Adobe Creative Cloud?

The announcement that future versions of most Adobe products are only available via subscription to Creative Cloud has been greeted with mixed feelings. I’ve been using Creative Cloud for a year now and really like it, so for me this is not a problem. Creative Cloud is easy to use, gives me access to all of my tools where ever I am and ensures I’m always up-to-date with the latest versions. But what about you? How do  you feel about Adobe’s announcement? Are you using Creative Cloud? Will you upgrade?

  1. MansonF

    I have been using Creative Cloud for about a year and have agreed to renew my subscription. I think it’s great. I like the wealth of software that is available on the Cloud. I like the having the latest updates. It’s easier to pay each month than to have a large outlay every 2 years or so. Since I am in effect leasing the suite on a subscription basis rather than purchasing it, I think that there may be tax advantages.

  2. hosein

    for many of people that doesn’s access always to the internet is very bad .
    adobe whit this work are loss many hearts . 🙁

    • Pascal

      You only have to be on the net once every 30days to reactivate your account when using a monthly plan- And have up to 180days (I’m not totally sure on that) if you use to subscripe for one year. You might want to check out all those whitepapers Adobe provides regarding the CC for more information

  3. Pascal

    I use the subscription plan since CS 5.5 and wouldn’t want to go back to a box version (even though I would like have such a nice “cerial” box). And with the addition of real cloud features (folder sharing, notification, …) it will be even better.
    The only downside is that we Europeans pay way more than any other CC members around the globe 🙁

  4. Todd Kopriva


    You don’t need a constant Internet connection to use applications that you subscribe to with Creative Cloud. If you have an annual subscription, you only need to connect to the Internet a few times each year to have the activation updated.

    There’s lots of information here:

  5. Taverino

    No brainer. I currently use most of CS6 suite via CC. The monthly subscription is a tiny part of my budget. Here’s my deal with Adobe: I’ll gladly pay for whatever business model allows Adobe to keep churning out killer tools that help me be more creative and do my job easier with each release. Win-win.

  6. Hafeez

    Hi John,

    After our twitter conversation, I decided to go for CC :-). I think it works out well for me. Also the fact that I can install CC on my home computer (windows) and work (not at the sametime) is also great. I just ordered a MacBook Pro, so once it comes I am subscribing in 2 weeks.

    Thanks for your tip and to Adobe for coming up with such a cool model.

    But they had me confused with the word cloud as I thought it was not a desktop software :).

  7. Bastiaan van Oorde

    First things first, I like the idea of going to the cloud and what it could bring with continuous upgrades etc. But the financials just don’t add up yet for me. Will I upgrade to the Cloud, yes off course I want the latest version of AE en PPro etc. but I’m not very happy with not having a choice about going cloud vs the old way.

    So the upgrade plan VS cloud plan. Going to the cloud would mean €737,80 a year (after the one year that’s discounted). Upgrading my Production Premium suite on a yearly basis is €445,26. So I have to pay an extra of €300,- And yes that would mean getting more apps, but in principle I have more than enough with Production Premium. For owners of the Master Collection it’s only €100,- more per year, but still more. For the people talking about paying thousands of dollars, they are talking about the initial purchase price, something current users don’t have to deal with (for new customers the Cloud is perfect and they don’t have anything to complain about).

    Another thing is that Adobe doesn’t do, are exchange rates, if I want to get the Cloud I have to pay €61,49 (made up of €49,99 and the added VAT thats 21% over here). That €49,99 is 1 to 1 with the US price of ¢49,99, but with current exchange rate that should be €38,23 so we pay an extra of 11 euros a month over the US pricing. Now if there were some special localizations added, it might be agreeable but none of the video apps are localized, and even things like the speech detection are not localized (rendering them useless for me). And with a download only product further import taxes etc. don’t come in to play.

    I hope that Adobe will review their pricing in the future and at least look at the international price differences, but the concept of the cloud is a right step software and workflow wise. And I know many of you will say that 60 euros a month is not much for it, but for someone who is struggling to make a living with his creative work in the current economy every euro counts.

  8. hosein

    i like adobe . but we can’t access to global banks to pay any money to adobe in my country . because of Political issues . 🙁

  9. Toby

    Hi John,

    I think Adobe have approached this the wrong way. A choice would be nice don’t you think?

    As somebody who uses Adobe products as a hobby/sideline (I’m in music) rather than a full on professional capacity like yourself, CC feels like being held to ransom. I use Photoshop, AE and Illustrator only. I’m only really interested in AE as an upgrade for the Cineware aspect as I love C4D and have used it for years. If a music software company asked me to ‘rent’ their software I’d drop it instantly.

    I’m sure this model works for Adobe but does it work for all their customers? CC has many great features and I think Adobe make great products but all this just seems weird to me.

    The one main thing that really erks me is that Adobe’s European pricing is way over that of the US. Doesn’t anyone at Adobe have a currency converter widget!? After all it’s not like they have to ship physical product anymore is it!! Adobe needs to sort this out!

    At the end of the day it’s all a business expense but for non-pro users it’s a bit mean to tie them in to a subscription and they’ll probably loose all that business to other software devs.

    All the best and love what you do for the community here! 🙂


    • chris

      Indeed, not only is the software being held at ransom, but the content I create. If I stop paying the monthly fee, I can no longer edit my own project files?

      “DeAR CuST0mER: iF yOU EvER WAnT 2 SeE Y0uR LaYerZ AgAIN…”

      What if Adobe goes out of business? My creations are gone forever?

      I can see the benefits of CC but make no mistake: The only one who will truly benefit is Adobe.

  10. JW

    What people are not seeing is that after they stop their CC subscription, they no longer have access to “their” content. Adobe is licensing them access as long as the customer maintains a financial relationship with Adobe into perpetuity. With a perpetual license I can stop upgrading hardware and software and work my content until the day I die.

    For some of us the Creative Suite is not a business, it is our hobby, entertainment, TV – I go to CS to have fun and learn stuff. If upon retirement the cost cannot be maintained, my life’s work will be lost. In 10 or 20 years, what will the monthly cost of CC subscription be, $79, $99, $149?

    People are saying that we can maintain our old CS6 copy, but will that run on Windows14 in 15 years? So I have spent thousands over the years for my Photoshop and Premiere purchases, $2600 for my CS Master Suite license, an upgrade to it, and now a year of Creative Cloud fee’s. After spending more than $6000 over the years, I will now be left with NOTHING!

    And some of you think this a great step forward?

    • Brad Magnus

      The thought that Adobe owns your files is just preposterous! How can they own the files you created and are on your computer? If you stop your CC agreement, then you won’t be able to open the Ae, Ps, or Ai files because you don’t own the software.

  11. Eric Peacock

    As the “tech guy” I manage all the updates and purchases for our ~10 mixed Creative Suites, so I have so weigh in.

    We’ve always upgraded as quickly as we could, so updates aren’t an issue.

    When we had to sit on an older version we paid the same as if we had upgraded very 1-2 years as new CS versions came out because that is how Adobe prices upgrades — you were already paying a price based on the age of your upgrade, unless you caught a promotional deal. Why is nobody mentioning this when it does factor into the cost of using the Creative Suite before Creative Cloud pricing? It’s not as cheap to upgrade the old suites as folks seem to think it was and Adobe was getting paid as if you upgraded with each version anyway.

    Nobody at my job needed the Master Suite, instead most of the designers are using the Design suites with the exception of me as the video/mograph guy. And nobody was using every single app in every suite we did have, though it is nice to have them sometimes. Plus there is a universal hatred for bundled apps like Bridge, Adobe Media Player, etc. due to sluggish performance and wonky stability.

    We’re fine using products that tie into “the cloud”. The problem for us is that this change is more of a huge price increase than anything else because there is no pricing tier that matches what we’re using and paying for now.

    I’ve gotten quotes on getting us signed up and the normal Creative Cloud runs us about double what we’d spend now and with Creative Cloud Teams costs far more than just doing the normal Creative Cloud (good luck finding info on Teams BTW — Adobe’s site is an endless black hole of information that basically just points you to a third-party reseller).

    Needless to say management wasn’t happy with the upgrade numbers this year and all three options we have (per app, all apps or Teams) are all hundreds more than what we spend now. Before this announcement was made I was not able to get budget approval and now it’s going to be much harder.

    Sure we use Adobe products all the time and would willingly pay a subscription that ran a bit more than what we’d be paying for CS Design Suites — but not twice as much as it comes out to being when you’re forced to purchase the equivalent of the “Master Suite”. The announcement boils down to a massive price increase for my small business employer and for anyone who is a “hobbyist”.

    Yes, I also own my own Creative Suite and have paid out-of-pocket for it since the mid-nineties. I used to freelance regularly but now I can’t justify signing up for $50 a month for apps I don’t use every day outside of work. And the $20 a month per app cost is worse if you just wanted three or so apps, so it’s not even worth is unless you wanted to run 1 or 2 apps only, which saves you $10 a month only.

    Basically as I see it, this Creative Cloud announcement isn’t a good deal unless you were already using one of the larger production or Master CS suites for your bread-and-butter already. I’m actually not sure why there isn’t at least one more pricing tier with less apps. But maybe everyone was buying the Master Suite all this time and we’re in the minority here.

  12. Jim Hines

    Here is what I don’t like. Feeling like the calf being herded into the corral to get branded instead of the cowboy on the horse steering the cattle.

    Here is what I do like. There is the future “potential” of keeping the tools in the hands of one man bands(me), small business and larger companies and clearing the field of “hey, my teenager can do this – why should we pay you to do it?” scenarios. Paying a monthly fee is going to limit the market for who’s using the tools. Look for YouTubers, once in a whilers and kids to move to Gimp, Blender, Inkscape, etc.

    However,if Adobe keeps automating the software – I won’t be needed at all – LOL

    I’m pretty satisfied with all the features available in my CS6 suite. Not feeling like I need an upgrade this year at least.

  13. Florent Zumberi

    Great post John!

    I was wondering when this topic would be discussed on the various sites I frequent, especially after such a spirited #mochat session on twitter a few days ago.

    Here’s what’s great about Adobe CC:

    • Simplicity in pricing structure – at $600/year to access all the Creative Suite apps plus the extras Adobe has rolled out like Muse, Typekit, etc. is wonderful. Not only is it cheaper than buying a standalone product and then upgrading every 2-3yrs, but it’ll make expenses a heck of a lot easier. That’s what many designers are failing to grasp. Come tax time or billing that one yearly fee will make accounting go much smoother.

    • Universal compatibility – I believe Stu Maschwitz captures this dilemma perfectly in his tweet:
    “Q: Who updates their Adobe software every year?
    A: Not the person you’re working with after you just did.
    Won’t miss that at all.”

    No more re-saving to different versions or struggles with backwards compatibility. If you work with many people and everyone is using CC, it’s a non-issue.

    • No more pirating – Now whether you pirate software or don’t; doesn’t really matter in this, as it doesn’t effect the consumers (us) very much. But if you look at it from Adobe’s side, what is there incentive to keep rolling out sophisticated industry-standard software if they’re uploaded on torrent sites the following day. It’s prudent for us not to miss this point, Adobe is a business and piracy was significantly hurting their business. CC fixes their problem and allows them to focus on delivering great products rather than worry about securing their revenue.

    Now there is plenty of questions that need to be answered as well:

    • Different pricing models for different continents – I live in the U.S., but I feel for my designer buddies working out of Europe. There’s no reason they should be paying more for the same tools.

    • Absolutely no perpetual license – I know they’ve made their stance clear by pushing all the chips on CC, but there needs to be some form of permanence in licensing. Something like, once you cancel your account is accessed and get the appropriate license for that release. Not being able to edit artwork you created after you cancel CC doesn’t sit right with me.

    • Handling of plugins. Where are they installed? Why should I buy the plugins, if I’m leasing the software? It’s like buying horseshoes for a rented horse. This needs to be solved.

    Those are some of the things of the top of my head. I’m currently running CS6 and will wait on CC until I hear about some of the After Effects functionality, mainly with the new Cineware pipeline. Otherwise, I’m fairly stoked to start using CC. Again awesome post and great discussion!


  14. farhad

    I am Iranian.
    My country is sanctioned.
    I thought Adobe had us do the same.
    There are too many users in Iran these applications.

  15. John

    Hahahahaha no, AE CS5 works fine and they’ve killed Fireworks so I have no reason to ever pay them again.

    Smash the monopoly!

  16. Shantanu Narayen

    This will not stop Piracy.
    Bank on it.

  17. Michiel

    As said above, it’s nice if you were already using the master suite, but not so great if you don’t need all the apps. Non-american users get shafted once more but hey that’s always been the case with Adobe. Price in dollars = price in Euro’s, regardless of exchange rate.
    My biggest issue with the whole thing is that this whole CC thing highlights the fact that Adobe can do anything they want, because they have a virtual monopoly on the content creation software market which is not healthy for innovation and pricing.
    If you’re a musician, there’s a whole range of competing software packages that are all on a similar level of performance and features. Same with 3D animation software. But there simply aren’t any professional alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects etc…
    Don’t get me wrong, I like these apps mostly and I make my living with them, but the complete lack of competition to Adobe is worrying. No competition = higher prices and less innovation.

  18. Michiel

    And I agree that there should be some kind of in-between option between single apps and the full suite. Choose your own 4 apps or something, for a discounted price. The price for a single app is simply too high so that if you need more than 2 apps, you’re being forced to take them all. This shows that Adobe isn’t really interested in presenting their users with a real choice, they just want to maximise their revenue.

  19. ActionCamStudio

    Hallo to all and sorry for my bad english!
    For me this is a really bad,bad thing. People have to choose wich way they prefer to work and invest money. For a small company this is an extra tax to pay all the years. In Italy we pay IVA,INPS,business consultant and much more,so this extra tax will be another issue.
    I only use Premiere,AE and sometimes Photoshop and Illustrator,so i don’t need more stuff for my work. But i have a Production Suite in my studio.
    And what happens to our work if we are in trouble and can’t pay a rate,if we decide to use CC “per month”?
    Not good at all…hope that Adobe will understand that this way is not the right way…at least not for me.

  20. dmm

    So, I am a teacher at a community college. Right now I spend about $500 every 4 or so years for the Production bundle upgrade. There is no way this works for me or my students (even with the education discount).

  21. pepe

    Adobe has to change this Creative Cloud only, there is certain parts of the world that it will cost more to subscribe based on exchange rates, and the internet speed is not fast for a cloud. Personally I only use the adobe production premium, I dont use dreamweaver, indesign or muse why I have to pay more for that, is the same for people that do web design why they have to pay for video aplications that they are not going to use. That said (but Im not in favor of the cloud) the price for the subcription should be lower. Adobe have to hear their users that at the end makes their products alive!!!

  22. Manny

    Way to go Todd Kopriva! Weighing in your Adobe propaganda… I speak for my self, in which I’m sure many feel the same as I… As a freelancer works comes and goes, more goes than comes… So, $$$ is not coming in to maintain Big Daddy Adobe C.Crap. Then its just my opinion. Im sure its great for those who can afford it, not so great if you can’t.

  23. Juergen

    First: CC is too expensive in Germany/Europe. I will not putt everything in this cloud-thing. It makes us addicted from the major players and you cant suspend paymends. You have to pay each month! Actually i do not upgrade each version, not necessary. If Adobe increases the prices for CC you’ll be the fool. Not everything needs to be in the cloud. We pay the bill at the end. Maybe not today but in the future fore sure.

    My read is, some of the comments before are featured by Adobe 😉 after talks with some colleagues and old guys in production the mood in the german market is not so positive in my opinion.

  24. themesser

    this is outrageous.
    I just need After Effects but Adobe will force me to buy the whole pack, and force me to update and pay from now on ? If in 1 year i want to stick with my current version, after paying $700, they won’t allow it, my only option will be to update & pay again and again! So actually i never buy anything, just the right to use my working tool. Like renting paint and brushes to a painter and taking it away in the hard times when he can’t pay.

    • Joel

      I concur. I don’t need it all. I’m a pensioner and do only charity work. I use an old version of adobe and was just about able to upgrade because I just love doing this video stuff.

      I think a piece of the pie is going to get bigger for somebody if they jump on it. I’m excited to try Vegas Pro. I’ll have money left over to maybe get something like Boris plug-ins.

  25. dmm

    Here is a petition about Adobe’s Cloud Subscription model, if you’re interested:

  26. haberler

    I think it’s great. I like the wealth of software that is available on the Cloud. I like the having the latest updates.

  27. Adriano Moraes

    Well I thought the price issue was something only affecting us in 3rd world countries where people have the guts to double the price of a product that the country has no similar thing to offer.

    But reading your posts I found out that Europe is in trouble too. So the only people really getting something from this are from North America. Great globalized thinking!

    In a sense I think it is a good idea. It´ll reduce piracy (I won´t say terminate because people always find ways) and kind of cut off the non serious users that pose as professionals working for almost nothing and delivering horrible tutorial copied stuff that puts down a whole set of real professionals. (Seriously at one point I was doing some heavy 4K compositing job and when I mentioned AE everyone looked at me with bulged eyes and one asked: “Are you sure you can do it on AE?” That´s how bad it got down here)

    But the “rental” aspect of it is just bad. Like someone wrote on the comments you pay and pay and pay and if you can´t upgrade anymore you lose everything.

    Maybe if they would put an option for users after paying for the entire lifespan of a version – say CS 6.5 – they could choose not to upgrade – to CS 7 – but would keep the older version´s license for real with no more payments required.

    I am a freelancer and I do have the income to maintain this (and it´s easier on the wallet going by month) but paying for something that expensive knowing you get nothing in the end just gets me worried. Imagine things go low for a month or two while I wait for some companies to pay me and I have to finish some new job. It means I might not be able to do so and down the drain we go.

    The mandatory thing is really what turns me off. It´s a new idea. They should work better on that before acting like it´s the best idea ever.

    Shame they won´t go back but at the moment I´m really happy with CS6 so I can be calm.

    Let´s see where it goes.

  28. Jürgen

    Adriano, i agree totally. Fortunately i use the current versions. And i see NO advantage but a lot of disadvantages to swith to CC. My main problem is, you have NOTHING at the end if you dont pay you cant use the software. For my point of view a kind of attempted customer-blackmail. Cant understand, that the customers agree with this behaviour ?!?!?

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