To subscribe or not to subscribe? A glimpse into Adobe’s polemic subscription system

Were you considering getting yourself a copy of any Adobe products? You might be late for that, if what you wanted was to purchase a copy of, for instance, Photoshop. At least you will not be able to buy it in the traditional way anymore. And that is due to the new subscription based system introduced by Adobe, a system which requires subscribing to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Like that, those willing to use the full version of that popular photo editing software will now have to pay a monthly subscription fee to Adobe to do so.

Subscribing to the entire package, also including PhotoshopIllustrator, InDesign, Premier and After Effects, and 20GB of cloud storage, has a cost of 50 euros per month, around 600 euros per year. However, Adobe has also launched a subscription plan designed specifically for photographers, which only offers access Photoshop and Lightroom, and 2GB cloud storage, for 10 euros a month, around 120 per year.

This subscription system was created already back in 2012, but only as an option since it was still possible to purchase perpetual licenses. Nevertheless, and only some months after its release, the subscription system became the only alternative for using the latest versions of Adobe software. Since then, photography forums have been just flooded with complaints about it, and there is a good number of reasons for that.

It is true, however, that a few pros can be stated when talking about this new system. First of all, by subscribing to the Creative Cloud Photography users would be paying around 120$ per year, compared to the normally above 600$ that the perpetual license was offered for. Start-ups, freelancers or generally, people not willing to make big investments from the beginning, will definitely benefit from this system. Apart from that, users of any Adobe software will not have to update their software anymore. Being connected to the Cloud, all the programs will be automatically updated for those subscribed to it. Nonetheless, the disadvantages of this system have not gone unnoticed by most of the former extremely loyal Photoshop users. But even these advantages come associated with some negative counterparts, since these automatic updates mean that users will be losing control over the version they want to use, being forced to operate always with the last one available.

In addition to this, having Photoshop linked to the Cloud might involve some advantages, but many photographers have already expressed their concerns about it in terms of security and privacy. Ownership of those images becomes an issue when dealing with a system like this, since Adobe could access and even make use of those contents stored in the Cloud, even without their legitimate owners being aware of that. It is true that according to the current Terms and Conditions of this service, those files stored in the Cloud should be protected in that sense, but it is also true that those Terms and Conditions are always subject to changes, and mostly, they do not protect files stored in the Cloud from eventual leaks or attacks. News media, for example, will have to think about it twice before uploading their content to this system.

In the same way that those Terms and Conditions of the service are subject to changes, the same goes for the price of it. Adobe claims about having reduced the total price of their products are subject to the current fees, and only true when considered in the short term. For instance, those who were updating their Photoshop software every two or three years will pay less with this new system. However, users thinking about longer periods of time will soon see how this system results in larger costs, especially for those expecting to have the chance to exploit the whole potential of the service. Users paying for having access to the whole package of Adobe will have 20GB storage in the Cloud, but those paying only for the Photography package will enjoy only 2GB capacity, having to purchase extra space if needed.

Furthermore, Adobe users will be now absolutely tied to their subscription, since they will only be able to access and modify their Adobe projects while paying, as their software will stop running once they have cancelled their subscription, no matter for how long they have being paying for that. Like this, Adobe has managed to create a system much more profitable for itself, but way less attractive for a great number of their users. Certainly, the disadvantages of it need to be taken into account, and many of those former users are already looking for alternatives to all the Adobe programs, not connected to any subscription system. If you are one of those people, click here to have a look at our latest post on interesting alternatives to Photoshop. Because there is definitely life after Adobe, and the number of options available is now higher than ever before. Simply click here to have a look at the most interesting ones we have found so far.


You can also check more opinions on the Adobe subscription system on the following links:



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