/or Premiere Pro), that features goes away with FCPX (the project is the sequence, the _only_ sequence).

      • Warren

        one* (not on)

      • Bp

        Warren the film “the kings speech” major release and Oscar non. was edited in freeware.

        • j

          Thank you Bp, you are a legend! Downloading the free version of Lightworks now!!!

          You are “THE MAN!!!”

  • Bill Pryor

    This is stupid. My company will go back to Avid before we’ll do this.

    • Warren

      Just so you’re making an informed decision:

      Even with Avid’s recent price drop from $3,000 per seat to $1,000 per seat, you’ll still spend less on a Creative Cloud membership (about $600). Of course, the clock is ticking on the CC membership. So, over two years you’re at $1,200 (just over the current Avid MC price). At three years, $1,800. Well, you get the idea. I guess you would want to compare how often you are going to upgrade your Avid software. Of course, with Avid software you always want to keep in mind what the corresponding Avid hardware is going to cost as well (Meridian hardware is still in the $50,000 range, no?)).

      Also, unlike Avid Media Composer, you can run the CC software on two computers. Each machine has to have the same Adobe ID (so, it’s meant for one person using a desktop and laptop), but you could allow two employees to work on two machines if you really wanted to stretch your dollar.

      • John

        It’s a small thing called “Ethics” Warren. What Adobe has done is to try and hold every user of nearly every product hostage. If you don’t pay your bill, we’ll deactivate your ability to edit/create/work. If you don’t think that’s wrong, then you know nothing about ethics and a thing called freedom of choice.

      • Jeff

        Warren – I’d rather spend more with Avid or spend $15000 on a new MAC system that pay for a subscription for software that I don’t own. That’s the problem – users no longer own their editing software that they purchase (because you can’t purchase it anymore – it’s a rental). CC could edit a film by itself and I still woudn’t want to subscribe.
        If you could ask most Adobe users what could be the worst move they could think of Adobe ever making – this is it. I thought I was an Adobe customer for life. I’m now “switching” to a competitor’s software because of this. I’ll never subscribe to CC. NEVER.

  • dylan

    They will just end up forcing a free cloud version created by another company. I think they’ll piss off enough designers to make it so the community will support itself.

  • Anonymous

    The moment you can’t make that hefty $50 monthly fee is the moment you have zero software and can’t get any work done. Forcing everyone into a subscription is criminal. Not ever owning the software seems like a violation of rights. What’s next? Is iTunes going to force everyone into a music subscription to where you never own the music and can only listen to songs through a monthly subscription..?

    • Warren

      As far as I am aware, all software is licensed to us end users as either software, shareware, freeware, etc. No one but the publisher “owns” it.

      It’s a similar issue with music. We never own the music we purchase (be it on vinyl, cassette, audio CD, music DVD, digital download, etc.). I’ve read some news reports about the music industry wanting to charge you per second for the music you listen to. I think we’re lucky that the flat fee model is holding strong (so far, at least).

      While the subscription model isn’t right for everyone, it does offer expanded creative options for many users.

      Also, if the subscription runs out, the software reverts to trail mode for 30 days (fully functional). So, you can still do any work that you need to to in that time period (at no cost).

      • Bp

        If I buy music from Amazon I still own the music after 30 days. If I need a hammer to get some work done should I rent a hammer or buy and own a hammer ? If I need to shampoo my rugs I can rent a machine or if I find I find I’m shampooing my rugs more often I can purchase the machine. My choice.

      • Anonymous

        OBVIOUSLY when we talk about “ownership” we mean a license of perpetual use. If we buy a freak’in paper clip we can use it any way we want to, for as long as we want to. It’s doesn’t mean we “own” the blueprints, design copyright, or Intellectual Property of the paper clip!

  • ronen

    Nothing wrong about this move if they are not going to get greedy with the rates.
    If you use the software all the time you pay the same as you did over few years with upgrades. If you don’t you can rent it based on a project,
    with a small fee that most professional can pay. And you get all the
    latest updates. And adobe get to protect there product…

  • Tedco

    freakin assinine!
    I edit when i want to edit. I don’t want to be “forced” to edit every month. Purchasing software is loayalty enough. some freakin bean counter said “why don’t we force everyone to subscribe every month”
    Total freakin B.S adobe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tony

    Where’s the not like button??? At least give us the option to own!!!

  • Christopher

    I understand the $50 / mo subscription, but I don’t understand the “assets in the cloud”. Does that mean that the video clips of a Premiere project must be in the cloud in order to work on that Premiere project? Or is the cloud just an option and all the assets can remain on the desktop?

    • cLrSt

      I’ve been using the creative cloud for about six months. It’s nothing more than a different pricing structure. Your apps and data live on your computer as always. You just have to connect to the web every now and then so the apps can verify. As far as the cloud goes, it’s simply online storage. It is convenient that it integrates with the apps but its not necessary to use if you don’t want it.

      I find it handy for sending clients drafts. Comes across more pro than Vimeo or yousendit. And fancier than a standard FTP.

      • Christopher

        Thanks! If the sentence, “Adobe is also customizing separate versions of the subscription for
        business users who can’t use the cloud, such as some governmental and
        educational institutions.” had said, “can’t connect to the internet”, it would have been a bit less confusing. Thanks for the quick reply.

  • Robert A. Ober

    Adobe’s move is short sighted. This is disturbing as I had been telling folks how well they have been listening to user needs. When I want to do something on my notebook I fire up Premiere CS6 as AVID’s license does not allow Symphony on more than one machine as the others do.

    I currently do not have enough revenue from my video business to justify a subscription. And I like to own rather than be a slave to corporations. I am glad I decided to learn Symphony. And Resolve Lite is pro quality software for free. With Resolve 10 adding editing capability Adobe may be shooting themselves in the foot.

    I hope this helps the Avid folks, they need sales.


  • Marc

    I personally think this is a good way to go. I know it’s not for everyone but I like it. I am also an Avid Media Composer user which I love. I already subscribe to Adobe’s service and I could not be happier. I use to only buy After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. But now for the price I get all the adobe products to use.

    One thing I’ve learned in life, NOTHING stays the same, it always changes. No matter what my company invest in, the next NAB there is something always better. Who knows, a year from now we may all like this more or just be use to it. I never though back in 1998 that Adobe Premiere would be a professional product. But now look, it really kicks ass!

  • ChrisP

    Breathtakingly arrogant and wrong-headed move. Adobe has taken my money for all these years for owned products (I’ve paid for most of the upgrades, now they want me to become a full on slave?

    Outrage is the only word I can summon at the moment.

  • Mike G

    I decided to go this route just a week ago – for one main reason: I couldn’t afford to pay the upgrade price in one lump sum, and CS3 barely works on my newer computer. I can afford the monthly rate. $50 per month for the whole Adobe suite, including apps I didn’t even know about. Do the math – it’s less than upgrading every other time an upgrade comes out. The only thing you must do with the cloud is access it to download the software. You don’t have to store anything in the cloud if you don’t want to, and the apps are installed on your machine. One thing Adobe needs to work on is stability – the Adobe Cloud has been down several times in the past week, often for hours at a time. That can’t happen when dealing with professional software and file storage.

    • G.

      Lightworks runs on a subscription base for 30 dollars a year for students and 60 dollars for everyone else. They update their software as well. Fifty dollars a month is a simply ridiculous price.

      • Warren

        Heya, G:

        You’re onto a good point: If one only wants one Adobe application (like _just_ Photoshop), perhaps their should be a pro-rated price for just that one item.

        Then again, when you factor in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Audition, Encore and Photoshop (not to mention Speedgrade, Prelude, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, Muse, Acrobat Pro and all the other Creative Cloud features), $50 isn’t so bad, is it?


    • Anonymous

      Hope your computer doesn’t get hacked with the hole Adobe has punched into it.

  • Dan

    where do i complain?

  • cable7

    After years of supporting Adobe with purchases this is the thanks we get?
    “The Cloud” is based on the premise that everyone has equal access to wide bandwidth – not true! What about SECURITY wait till Adobe has their cloud servers hacked. I need to KNOW where my video assets are, and where they AREN’T. What happens when “The Cloud” doesn’t like my video format or wrapper of choice? What stops Adobe from changing to a “charge by the frame” model next & holding all uploaded footage hostage? My motto “F#%k the Cloud”

    • Mike

      The cloud in this case is no different than Google Drive, Dropbox or Skydrive. It’s not forced on you, you don’t have to use. All your applications are still on your actual computer, they get installed just like they use to from the disk. You save locally to your hard drive and if you need to work between computers or send a preview to a client you have the option of using Adobe’s Cloud.

      All your doing is spreading FUD and are severely misinformed in how the Creative Cloud works.

      I’ve been using the CC since last fall, I don’t use the actual Cloud part though. Only real difference is that I didn’t pay for the programs in a lump sum and I get more frequent updates.

      • Anonymous

        All your doing is spreading FUD and are severely misinformed in how the Creative Cloud works.

        It’s you that’s ironically spreading FUD.

        Real professionals want control over their machines and the apps that run on them. Real professionals know what’s going on with their machines to keep their own data and their client’s data they have on their machines secure.

        Other professionals and myself have already witnessed Creative Cloud phoning home more than Adobe claims it does. There has even already been premature subscription shutdowns in the middle of the month that stopped the entire workflow until it was addressed.

        Are you a professional? You may think so, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want MY client’s data on your computer. I would never work with someone who put’s my client’s data at risk because they don’t have command over their own security.

        What about when Adobe’s Creative Cloud is hacked and people can’t get access to their apps and files once the subscription is up? How long before the subscription service protocol is hacked and hackers can disable your Creative Cloud apps remotely? Not long.

        This is why this is a horrible idea for customers, but great for Adobe to price gouge its captive customers (cough! ” subscribers“) down the road.

        Adobe is just another huge corporation that doesn’t want American small businesses to own the products they buy.

        This won’t stop piracy, instead it will hurt the paying customers. The irony will be that the pirated versions of Creative Cloud will be safer to use than the legit version because the pirated version won’t have a gaping hole in your computer to contact Adobe’s servers or even hacker’s servers who exploit the hole.

        Get your head out of Adobe’s FUD and look around…

        It’s the professional thing to do.

        • Warren

          Heya Cowhide:

          It sounds like you’re saying that you can’t be a real pro if you’re online while being online to say it in the first place. Lol. :)

          I share your concerns about having a secure workstation (everyone should).

          I’m not sure if your Creative Cloud works differently than mine, but one time when mine could not verify my membership the software ran in trial mode (which is fully functional for 30 days). So, no slow downs or missed deadlines, just an annoying dialog box until I signed in to my Adobe ID.

          Did you software not do that?


  • BG

    A “mandatory” subscription service is NOT a good idea. I’m not saying a subscription service is a terrible thing but FORCING people to only have that option is where the line should be drawn. Sometimes people want to stick with an older version and not upgrade to the latest because sometimes they change layouts and often newer versions are practically beta’s and they’re letting you be the test subject. You can rent, lease or buy a car, same with a home, the point is, you have those options. When it comes to software, I would rather purchase it, even if it is a $3,000 suite and be done with it. When it’s upgrade time I can upgrade or I can skip a few versions and upgrade later and of course at a lesser fee. Everyone who thinks this is cool is not looking at the bigger picture. Soon the only thing you’ll be able to buy is the computer and you’ll be paying a subscriptions service for your operating system to Apple or Microsoft, another subscription service for your editing application, another for your screenwriting application, another for your compositing program, another for this, another for that and that’s already on top of your internet subscription, your cell phone, you electric bill, gas, netflix, cable, etc. etc. etc. Seriously, think about this for a minute! I’m not saying the service doesn’t work or doesn’t make you happy when you use it. The bottom line is, you’ll never truly own what it is you’re paying for. And when all these various companies and packages and subscription services add up, they’ll all be running your credit card for $500-$600 a month. Maybe you’ll be happy. I sure as hell won’t! What this boils down to is corporate greed. People need to start waking up. Someone in Adobe’s company, someone who is not a creative but a bean counter, someone who is only about collecting every red cent they possibly can, structured this plan and it’s wrong in every sense of the word. We should have options to buy or rent. Oh, and the icing on the cake is, that you have to sign a one-year deal, and if you break the contract you owe half of however much time was left on your contract. You did read this part right? I mean it’s basically a cell phone contract! LOL, to think this is cool is borderline insanity or ignorance, and unlike Adobe, I’ll let you decide!

    • Bill Pryor

      Well said and I agree 100%. I will not buy into this.

    • Warren

      Just to run the numbers:

      instead of paying full price for the Master Collection, you could be a Creative Cloud member for more than four years. instead of paying full price for one of the bundles, you could be a CC member for about three years.

      • Single Comment

        Warren, didn’t you just post like 20+ responses to people’s posts here, what are you some kind of Adobe apologist or something ? Seriously, do you work for Adobe ? Yours are the only positive comments here and you seem to feel the need to respond to every single post anyone makes that is negative about Creative Cloud. Dude, we just don’t like it, it’s as simple as that.

      • Aaron

        CC ONLY is a deal for single app or people well off enough to have the Master Suite. PS = $700. At $20/mo, you could have that app for 3 years. At $2900 for Master, you can have that for 5 years. But for anyone wanting between 2 and 1 less than all programs, you’re screwed and hard.

        Suites offered 7-8 apps. At per-app pricing that is $150/month. With what people can budget to upgrade every other version (now nixed due to 1 version back only upgrade policy), Adobe in essence raised its prices over 100%.

        I paid $900USD every other version for my Web Premium CS5. Thats $22/mo. Now I either have to pay $50/mo (over 100% more) to get tons of apps I don’t even want, or I’m out of luck since getting those apps separately would cost 300% more than their $50/mo plan.

        Adobe is as inept as it is criminal. I will stick with what I have and use my sway in my field to keep IT managers from buying into the CC.

    • ChrisP

      VERY good point! What happens when every software company I do business with does this? Can you imagine keeping track of all the fees and charges on your credit card every month?

      And there is no way I believe for a minute that this wont cost me more money over time – for the same software

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1531592376 Mark Weiss

    My high value business assets are not connected to the web for security reasons. Anyone who connects their livelihood editing machines to the net is running a great risk. This won’t fly with me. I’ll stick with CS3 and Windows 7, the best working combination I’ve had to date.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, this is a nightmare for security. Government and business with sensitive assets/info on their computers are going to need to hack Creative Cloud apps to make them secure. Adobe has really stepped in it.

  • carli

    I’ve been subscribing to Creative Cloud since November. Top of the line Adobe products, great. Affordable monthly fee, great. Customer service, really really really not great.

    • Bill Pryor

      I already own CS6. Why should I keep paying on it for the rest of my life. I agree if you don’t already have it and if you don’t have the cash to buy the package, you can get low monthly payments. But you pay forever. Better to put it on a credit card and own it when it’s paid off.

      • Warren

        You can keep using CS6. You can wait to upgrade to CC until you would have upgraded to CS6.5 or CS7 (if another version of CS were to have been the next version of the appellations rather than CC)

        • Bp

          Warren your assumption is that everyone wants to constantly upgrade! It’s just not the case. Adobe innovations on avg is about every 3 years. I own the Mastr Suite to upgrade to cs6 now only costs me $547. Spread over 3 years is about $187/yr. Under the cloud it would cost me $300plus a year! So under the cloud I’m paying twice as much per year…After being a loyal customer for over 15years! Screw you and Adobe!

  • jeff

    I just moved to Adobe CS6 last year. This is a brilliant move that will help Apple/FCP. My personal goodbye to Adobe. I never do subscriptions. Never.

    • Anonymous

      Right, it’s almost as if someone from Apple infiltrated the boardroom at Adobe and got them to shoot themselves in their own foot. Haha…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Stark/100000120658599 Ray Stark

    Haha Adobe users are now being shafted like FCP users were. Time for a new platform to swoop in and save the day from all this mess.

    • Warren

      Well, Premiere Pro CC looks just like Premiere Pro CS. So, if you’re an experienced Premiere Pro editor you can just keep on working. With the change from FCP7 to FCPX, you are in a completely different applciation with different media handling, different shortcuts, fewer windows, fewer ways to move through time and fewer timelines.

      Also, if you were only using Premiere Pro, you now have After Effects and Photoshop (not to mention Illustrator, Prelude, Speedgrade, Audition, Encore, InDesign, Flash, Acrobat, etc). Maybe you’re only “shafted” in how to figure out _when_ you’re going to learn the other applications, right?


      • Warren

        Oh, I almost forgot! There is a new platform: iOS.

        Yes, I mean that seriously. While, it isn’t right for every situation, you can shoot, edit and deliver right from one device. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

      • j

        “Well, Premiere Pro CC looks just like Premiere Pro CS”

        Totally missed the point, no doubt purposefully.

        But just in case you aren’t thinking it through, as opposed to being an Adobe employee, here it is:

        People moved to Adobe because they didn’t like what Apple did to their product. Now people will move to Avid or something else because they don’t like what Adobe are doing to their product.

        The specifics of what the company does is irrelevant, if people don’t like it they find an alternative.

  • Commenter

    -1 Truly hate the idea of this. After all, if Adobe is getting your money every month, no matter what, then what is the incentive to innovate? If you already have market share with PS & AE, why innovate? Adobe’s getting your money even if they never improve the product.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thepixelsmith Jerron Smith

      The incentive to innovate is that they want to keep getting your money every month.

      • j

        Um, there is no incentive to innovate because you still need the program and still have to pay. If you stop paying because you think, “well not enough innovation”, then you don’t get to use the product. Are you working for Adobe or did you just not think it through?

        You are still thinking like you will have a decision not to upgrade, and can just use the cc version you have. Once you are “in the cloud” that is precisely the choice that is taken away from you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1785348573 Shane Bryan

    So, in Australia – with a 1 mbps upload connection (Bigpond cable), if you want to work on any decent sized video file, that will mean waiting hours, if not days for it to upload to the Adobe Storage.

    thanks but no thanks Adobe.

    • Mike

      No, just no. Seriously where is all this false information coming from. No one is making you use the cloud. You install the software on your computer, just like you did with the disk. You save all your files to your disk as well. The Cloud part of CC is exactly like Dropbox, Skydrive and Google Drive. If you don’t want to ever upload something to the Cloud, thats fine. You don’t need to.

  • Jeff

    All the goodwill Adobe got from the FCP debacle just evaporated. The Adobe executive who thought this was a good idea should be fired.

    • Anonymous

      The people at Adobe may not be fired now. But after the Creative Cloud subscription protocol gets inevitably hacked and customers left and right start losing access to their own apps, they will.

      Adobe will get lawsuits from lawyers who lost a court case because they couldn’t access their own apps and files after CC is hacked. What if the court case was for hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or millions? Adobe will be sued for it.

      Adobe will get lawsuits from advertising agencies who lose a contract because they can’t access their own apps and files after CC is hacked. What if the contracts are for hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or millions? Adobe will be sued for it.

      It’s goes on and on…

      Yep. Adobe and its remaining customers (whoops, I mean ” subscribers“) are in for a HELL RIDE.

  • Les at Rocket

    Way to dump on the small shops. You’ve chosen to ignore those of us who don’t want every service you offer nor need to upgrade software annually. I feel cuckolded. Dammit.

    • halfisher

      You are correct! Small shops/agencies like mine will suffer. Adobe is no different however from most massive software companies. After all they are not considered a non-profit “ministry”. More money is the name of the game, not necessarily “user benefits”. The companies that should be in a flux are the software distribution groups, packaging printers and brick/mortar stores that will no longer be in business due to the “everything in the cloud” mantra from the major software manufacturers. We either have to accept life as it is, or switch products. I personally love SONY Vegas Pro 12 ;>)

      • Bill Pryor

        How do you like Vegas? I’m seriously looking at a switch maybe next year.

  • Timbalionguy

    What a dreadful idea! Not only will we now have software that is a continual cash drain, but software that will force you into the cloud, with all the inherent security and bandwidth problems. Adobe, it’s been good knowing you. Goodbye.

    • Warren

      While the Adobe Application Manager does need to verify your current subscription once a month, the software will run fine offline.

      • Jeff

        Unless you have a internet outtage during such a check – I’ve had two internet outtages in the past year, 5 days each time without internet. That would mean no editing.

  • Sokina

    This is a very bad idea but it is their prerogative. I do understand that it is a validation system and that you only have to use the cloud for storage if you want to, which I’m sure will come in useful. I use cloud systems especially for collaboration and it is great. i am one of the people who stuck with FCPX and I’m really glad about that now as it has grown into a great NLE application. It was hard at first, but I’m glad. I only use AE and Photoshop and one thing I know is that as long as all the applications reside on your computer, hackers out there will create a crack which will render the validation process useless which has already happened. So if Adobe what to see their software hacked and drive users into the hands of other software manufactures, that is purely up to them. I for one would hate to be a share holder. I hope apple really kick ass with the next iteration of Motion, then at least I will not have to be at the mercy of Adobe and I can say adios to the whole suite.

    BRAVO ADOBE!!! We are all going open source now ;D

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaelrcooke Michael Cooke

    For me, a designer that’s not been working in my field for a few years and who wants to get back into freelancing, this subscription model offers that possibility. Because I can afford a subscription, but I cannot afford the upfront cost of all the apps I know best in one lump sum.

    Because it is a subscription, there are no radical changes as much as evolutionary ones, at least as long as you keep using the apps.

    I also appreciate access to apps I have NOT mastered already, is fun to learn.

    • Warren


      If you’re currently taking any courses to revamp your skill set, be sure to get the academic pricing. It’s usually $29.99, but Adobe puts the academic version on sale for $19.99 every few months. For those that already subscribe, you can contact Adobe to switch from the regular price ($50) or the regular Academic ($30) to the discounted Academic ($20).

      I agree with you that it makes the software very accessible (even at $50). While that price might not be ideal if you literally only use one Adobe application (like _only_ Photoshop), but for anyone who’s using at least two to three (like PS, AE, PrPro), it’s a very well priced.


  • Former Employee

    Okay, I’m not happy about not being able to buy it outright. I can see the utility of a subscription for some but forcing us into the cloud is not good. The first quarter that Adobe doesn’t meet market expectations, they are gonna look at throwing the rates up a buck or two, or more. They will have the subscribers at their mercy, and corporate greed knows no mercy. Its really too bad, they could have just stuck with offering both. One poster was right, nothing stays the same, so I guess CS6 will have to last me for a long time, until something else changes.

  • PhillyPhil

    I guess they took a page from Comcast.

  • Solidventur

    I’m curious how software upgrades will affect hardware performance with this model. Some AE CS6 features are unusable on a 3 y.o. computer because of the processor and RAM limitations. Currently I can tie my software versions to appropriate hardware, will the cloud versions evolve and outpace my hardware?

    • Warren

      It’s not uncommon for upgraded software to have upgraded minimum system requirements as well. That doesn’t change. So, yes, one could expect the CC versions to evolve and outpace their hardware. But, I couldn’t run CS1 nor CS2 now if I wanted to on my Intel base machine due to Mac OS X.

      However, the Creative Cloud does not force you to use the newer software. If you joined after June 17 (when CC is set fo be available), you can still run CS6 via the Creative Cloud. If you need to switch to another machine, you can even download CS6 instead of CC. During the Adobe MAX keynote, they announced that CS6 would remain available going forward. Even if they offered CS6 forever, the day is likely to come that your newer machine won’t run the older software.

      • Bp

        Warren is an Adobe evangelist!

  • B-Scene Films

    Cloud services go offline – Amazon AWS, Google apps – all of these services have had downtime. And I would be MUCH more inclined to trust Amazon and Google for their ability to keep CC services up rather than Adobe who has VERY little experience in this realm. So when I am under the gun and their cloud goes offline and costs me a job? Yeah, thanks. Time to take another hard look at FCPX I guess.

    • Warren

      Heya B-Scene:

      While anyone should have the same concerns that you’re sharing here, I think there’s a misperception about how the Creative Cloud works.

      If you’re using the storage provided by Creative Cloud (which, you _don’t_ have to), it behaves just like Drobbox. So, your files are local as well as in the cloud with automatic sync between them. If you’re offline, you just work with your local files and they’ll sync when you connect next. The Creative Cloud can even preserve any and every version you’ve ever had of a file (I don’t plan to use that feature as it increases how much storage you need in the Creative Cloud and I’d rather avoid the cost of more Creative Cloud storage).

      Also, the applications check in monthly. If for some reason you are offline when using an application, it will run as expected until it need to verify your Creative Cloud membership (this happens once a month). If you don’t go online, you’ll switch to trail mode until you can connect again. And trial mode works for 30 days. So, you could sign in for your monthly verification and then stay offline for about 60 days if you really wanted to. Although, the trial mode does get a little annoying as the trail count down screen appears every time you launch the software.


      • ColoradoEditor

        Do you work for Adobe?

      • B-Scene Films

        Assuming the “cloud” was not a concern, this would be a MAJOR deal killer right here:

        Also, the applications check in monthly. If for some reason you are offline when using an application, it will run as expected until it need to verify your Creative Cloud membership (this happens once a month). If you don’t go online, you’ll switch to trail mode until you can connect again. And trial mode works for 30 days. So, you could sign in for your monthly verification and then stay offline for about 60 days if you really wanted to. Although, the trial mode does get a little annoying as the trail count down screen appears every time you launch the software

  • richards312

    I signed up for this when they first started it. Even though we have been an Avid company for almost 2 decades and remain so, having this entire suite at a nominal monthly cost has been fantastic. However, Adobe’s description of the process has, from the start, been terrible. It took months for us to get a full grasp of what the arrangement was. Clearly that has not changed and reading these comments, most of these people have no clue at all about what they are talking about. For about $50 a month you have a ton of software that is constantly updated. We have found uses for programs that we would never have come up with were they not sitting there. We would never have purchased Illustrator or InDesign, but we find new uses for them almost daily. We spend more than that on coffee!

  • Kar521

    Personally, I can’t stand the idea. I like to own my equipment and software. One of my biggest concerns is with After Effects Plugins!!! I have a lot of plug ins and I have to upgrade them since I skipped a release to upgraded to CS6. Now what will happen? Will our plugins go to subscription also? This is really beginning to just get crazy!!

  • Cody Arrington

    Adobe sucks they are burying themselves a grave

  • Single Comment

    Adobe has really overplayed their hand here, they must think they are completely indispensable to make this kind of change. News flash: Nobody is indispensable, and I am sure there are a hoard of software developers out there who are very excited that they finally have an opening to take down the mighty Adobe. The only reason Adobe can even do this is because they know that at the moment they have no real competition, but that is definitely going to change now because there are a lot of people who are trying to reduce their monthly bills, not add to them – it’s a recession, remember ? Unemployment, remember ? I think Adobe is going to quickly find out that there were a huge number of users who thought their prices were already too high but paid them to make the occasional upgrade because they used the products sometimes, but didn’t really care about 99% of the features. Adobe is about to find out that most of those people don’t care enough about Adobe to start paying a monthly fee, they’ll just stop doing the easy thing which was to buy Adobe because it was “the best” and start looking for alternatives, and they will find alternatives soon enough.

    Now begins the long wait for Adobe. Many users will upgrade to the last perpetual license with CS6, and then it’ll be a waiting game to see who blinks first. Will users simply never upgrade and Adobe will be forced to finally go back to perpetual licenses, or will Adobe break them, only time can tell. I think a lot of people who used to simply threaten to look for Adobe alternatives are going to be actively seeking out alternatives now.

  • Anonymous

    It’s going to be fun once Adobe’s Creative Cloud is hacked and people can’t get access to their apps and files. How long before the subscription service protocol is hacked? Hackers can disable your Creative Cloud apps remotely.

    This is why this is a horrible idea for consumers, but great for Adobe to price gouge its captive customers (er, I mean “subscribers“) down the road.

    Adobe is just another corporation that doesn’t want Americans to own the products they buy.

    This won’t stop piracy, instead it will hurt the paying customers. The irony will be that some of the pirated versions of Creative Cloud will be safer to use than the legit version because the pirated versions won’t have a gaping hole in your computer to contact Adobe’s servers or even hacker’s servers who exploit the hole.

    Government and business computer with sensitive information will need to hack their own Creative Cloud apps to close the security hole. Will Adobe sue them with the DMCA when people try to keep their computers secure?

    Adobe thinks it can steamroll this insanity on its customers. But it’s already backfiring and most customers don’t want this security threat on their computers in the name of broken DRM for Adobe.

    Adobe, we know that Creative Suite doesn’t benefit your customers. We see through your blatant LIE.

  • edits_on_a_budget

    I used to agree with the other commenters until I thought it through for about 30 seconds. Do you use CS? Did you buy it? Upgrade it? The yearly subscription is less than an upgrade. If you tend to use a platform then jump ship a year later, this is still cheaper for just trying it. Yeah, you can’t go back, but whatever…you decided to go another way, platform-wise. Only use CS occasionally? Really? And you paid full price? I wish I had that kind of money to waste. Only use one app? Ps or Ai? The single app sub is $20. Less than the yearly upgrade price for either one. But really…who only uses just ONE? I edit video, so I use Pr & Ae and Au. I use Ps a LOT. Never use Ai. or any of the web stuff, though I might now. I use En occasionally. I occasionally have to buy Fonts. Quality fonts now included. I also spend $130 a year for Smugmug for my portfolio. Not anymore!

    My nephew (in college) is just getting started in video. He couldn’t afford CS6, even educational at $600, but now it’s only $240. Now he can afford some FREAKING tools instead of the $100 crap they sell at Target.

    Also, let’s not forget—back when you paid full price (or upgraded) you put that $$$ on your credit card, didn’t you?. And you know you didn’t pay it off the next month, did you? Or the next, or the next. In fact, you are still paying the balance off one year later. That’s $40/month interest every month on the balance (based on the full version price). The monthly subscription is like layaway, only you can have it now.

    Granted, there are some who will not fit easily into the subscription model, and there are some issues, like opening projects when unsubscribed, but unless you have money to burn and have a survival shelter in your backyard and are just hangin’ on till the gu’mint takes yur guns…I think you will be very happy with saving some money for a change.

    • Single Comment

      You just said two things-

      1) You might or might not save money with subscriptions, which we already knew, that depends on how you used the products, how long you went between updates, etc.


      2) Some people might like amortizing the cost of the product over a longer period of time, which, is like … so what, they could have put it on a credit card, or borrowed the money, and done the same thing. There’s no benefit to having Adobe be the one doing the amortization except of course maybe for Adobe.

  • Markus

    I am working with a swiss photo agency. All we needed until now were 30 Photoshop licenses and two illustrator copies. We bought the initial licenses yeras ago and then, an update license once a year. With CC for teams Adobe offers us a lot of software we don’t really use or need in our daily workflows, but for a lot higher price. As we paid around 1000$ for a base license and then around 300$ for an update, we had costs of around 2500$ per seat in five years, which was 500$ per seat and year. With CC, Adobe wants to charge us around 90$ per month and seat. Thats about 1000$ per year – they doubled the price!

  • Overviper

    They were doing such a good job of taking over from FCP…The worst idea they ever came up with. I don’t want Adobe’s footprint in my computer. I don’t want their footprint in my life. I don’t want to have to pay them every month if I go on vacation and don’t work. When I got my EX-1 (Sony), I tried Vegas out. It’s really good…no one thinks you can do Pro work on it, and maybe there are some things you can’t do on it (I haven’t found anything yet)…but I’ll just go there and kiss Adobe goodbye. I’ve been using Premiere since the really early days of DV when everyone hated it and thought it was a toy. I thought it was good then, and I think it’s evolved really nicely, but I take this move as a personal insult. There are a lot of editing programs out there and lots of graphics programs as well. This will be a good reason to start trying them out.

    • Warren

      You can put the subscription on hold. So, enjoy your destination and save the $50 that month!

  • Bp

    This just sucks period! I’ve used adobe for over 15 years. Time to develop a crack. If you reset the clock on your computer some time sensitive software never expires.

  • SC Freelancer

    I think it is very good plan. I have been a freelancer for a while…economy hasn’t been so good lately and competition has been so fierce — basically it is hard to stay updated with current versions. I relied on OEM individual product rather than complete suite which I can’t afford. When Adobe started the subscription, I signed up immediately because in long run, I save much more than buying full version then upgrade products so forth… I now have full suite plus some “extra” products… $50 a month and it would take me to “pay it in full” about 4 1/4 years — Man, it is dang good deal! because I would get new full version of all products basically almost for free. In long run, it would be much worth it! I am very glad that I can subscribe and stay updated with current versions to help me stay competitive with other freelancers or studios.
    Why? I was stuck to CS1 and CS3 for a long time and lose opportunities because of time constrictions because I miss out time-saving features that are in newer versions. At last I am catching up quickly as possible on those champ time-saving tools, especially Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop!!
    Do the math…you will see it would be very beneficial for many small-time freelancers like me.

  • Dave

    Their license model will hit higher ed institutions really hard- Adobe wants to sell seats by Full Time enrollment, so a 20 seat lab would need licenses for every student who might sit there, rather than the 15% who might actually use that software in their major. My (very large) institution is already looking at alternatives, and hoping the developer community responds with new products quickly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabriel.campa.90 Gabriel Soto Campa

    Actually, I am a former cs 5.5 production suite owner, I upgraded to the cloud subscription about a year ago. Like many of of the comments here mentioned, I don’t use the software everyday or every month for that matter. I had actually been thinking of going back to my serial based license as it does bother me quite a bit to have to pay 30 or 50 $/ month.

    The bottom line is: With previous serial based licensing models even though you don’t “own” the software, you do own a permanent license to use it. Years could go by and I could still use my license of CS5.5, and yes I would have to pay a lump sum to upgrade every year or two, but after that you forget about having to pay, pay, pay.

    As far as pricing, you don’t really save that much with the new model, 50/month = approx 600$/year which is the cost of the production suite yearly upgrade. Sure the master suite upgrade was a little pricier, those are the only savings, and I can’t say it is a bad deal, you get the full master suite for the price of the production suite upgrade divided by 12 months. But other than that it IS a pain to have to pay ever month to be able to continue to use the software. If you stop paying the monthly fee you should still retain the ability to use the software up to the last updates, you should not get more updates, but you should still be able to use the freaking software, that is at least if you upgraded to the cloud from a serial based product.

    What other software do you guys have that you need to continuoulsy pay to be able to use, none. I have nothing against server based software distribution models like the Steam game engine/platform, but even there, when you purchase a piece of software you can use it forever and install it wherever.

    Again, I currently hold an adobe cloud subscription and lately I had been strongly thinking of reversing to my serial based license as IT IS NOT COOL to have to pay to be able to use the software.
    I feel I am being robbed of the $1500 that I paid for my production suite.
    Additionally I agree with some of the comments here when they say that Adobe will have no motivation whatsoever to improve their products as they already will be guaranteed your money, whether their products deliver or not. Before, you buy a suite or product and you only purchase an upgrade when you Know that there are siginficant features that you need and that have been tested to work!
    Well, I guess there will be an increase in work for russian hackers, good for them.

  • YellowfinDiver

    A dark day for creativity
    The beginning of a schema of greed, violated privacy, corporate stranglehold on humans, and loss of security, including the security for a craftsperson by having secured the tools need for the pursuit they have dedicated their life to.
    a dark cloud

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.thomas.148 Gregory Thomas

    As an Adobe user for the last 30 years, I’m greatly disappointed in Adobe for eliminating our choice as to when to upgrade if we want to continue using their products. Their short-sighted decision to constantly reach into our pockets, by their Cloud only rental initiative, they’ve succeeded in driving us to look elsewhere. Our perception is that Adobe has put a gun to our heads. Who in their right mind will tolerate that very long, unless you’re a frog in a pot that slowly cooks as the pot comes to a boil?


  • Craig Herron

    I have been using After Effects and Photoshop for twenty years. I hate this idea. I’m your loyal customer give me some respect. I don’t want this forced upon me. I guess it’s time to look at Nuke or Shake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.camarena Brian Camarena


  • stegokitty

    First some history:

    Adobe Creative Suite (CS) 1&2 came out in 2003.

    CS3 was released in 2006.

    CS4 was released in 2008.

    CS5 was released in 2010.

    CS5.5 was released in 2011

    CS6 was released in 2012.

    So it can be anywhere from 1 year to 3 years for an upgrade. But it appears that there’s a shortened period of upgrades as time has gone on, so one might even assume that upgrades could appear as often as every year to every 6 months.

    Now let’s do a little math: For a first-time buyer the typical Creative Suite (CS) is (or was) about $1,800.

    Upgrades for existing CS owners is only $600.

    IF upgrades come only about every 3 years, then that would be another $600 every three years. Therefore, in a full ten years, a first-time buyer upgrading twice, would end up spending $3,000.

    However that’s for a single CS. To make a comparison we’d have to make it the Master Collection which USED to be about $2400. So now the total is more like $3600.

    The new Creative Cloud (CC) costs a student $20 per month, for the first year, and $50 per month thereafter. For non-students it’s $30 per month for the first year, and $50 per month thereafter. This includes upgrades, and access to ALL programs, plus storage on the Cloud, plus access to $25,000 worth of professional fonts; plus a new program that normally cost $99 per year called Behance Prosite, which is a professional portfolio builder, and I’m sure there are more things to be added all along.

    Let’s take the conservative route and pretend we’re not students:

    First year we pay $360, and then for the next 108 months (9 years) we’d end up paying $5,400.

    5400 + 360 = $5,760

    5760 – 3600 = $2160

    I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you’ll join me in saying that you’d rather not spend an extra $2,160 over the next ten years, especially on programs that you don’t even use, and cloud space you don’t use.

    HOWEVER … IF, as the statistics show, we get an upgrade every year, then our original cost of $2400 for the Master Collection would be added to 9 shots of $600, making it 5400 + 2400 = $7800.

    So NOW, the CC subscriber is paying $1,800 LESS than if they were to faithfully purchase a new upgrade every year.

    But out of the nearly 40 programs currently offered in the CC, I use barely 9, and really only 5 (sort of) efficiently. So there really, really, REALLY needs to be more of a tiered payment plan for folks like me, who have no interest in making games nor in making websites, etc.

    My thoughts are that Adobe should spend more money on security — that is, on investigating and prosecuting purveyors of pirated versions, crack codes, etc. and they wouldn’t have to jack the price up for their legitimate customers in order to make up for criminally acquired copies of their software.

  • BeefChief

    Just renting and never own? Feels odd to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victorkimuyu Victor Kimuyu

    Time to take a look at CorelDRAW, Quark, GIMP and EDIUS. So long…

  • AnOldPissedOffDeveloper

    Quite frankly, I think Adobe is way out of line with their Cloud Computing concept. Also, given their pricing on preious CS products which i think were/are outrageous, I see it as nothing more than a company being GREEDY and having an “I don’t give a rat’s patoot what my customers think” attitude. I sncerely hope that Adobe is monitoring this blog and listens to the comments.

  • Chris Walker

    We have invested nearly $100,000 in Adobe products over the last 7 years. I employ 5 freelance developers and we own 4 Coldfusion 9 ENT licenses and Amazon ColdFusion hosting. We were an early adopter of CS6 Creative Cloud. At the time it made sense for us. Last week, the subscription moved to full Creative Cloud and we began to update our software. This Friday, we began to realize that most of the products don’t support ColdFusion anymore. And we can’t roll it back. Its gone, and this week so shall we be.

    Adobe is a company that has been largely mismanaged over the past 5 years that we can see; and this direction, in not valuing their customers, will mark the end as loyal customers run for the exits.

    • Robert A. Ober

      Interesting that you say they have been mismanaged over the past 5 years. Until the recent switch to subscription only (yes I know, CS6 still available) I thought they were doing well. I particularly thought their response to FCP X was good.

      I am just a notalentwannabe with a vidcast but I am using Symphony 6.5 these days. I have CS6 Production Premium and it will be interesting to see what updates we get going forward.

      By the way, you folks that think the switch to a subscription model is anything but a reason to be in your wallet every month forever are Adobe dependent (employee, etc), naive, delusional, or all of the above.

  • JD

    Microsoft thought that they could rule the world also with win 8 and 9 but it didn’t last long as now they make it very clear that there will be a desktop version of their operating system available to the majority of their customers, I think Adobe will learn this lesson also, it is to bad that they had to lower their standards to this level but like most greedy company’s they will re join the winning team when necessary, I see a option to buy a boxed license software set of their suites popping up shortly after they get their heads out of the cloud.

  • David Kachel

    All these years no one could successfully compete with Adobe because their products were head and shoulders above everything else, and because competition was prohibitively expensive. Now they have stupidly given other companies an incentive to invest millions in competing with them.
    Adobe, if Apple decides to make their own Photoshop, and now they will, your stupid goose is cooked!