As you all know, Apple Aperture is end-of-life. And with that, end-of-competition: Lightroom is the only game in town.
And with that, Adobe is flexing its muscle; it is trying to get everyone to use their “Cloud” subscription model. That way, they get a fee (like $9.99) every month, instead of one payment of $150 for Lightroom forever. Clearly, they are interested in this.
Clearly, I am not interested.
- First, I would pay much more (In five years I’d pay $600, as opposed to $150 for the app, and even with upgrades perhaps double that over that period).
- Second, I want nothing with auto upgrades. This is mission critical. I am still using CS3 (very occasionally). If it ain’t broke…
- The price is $9.99 per product per month, I think. But that is today’s price… subject to change.
- Third, I want nothing to do with a product that has to go online occasionally to check if I am allowed to use it. No way. What if I lose my password? What if their authentication system fails? What if my Internet connectivity fails, e.g. because I am travelling? No, that just will not do. This is company critical: I need an app that is mine to run without authentication, permission, whatever.
Adobe is making it almost impossible to buy Lightroom today. But the key is “almost”. After a long while online with support, I was today given the “BUY AS A PRODUCT” links:
Normal Users: https://www.adobe.com/products/catalog/software._sl_id-contentfilter_sl_catalog_sl_software_sl_mostpopular.html?promoid=KLXMI
Educational Users: https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?store=OLS-EDU&event=displayProduct&categoryPath=/Applications/PhotoshopLightroomSTE
For as long as possible, I shall go on using Lightroom as a normal license rather than a monthly subscription, and you all may want to do the same.
I couldn’t agree more, Michael! I’m running CS6 and I fear that Adobe is at the end of their boxed software. If they try to force everybody onto the Cloud, then I’m going to look elsewhere. As much as I shudder at the thought of going to Open Source software, but if it came down to that, I guess I’d have to look at that.
I tend to build a new computer every 3 to 4 years and, of course, this is a problem with licenses even though I throw out the old computer. Adobe just doesn’t care that you’re just moving to a new computer, you have to buy a new license.
Adobe’s not stupid. Just look at Morgan Stanley’s stock reports; they’re expecting Adobe to post 50% (!) earnings growth for FY2015, purely because of how much more expensive Creative Cloud works out to be. They’re also very much aware that in larger design houses, it’s pretty easy to put a subscription as a line item in the operating expenses, but much harder to get approval for licence upgrades as capital budget items.
But Adobe also doesn’t think long-term very well, nor do they consider the effects of their decisions on the industry as a whole. At last report, they only had 2.3M CC subscribers. Everyone who (a) needs the latest version, AND (b) is subject to BSA audits, has already subscribed. There may not be much more room for growth there, and as a side effect, they’ve really ramped up the pressure on the open source community to get GIMP etc. up to snuff.
CC is already cracked – at any given moment there are between 6,000 and 10,000 peers sharing and getting it on pirate networks. We’ve seen over and over in the music and film industries that people will happily open their wallets and leave the pirate networks behind, if the purchasing process is simple, convenient, and leaves them with an unlocked, unrestricted copy that they can keep forever. And we’ve also seen that as soon as you start cracking down on paying users, they head right back to PirateBay. Adobe stuff’s always been pirated by casual users, but I think the new model is pushing a lot of users who would prefer to buy licences into using the cracked DLLs instead.
Spot on, Matt.