Adobe CC subscription model. is it good value?

DreamArchitect Website User Posts: 595 Enthusiast
Hi guys,
Having recently looked into the Adobe creative cloud subscription model and wondered. Have any of you guys signed up for this and do you feel its good value?


  • Mandalorian
    Mandalorian Website User Posts: 79
    I haven't signed up yet, but I probably will next year.  For me, it really comes down to usage, and if you have a good return on investment from using it.  If you're not using it too much, or aren't making money off of it, I personally find it hard to justify.  That's essentially how I feel about subscription models in general.
      That said, I have good friends that have their own businesses based entirely around Adobe CC.  They all seem to really love it, and since they're consistently working on projects for clients, the subscription payment method works out for them.
      If you know how to use the software and get work done with it, as well as have a way to get paid for it, then I think it could be fine for you, and a great value.  If not, you might want to look at other options where you can "own" the software rather than effectively rent it, and get your moneys worth out of it over a longer period of time.
      Trials are also a great way to get a quick look at what you're getting and evaluate your options more thoroughly.  Be sure to try those out before making a final decision.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Website User Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2014
    I'm not interested in any subscription models for software. The idea of continually paying for expensive software that is then unusable when you stop paying is unappealing to me, to say the least. I get that adobe does it because their software gets stolen so much, but I like the idea of owning what I buy. So my comment is, no I dont think its a good value.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out

    I think the subscription model is genius, personally.  If you don't need the software regularly, you can subscribe briefly, use all of their software as you need, then not have to pay anymore.  Beats spending hundreds of dollars on a single piece of software that you'll use a few times.  However, if you're a professional, and use their products on a regular basis, you just roll the subscription cost into your fees, or write it off.  Subscribing for a year gets you full access to all of their software for less than what a single Photoshop license would have cost previously.
    Also, remember that you never actually OWN software, you own the license to use it.  I don't personally see a single drawback with the CC subscription model.  Like Mandalorian said, if you don't see yourself using the CC suite consistently, find something open source that will suit your needs.  Or do a single month subscription.  It's really an incredible bargain.

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,247 Staff
    I'm in agreement with Aculag.  The subscription also means the software is updated more regularly, so you get new features quicker and more stable software, without ever needing to worry about whether an update is worth it.  Because you get them all, immediately, at no additional fee.  If you prefer to pay a lot of money at once, rather than a little at a time, then buy 5 years' subscription in advance. (I don't know if they actually offer that)
  • CalebK
    CalebK Website User Posts: 435
    I I was going to subscribe to creative cloud cc I agree with Axel that I would deffinately want to buy as many years as possible up front. I really like the feeling owning a software.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Creative Cloud doesn't massively change the traditional model, once you dig into it, other then enforcing the user to pay for upgrades. You don't have the option of remaining on your current version and waiting to upgrade once a new version actually interests you: you HAVE to continually upgrade, or your software actually stops working. The payments are spread out so it doesn't feel like that, but essentially that's what it is: enforced upgrades.
    That's not to criticise it, though, as for many people it's a model that makes sense. As others have mentioned, if you're earning a living from video work, it's very easy to absorb the costs into your work. If you don't always get paid for work, the costs in the long term can get pretty big - especially as you don't really have the option of ever stopping.
    If you decide to switch to different software in the future, it doesn't just mean that you won't get new versions of CC, it means that all your old projects will be inaccessible - that's probably the deal breaker for me, personally. It's the equivalent of applying DRM to your own files, which seems a bit crazy. You're essentially licensing your own creations from Adobe, not just their software.
    It's also worth noting that paying for one-off months is considerably more expensive than going for the annual subscription.
    But yeah, it depends if it makes sense for your budget, lifestyle and workload.
  • DreamArchitect
    DreamArchitect Website User Posts: 595 Enthusiast
    Thanks guys, Some interesting viewpoints. I think I'm with Aculag and Axel on this one. I'm not a pro, strictly a time limited amateur and the idea of being about to have after effects the odd month when it would come in handy is nice from my point of view. I can afford hitfilm money but £800 or whatever an AE license costs is out of my justifyable price range however £17 for a month I can handle. I get what Simon says about "DRM on your own files" but I think on the whole it's a nice idea. You just need to be aware of the pitfalls. 
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    The DRM-on-files thing isn't as big an issue, I think, if you're just using it for the occasional month's rental. Inevitably that'll produce fewer project assets, and if you're only accessing it for a month as-and-when you need it, it means that if you need it in future you can just grab another month.
    The DRM thing is a bigger issue for people who subscribe long-term, because they'll start to build up a massive library of projects over time. The idea of my access to those files being tied to paying a 3rd party company kinda fills me with terror. For many companies, its assets ARE its worth, so getting into a situation where you have to rent access to your own work seems kinda crazy.
    The CC model would be a lot more appealing to me if you got to keep the software when you quit your subscription, but all updates halt. There could still be a minimum rental period - eg, you have to rent it for long enough that it covers the 'normal' price of the software, so a minimum rental of a year or two. But that way you'd always be able to access your legacy files using the version of the software you had at the time. (obviously there's other things that would need working out - eg, they wouldn't want someone to be able to just re-subscribe for a single month and then get all the updates, then unsubscribe again, etc etc)
  • TommyCampbell
    TommyCampbell Website User Posts: 35
    My biggest gripe with Creative Cloud is the all or nothing approach. Before Creative Cloud, I was using the Production Premium Suite. It has everything I need and a few things I don't like Flash Professional. With CC, I do get every thing I need, but also a lot more that I don't. I'm hoping Adobe will come out with some different subscriptions like the old Creative Suites.
    I do see the benefit of being able to ramp up staff for a large project without having to spend a lot of money on software that might not get used after the project is complete.
    Many other companies offer outright purchase with maintenance options along with rentals.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Website User Posts: 791 Just Starting Out

    Also, remember that you never actually OWN software, you own the license to use it.

    While technically true, most companies dont put restrictions on your purchase (like adobe does) and you can use the software for the rest of your life, if you want. I still use a copy of Reason 2.5 that I bought over a decade ago. I just re-installed and re-registered it with them and they honored it. I still play games I bought in the 1990s.
    I think the subscription model is really bad because its part of a new wave of selling digital products where you literally do not own it. The music you buy. The movies. Just leased, not owned by you. And the point that Simon brought up about your sessions being locked when your not paying for the software is a lot like the company saying that you dont even own the content that you create with the software. How would that be? If all the video/audio editing software and compositing software and word processing software had a section in their User Agreement that they own what ever you create on their software? Call me paranoid, but these huge companies would do exactly that, if they could, and they are working towards it slowly. And when that happens, my old ass will go back to analog... Like Mad Max.

  • MartinMunthe
    MartinMunthe Website User Posts: 15
    I'm only annoyed by the file format lock downs. Adobe still refuses to publish the specs of the InDesign format. And that means you can't import or open an InDesign project in anything else on this planet. So if you're locked down by air gaps like I have to be sometimes or if InDesign is out of fashion in ten years - theres no way of accessing your work.
    I've taken a few major hits in the last 25 years from companies that goes out of business and tried to protect themselfs by developing closed and proprietary file formats. I have no problem with proprietary software but leave my work resting in open formats so that I don't go out of business when you do. 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,961 Ambassador
    edited August 2014
    I am one of those people for whom the "software stops working when you stop paying" is a deal-breaker. I like Simon's metaphor about "DRMing one's own work." I am transitioning from Photoshop to GIMP, and, since after purchasing Hitfilm, I basically never use AE anymore...
    Besides. Old software can be viable--there are people in this forum still on VisionLab, and I maintain my old copies of Vegas Pro 6, and 8, so if I need to revisit projects from that era, they work as expected. (8 had a different plug-in system than 8, and 10 is when Vegas went OFX, so many of those older projects with old plug-ins can't open correctly in Vegas 13)
    If one's current version of Adobe CC stayed active upon ceasing one's subscription, but one lost tech support and upgrade rights, all complaining would cease.... Although Adobe has a long history of not releasing updated camera drivers for old versions... Don't expect to load Camera RAW from a Panasonic GH4 is Photoshop CS5... Adobe has always been a bit "Upgrade or GTFO."
    All that said, Adobe products are widely pirated, and a subscription model is great for VFX houses that might require tens-to-hundreds of licenses, and those are the businesses really keeping Adobe afloat.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Yeah, the interesting thing about both Adobe and Apple's recent models for video software is that they really reveal the type of customer they're actually interested in. And while there's a ton of vocal complaining, both models (CC, and the cheaper FCP) have worked out extremely well for both companies, and for specific areas of their customer bases.
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