One of the things that lured me to Creative Cloud was the initial pricing: $30/mo for one year when upgrading from an existing Creative Suite product. So I jumped on it. My thought at the time, and I still think this, is that so many people will complain about the eventual $50/mo pricing, that Adobe will lower the standard subscription rate closer to the original $30/mo that brought many users onboard. Only time will tell on that.
I’ve read a few articles on the pricing, and they seem to be all over the map. Some say it’s a great deal, some say it’s an outright scam. In general, articles say good, commenters say bad.
Cnet says that it’s a good deal for users that previously bought Master Collection. But I don’t know a single person or shop that was buying Master Collection. I know plenty of people that were stealing it though. So I don’t think it’s a fair comparison because it’s not a realistic slice of the Adobe user market. But there were many users of Production Premium and Design Premium. In those cases, the numbers are much closer together. In Cnet’s estimation, CC is more than Design Premium, but less than Production Premium. In its review, I think Cnet (and Adobe for that matter) is over-valuing the cloud services like online storage, Muse, etc. They also assume that people are upgrading CS versions as fast as they can. Many users don’t do this. They may skip a version or two if the new features aren’t good enough, or if they need to save a bit of money this year. CC doesn’t give you that option.
But what’s ignored in all these numbers is that fact that if you buy CS6, you own that software forever and can always use it. With CC, if you stop paying, you’re shut out. There’s no way to put a value on that in these equations. I think that’s where a lot of the argument comes in. CC is most like Adobe’s best customers – paid upgrades for EVERY new version of Master Collection. But how many people were actually doing that? Adobe is now forcing everyone into their “best customer” model, without leaving an option for their customers that were less agressive in their purchasing.
Mashable posted a less than enlightening interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Commenter AJ Henderson made a great argument for people that have been using Creative Suite since the beginning (or at least a few years), and how CC is much more expensive than the former upgrade process:
I love how he can lie with such a straight face saying it is cheaper for consumers. 100GB of cloud storage from Dropbox is 9.99 a month, so we’ll take $2 a month off the price to account of that despite the fact it is useless for most customers. That is still $576 a year. The release cycle over the last 10 years is a new major version every 2 years. Master Collection is the most expensive of these and a single version upgrade has always been approximately $850. That’s only $425 a year and you actually OWN a license at the end of it. That’s an increase in price of over $150 per year for the most expensive option possible under the previous system. That’s an almost 36% increase in price.
It will be interesting to see how all this evolves.