Licensed to win
Adobe, makers of Photoshop and other professional creative software, has long faced a daunting challenge – its software is priced for professional use, but many consumers want to use it too. This has led to its software topping the list of most pirated. Now Adobe has entered the software subscription arena and taken a giant leap in the right direction.
Now, instead of outright buying versions of Adobe’s software such as Lightroom, Audition, Dreamweaver or the aforementioned Photoshop, customers can instead pay a subscription to use said software.
Individual professionals can either license the entire Creative Suite – currently version CS6 – of software and unlock usage of the whole collection, or single software titles can be licensed on a monthly basis. There is also a team licence that unlocks Adobe’s full suite of software for a group of users.
For about $50 – call it R500 – a month, you get access to the whole suite, but, and it’s a big ‘ but’, you have to commit for a year – which for many users will negate the benefit of a subscription model, which you’d ideally want to turn on and off as and when you need it. Still, it does make the software far more affordable for many people, as opposed to paying the massive upfront cost of the bundled software.
For professionals who rely on Adobe software for their work, the subscription model allows you to view the software as an ongoing operational expense as opposed to a large capex requirement – and that will make sense for a lot of freelancers and small businesses. It also means that you always have the latest version of the software instead of having to pay for expensive upgrades from time to time.
Another option is to license individual software titles for $20 a month on a month-to-month basis, which will be a far better option for most professionals who don’t need the whole suite. Finally, someone who needs Photoshop for a short period of time can pay a nominal fee for its use and turn the monthly subscription on and off as required. Once you have chosen a package and signed up, the Adobe Creative Cloud experience is very slick. From the Adobe Application Manager app you
can download and update all the software you have access to and packages also include access to Creative Cloud storage, which is kind of like Dropbox, but designed specifically for creative professionals collaborating in teams or storing work online for other reasons.
Adobe also has a free package with 2GB of storage to use with the 30day, full-function trial of its software. Hot tip! This is where anyone should start, since you effectively get your first month with the software for free.
Adobe is doing things right with Creative Cloud and my first month with the service has been superb. For creative professionals this is a breath of fresh air.