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I recently began using Illustrator again and signed up for the regular monthly single app plan. I did this without paying much attention to the cumulative cost of the software. Looking at my last bill it occurred to me the astronomical cost for the software over time. If I remember correctly, Adobe used to suggest a roughly 3 year lifecycle for each version of flagship products. The last version of Illustrator retailed for ~599 USD I think. What's up with the %100 price increase for 3 years? Illustrator has certainly improved in a lot of ways since then but it's hardly a different product, especially looking at core functionality. The point of this post is simply to point out the price gouging that seems to be going on here so that others can commiserate and to ask for the millionth time: How can Adobe justify these costs?
a single app plan (other than the photography plan which includes ps and lr and $120 for the first year and then, i believe, $240 per year afterwards) is the most expensive way to purchase.
if you needed 5 or more adobe programs, the all apps plan ($53/mo for the first year and i don't know what afterwards) is more in line with previous pricing by adobe and the benefits then of no-extra cost upgrades and updates starts to overwhelm the cost vs purchase once licenses.
bottomline, nothing adobe ever was or is inexpensive. and they must be doing something right business-wise because this subscription model didn't hurt their gross or net revenue.
Are any of you actually paid by Adobe or are you just so wrapped up in their ecosystem my post felt like a personal attack? This post is already nearing LinkdIn levels of corporate shilling.
kglad: Excellent point. Adobe does try to forcefully upsell its customers. Surely you know, as an Adobe Community Professional, that there are plenty of folks out there, also professionals, who only need a single Adobe app for working with vector graphics, or raster, or layouts, etc (the rest of their graphical needs being met by one of the many free products that don't). Thank you for pointing out that Adobe is acting like the old cable companies in this respect and forcefully upselling its many customers with very specific use cases.
Let's be honest, MANY users of Adobe products use a certain core set of features and aren't particularly concerned with new advanced features shipping out regularly. That's why so many people still pirate Adobe software, many of the old versions still work just fine without any new features (although I haven't personally verified this).
Have you heard of rent-to-own? See the sound design marketplace Splice for an example. The companies establish a fair price for the use of their software and if you pay the monthly fee for long enough, eventually you own it. If you stop paying before that, you lose access and they keep your money. Not ideal but way better than the infinite milking model favored by Adobe and other technocratic companies these days. Lastly, your idea that because it hasn't hurt their bottom line means it's a fair way to treat their customers (many who are locked in due to lack of alternatives, company mandates, or because Adobe product workflows are still the best) does not even warrant a counterpoint. You should consider some soul searching after pulling that one out here.
the only thing i said that was sort of favorable to adobe was, "they must be doing something right business-wise because this subscription model hasn't hurt their bottom line."
how you inferred that to mean i said the subscription model is a fair way to treat customers is bizarre.
that sounds like you're just looking for an argument and have nothing to say.
i'll check the other messages and your response, but if you're just trolling because you have nothing better to do, i'll lock this thread.
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If I remember correctly, Adobe used to suggest a roughly 3 year lifecycle for each version of flagship products.
That might have been a valid assumption during the days of Creative Suites but not any more. One of Adobe's stated aims with the Creative Cloud was the rapid and frequent deployment of new and improved features.
In recent years, major upgrades for Creative Cloud products are released around the time of the Adobe MAX conference in Oct/Nov each year. Even the Cloud desktop app only offers one major previous version for installation i.e. 12-18 months old.
John, I don't know how long you've been using Adobe products but if you remember back in the Creative Cloud days and before then, most of the flaship programs didn't need 'new and improved features.' They worked well and could be maintained with bugfixes and small quality of life improvements which mostly happened in a reasonable amount of time.
I don't understand the point of your second paragraph but I'm sure the Adobe marketing team appreciates it.
if you remember back in the Creative Cloud days and before then, most of the flaship programs didn't need 'new and improved features.'
Yes, I vividly remember the days of Creative Suites and how the 'new and improved features' were crucial back then - for both Adobe and end users. Everyone waited with bated breath for the next release and the killer new features. Naturally, Adobe needed the sales spike.
I went to several huge and rowdy Adobe roadshows demo-ing the new versions where merchandise was thrown around the room to rounds of applause and the EFTPOS machines were waiting for us. New releases were a very intense time for Adobe, reviewers and end users.
Not any more.
I think I get your point though and will say that:
a) software development, not to mention software marketing, has completely changed with the advent of subscriptions. Cloud subscriptions are here to stay and, in my mind, comparisons to traditional shrink wrapped selling models are not really applicable.
b) I do think coding standards have slipped in the past decade or so. The clear priority now is to ship, ship, ship and fix the bugs later. Software is more buggy and unstable now IMHO.
I don't understand the point of your second paragraph
Merely to highlight that the lifecycle of these major versions is now around 12 months. Not the 3 years of perpetually licensed products. That could change the maths in your first post. You're getting a major new version every 12 months or so.
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The point of this post is simply to point out the price gouging that seems to be going on here ...
I don't agree. Compared to Autodesk and Maya which each cost USD $1,200/yr, Adobe products are a bargain. A Creative Cloud ALL Apps plan works out to about USD $1.25/mo for each app. Single App plans cost more because you're not getting the deeply discounted bundle rate.
If you want low cost alternatives, look at Inkscape (free) or Affinity Designer.
I'm not very familiar with the other products you mention but a counter point of "hey look at how the competition has also moved to a price gouging model (assuming those companies are using an infinite subscription model at that yearly cost) is not very persuasive. Nor is pointing out the cable-company-esque upselling tactic of "if you pay for additional features you don't actually need, it's waay cheaper, relatively speaking". Please see my response to kglad for more counterpoints and an alternative pricing model. Lastly, those free programs, along with GIMP, are amazing but in my limited experience they don't have the workflow or capabilities of Adobe products without considerably more effort spent. For my use case, for example, Illustrator + GIMP works great since I don't need Photoshop level of raster capabilities.
It's all moot since fellow product users here have no say in this whatsoever. For-profit, publicly held corporations must answer to stock-holders and investment partners. I suppose if the price wasn't lucrative, they would charge differently. But that hasn't been the case so far.
I understand your points and agree in part. However, unless I'm missing something, the monthly cost for Illustrator is $21.00. That's $252/year or $756 for three years. How do you come up with $1,200 USD?