Recently, Adobe announced Adobe Creative Cloud, a membership plan where subscribers have access to download the most current versions of all the software Adobe has to offer: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Acrobat, Bridge, Premier, After Effects, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Encore, Media Encoder plus two of their new HTML5 apps, Muse, which promises to allow designers to create web sites without writing code so they can focus on design, not programming, and Edge Preview, which boasts giving users the ability to create interactive motion content that will work natively in HTML5 and display consistently across desktop browsers, tablets and smartphones.
In addition to this treasure chest of software, members have access to 20 GB of storage in the cloud where they can access and sync their files wherever they go, or share files with colleagues and clients, all for $49.99 per month. Plus, users can build up to 5 web sites located on the Adobe server to showcase portfolios or set up complete e-commerce storefronts. Adobe Touch apps can be purchased at an additional cost to add functionality to tablets.
As a designer, I’m excited by this new method of delivering applications along with the added benefits of storage, sharing and web hosting. With this plan, our creative team can have access to the latest versions of software we currently use plus access additional programs that can help us deliver state-of-the-art creative solutions to our clients.
Let’s look at the dollars and see if it makes sense. If you use the traditional method of purchasing software and buy Adobe’s Master Collection today, it will cost you $2,599. It contains all of the products of the current Creative Cloud membership with the exception of the new Adobe Muse and Edge Preview. Plus, it lacks all of the services such as the device and PC sync, cloud storage and free web hosting. If you plan to upgrade this set of software once every 3 years, you’ll spend a total of $5,749 over the course of 21 years (based on the current upgrade price of $525). That’s a cost of $22.81 per month.
Twenty-one years of a $49.99 monthly membership totals $12,597.48, assuming there is no increase in membership fees.
So, does it all add up? It does if you’re Adobe.
Of course, there are clear advantages to using Adobe’s value-added subscription plan: access to software updates, newly developed products, device syncing, cloud storage and more. Time will tell, but my suspicion is that Adobe and other software developers will cease to provide products for purchase by the traditional method we know today and we’ll all one day be moving to software subscription memberships.
So, the big question is, do we take the leap into the Creative Cloud today, or later? What are your thoughts?