Adobe used its MAX conference keynote on 6 May to announce changes to its Creative Suite software line and year-old Creative Cloud subscription sales. Moving forward, Adobe will sell its software, including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, After Effects and more, solely through subscriptions to Creative Cloud, which cost £38.12 per month for individuals based on an annual membership.
"This is the decision of our company — to focus on Creative Cloud —and it's huge," said Scott Morris, Adobe's senior marketing director. "It's an even bigger decision than when we moved to Creative Suite years ago."
"In the same way [as Creative Suite], there will be customers who have a hard time with it at first. But today our customers are on Creative Suite - they got over it; they saw the benefit of it; and that's exactly the type of transition we're going through," he said.
Adobe CC: Reactions
Morris wasn't wrong about some customers having a "hard time" with Adobe's decision to go subscription-only.
Following Adobe's announcement, Derek Schoffstall, a photographer and college student, started a petition on Change.org demanding that Adobe back away from its subscription-only model. The petition collected 10,000 signatures within a week.
Schoffstall's petition asks Adobe to reconsider its subscription-only plans, restart development on CS6, and continue to offer perpetual licenses alongside subscriptions.
"It seems that you have decided to forsake everyone but big business. Well, you've made a mistake," the petition reads. "We are in a corner because although we may have the option to use CS6 now, in the future we will be forced to subscribe to your CC subscription in order to stay relevant with updated software."
In the preface to the petition, Schoffstall argued that consumers and independent freelancers would end up paying more in subscription fees than they had buying a one-time-charge license. "In the short term, the subscription model looks to be okay, but over time the only entity that is benefiting from this is Adobe," he said. "The (no longer) current model - paying a one time fee for infinite access - is a much better business model and is better for the consumer."
Some of those who left comments on Schoffstall's petition called out the cost as a reason for their dissatisfaction. "Due to the nature of the 'upgrade at gun point' nature of the change, and the forced 'renting' of software at prices that could be jacked up at anytime, I will not continue with the Adobe brand," wrote Lee Whitman.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.