Quite honestly, this is hard for me to say- I've been using adobe since CS2, and, as of the last few years, I feel they haven't been respecting their subscibers, or at the very least, stagnating in a concerning way. I need to use photoshop, premiere, and after effects, and audition. These are big programs, and are very much worth the price- or, they were.
For the past three years, the price has increased by 50, then 100, then 200 dollars a year, and they still haven't provided updates they promised half a decade ago. I build my pc's as mid-tier VFX workstations, and I've had experience in most of these programs for a decade. I know how programs become obsolete, but this is a classic case of autodesk-style bloat, and a little trouble keeping up with software norms and changing standards, with just a bit of what seems to be an aversion to partial or total reworks of systems. --They gave after effects multithreaded capability in 2015, then took it back in 2017, saying they would code it better, but never got around to it. --They removed H264 support in after effects --links are now mostly for quickly opening files in another program- they just slow things down if used as intended- better just to use exported files as audition is instant like that and after effects needs as many resources as it can get. --after effects can no longer render 3D assets in any fast manner, or a final render in less than 45 minutes, for minute-long effects --premiere pro is so slow it's now almost unusable- loading video, playback is a slideshow- I have to render to see the result- it's like going back to celluloid film, and as a modern program, unusable. I shouldn't need proxies for 1080p video sped up (fewer frames to render) or five layers. --photoshop has up to a second of lag just for drawing a line with a paintbrush using a pen tablet. --the move to using encoder to export everything was hamhanded and forceful. not only does it delay worflows, many users will not benefit much from it, and the ones that will, like me, often just prefer no-GUI command line and batch files to increase speed instead.
I've lost three of my staple clients because of how much worse it's gotten. It takes all night to render projects simpler than ones that took half an hour in the 2015 version, while their producers are breathing down their neck wondering why they have to wait till tomorrow just to lighten a dark shot, and to top it all off, adobe billed me twice as much as last year. There go any profits I had for pandemic year beyond food and shelter, and all for updates that add nothing of value besides coralling people into a standard workflow and 30 gimmick features I never had an interest in. If I were a non-user shareholder I might be impressed.
Selling photoshop for $21 a month, then selling it bundled with lightroom for $10 solidifies my stance: they are losing money developing programs most creators avoid or could be a small module in a larger one, and instead of focusing more on more used products, it feels like they're just passing on the costs of sub-par status quo to people who want to use the more popular programs, and bundling them together to justify the continued support. you can only really get one program, two programs, or all of them, no in between- but most of the programs aren't too useful unless you have several. It seems like a deal on the surface, but most people quickly realize that, financially, it doesn't make sense- something is wrong there. At least I didn't get a monthly plan, where I would have to pay just for the right to stop paying. I'll gladly give consultant advice on user relations, but I'm no businessman, and shareholders are all they seem to care about now. There are like, three things they could do to totally reinvent themselves.
I was given a fee of $600 this year, and I noticed it was very high, almost twice as much as the previous year. So, I messaged them to ask if it was right, and they immediately reduced my next subscription price- I didn't even suggest it. While I appreciate it (and don't get on my case for being lucky, it was still more than last year), I also feel patronized. I was charged more every year until they noticed I wasn't willing to pay more, like a bully, wondering how much lunch money he can take till he gets told on, then telling me to the thankful he didn't take more.
I understand this is legal. I understand that I bought the product, signed the contracts, and that if I don't want it, I shouldn't buy it. But there's no stable alternative to them all at the moment... but there will be very soon at these rates. That's how markets work, and at the outset of suddenly being more than $500 a year, (more than I paid last year to both fix and fuel my car), I'm now paying as much per year, as I used to for all of the programs I needed for half a decade. I care for you adobe, but I'm beginning to fear it's just stockholm syndrome. Maybe I should pull the plug soon. I know I'll be sad, but I'm starting to think it might be for the best.
Rant over. yeah it's sappy and salty and dumb. but I had to make my feelings over the past years known or I wouldn't be able to properly let go. I've been an evangelist for adobe since I was a high school freshman and my favorite teacher snuck me an extra code just because he knew I'd love to learn it, and even if it's just a program, it's like a friend, too. It's always been there for me in my most formative years, longer than any of my real friends today, it's like seeing your childhood friend grow up to be uncaring and cold toward you. Maybe I was wearing rose-tinted shades, but seeing the state it's in feels like my insides are twisting up. Forgive me for having strong feelings about that.