Adobe is one of the leading companies among design and animation software and tools, and it is rare to find a designer who does not rely on one or more of the Adobe tools in their workflow. After releasing the Adobe Creative Suite, the company started to build a solid integration between applications that help designers work fluently and smoothly with their different products and to transfer projects from one application to another much easier than before.
Actually, there is more than one type of integration that I had covered earlier in an article for the Adobe Inspire magazine with the title Quick tips for integrating Adobe Creative Suite 3 products. While the Adobe Creative Suite supports building a strong user base, many are concerned with the pricing policy and making it more affordable for users. As an Adobe Community Professional, I receive many emails and calls about the pricing of the Adobe product licenses. Some users complain that it is expensive and others have concerns about the creative suite and how it matches their needs.
What is the new pricing plan?
With the release of Creative Suite 6, Adobe has announced another pricing plan that some believe might cause even more confusion for the users. Does Adobe really need a new pricing plan? Does it really help?
Many users are already familiar with the ordinary license when they buy one of the Adobe products or a Creative Suite which includes a group of related products. When you buy a product license, you have to make a one-time payment that ranges from $349 for Adobe Audition to $2599 for the Adobe Master Collection and to get to use your product without limitations. However, the new Adobe Creative Cloud membership works differently. It acts as a digital hub that you can use to download any of the Adobe products and other services with a monthly or yearly payment plan. You can get access to all Adobe products for $49.99/month with the annual plan, or $74.99/month with the month-to-month payment plan.
The first question that comes to mind is whether this new Creative Cloud Membership really saves you money? Although the price may appear lower than that of the ordinary license, you will need to pay for it on a yearly basis. The sum of these regular payments may exceed the price of the full license, especially when you are one of those who do not do frequent upgrades on your Adobe products or only use the products occasionally.
If you are using Adobe products intensively, it would not be a question whether to choose the Creative Cloud membership. However, those who only use Adobe products sporadically or for specific projects may feel confused whether to choose the ordinary license or the new, monthly plan. The advantage of the monthly payment plan is that it allows you to suspend your membership when your project is done or when you do not need the application anymore.
This advantage can surely save you a lot of money. Many Adobe users rely mostly on just a couple of products, such as Photoshop and Flash to create animations, or After Effects and Premiere for video production. Is it really worth it to pay the same monthly subscription like others who use most of the products? Do you think it is really a fair price policy?
There have been suggestions to make a wider variety of options for the Creative Cloud membership so that users can choose specific products and pay less. This suggestion would help users who focus on specific products to benefit from the membership plan as well as the other services included in the membership, such as the Cloud storage. The only concern about this suggestion is that this may cause more confusion for the users, especially if they have just been introduced to the new membership service, and many are already confused about which is the best option for their own circumstances.
What are the other benefits of Creative Cloud?
In addition to the Adobe products that you can download and use through this membership plan, you can also get access to Adobe Muse that allows you to create web designs without coding, and Adobe Edge that allows you to create HTML5 based animations. Also, you will have access to the Adobe Cloud storage service that lets you share and exchange files with a limit of 2 G of free space.
When you get an Adobe Creative Cloud Membership, with the monthly activation scheme, you will be able to download any of the Adobe applications and its updates. However, many people including myself prefer to work without being restricted to the monthly activation process.
The regular Adobe License only performs a serial number authentication and registration once when you are installing your application or Creative Suite for the first time. As someone who works from different locations, I prefer to have my application run without having to perform the monthly activations. But do you think it really makes a difference for you?
Along with the Creative Cloud membership, you will get access to the cloud storage where you can save your work remotely, share it with others and reach it from anywhere and from any device, such as your laptop, desktop computer or tablet.
This is one of the greatest features of the Creative Cloud membership, because many users need to work on different computers and share projects on their various devices and with other team members. The Cloud storage gives you a central location where you can save and retrieve your work easily from anywhere with flexibility. It provides 2G of available space and you can even upgrade it to get more space. As a designer, I believe that 2G is a small storage space compared to the file sizes we use in our workflow, especially in printing and video projects.
The question is whether this feature attracts you enough to move from the normal license to the Creative Cloud membership? Before the Cloud storage, many users used to use other applications, such as Dropbox to share files with others and different devices. Technologies like Dropbox are very common, since they are easy to use and enable everyone in your team to share files with you, whether or not they work with Adobe products.
The last difference between the ordinary product license and the new Creative Cloud membership is how you get your software. Unlike the ordinary license that ships the product DVD to your end, the Creative Cloud membership gives you the option to download the package and its updates. Many users still prefer to have a DVD for the software, especially when they have a slow Internet connection and it takes ages for them to download large-size products. Many users, like me, cannot wait a week or two to receive a DVD and prefer to download the software from the Adobe server directly, without any further delay.
Does the Creative Cloud fit your needs?
As we have overviewed in this article, there are a lot of differences between the ordinary Adobe License and the Creative Cloud membership. Choosing between them only depends on your own needs and requirements. The Adobe Creative Cloud membership is one of Adobe’s brand new services that may or may not meet your requirements, but it will surely be enhanced with the time and according to your feedback. Share with us your ideas about the new Creative Cloud membership and the Adobe pricing in general through the poll and the comments area below.
Your comments are valuable and will help us learn more about the market and these two pricing plans. In the poll results we will use your comments and feedback to find out more about the needs of the market and your ideas about the Adobe license and Creative Cloud membership, and how they could be improved in the next versions.
Finally, you can read more about the new Adobe Creative Cloud membership on the following link.
Post a comment and let us know what you think.
FYI – This poll closes at midnight Pacific Time on June 13th. The results of the poll will remain hidden until then so we can reveal the results in a follow up post early next week! Thanks for voting and all your comments!