Adobe Intros Subscription-Only Model with Creative Cloud

Adobe’s flagship Creative Suite has evolved into Adobe Creative Cloud, with new features and a switch to a subscription-only model. Instead of individual Adobe apps being available for a flat rate, users will pay a monthly subscription to access all the products. Last year, the company introduced its Creative Cloud subscription service, through which users could access one product each month for $29.99 or all the products within Creative Suite 6 for $49.99. More than 500,000 premium members signed up in the first nine months, on top of 2 million free members.

“While the Creative Cloud offering was originally introduced for individual users, in December, Creative Cloud for Teams became available and the interest has been positive,” reports Mashable. “For that reason — as well as the changing nature of its business and an overall market shift into software as a service (SaaS) models, Adobe is going all-in with its latest version of its software. This means that no future versions of the core products available in Adobe CC will be available through a perpetual license.”

“Adobe will continue to sell current versions of Adobe CS6 but those products will not get any future feature updates,” notes the article. “The products will get security patches and bug fixes, but no feature updates. Additionally, Adobe has committed to making sure that CS6 is compatible with the next major version of OS X and Windows.”

The move from perpetual licensing to a subscription model is significant for Adobe, and the company believes it is necessary.

“Our single highest priority has to be about blending tools and services and in order to do that, we have to make [Creative Cloud] our full focus,” said Adobe in a briefing.

“Services are a key component of Creative Cloud. In the last few years, Adobe has acquired a number of startups — including TypeKit, PhoneGap and Behance — as a way of adding more collaboration and Web service tools directly to its products,” explains Mashable. “The company has also built cloud storage offerings into Creative Cloud and the latest version includes a Dropbox-like system of adding and accessing projects shared with team members.”

Currently, Adobe offers individual Creative Cloud subscriptions for $49.99 — while those who upgrade from CS3 or higher will receive a first year discount rate of $29.99/month.

Other companies are transitioning from perpetual license to subscription-based services. “The SaaS model may have originated with Web-based software apps from the likes of Salesforce and Google but, increasingly, more and more perpetual software vendors are evaluating a model shift,” notes the article. “Microsoft is pushing its Office 365 subscription features on businesses and home users. Rather than paying for the software each generation, users pay by month or by year.”

As consumers become more accustomed to media subscription services offered by the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Hulu Plus, paying a monthly fee for software could become more common.