The Truth About Adobe Creative Cloud

The Truth About Adobe Creative Cloud

I have read a lot lately about the debate on whether Adobe’s Creative Cloud Service is worth it or not. Some argue that they don’t want to have to pay a subscription fee, and there are debates about if it would hurt the company’s sales. I have been using the subscription service for a couple of months now, and I am going to give you the truth about Adobe Creative Cloud.


Adobe Creative Cloud is Good for Business

First off, from a business perspective, the Adobe Creative Cloud service where your apps are available for download online at all times is absolutely wonderful. No matter what machine I am on, as long as I can log into my Adobe account, I can access and download my Adobe CS6 programs at any time. This may definitely come in handy, especially if I had something terrible happen, such as a hard drive crash. I don’t have to keep up with discs, and I have 24/7 access to the programs I need.


Good for the Wallet

Financially, the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription just makes sense. If you do the math, it just makes the entire suite affordable. At the upgrade discount price, with tax I pay roughly $33 per month to have access to the entire Master Collection of programs from Adobe. I also get 20 GB of my own personal storage space for my files and I can host up to 5 websites with my account. To me, there is no downside. Even after the introductory discount price ends and I end up paying $50 per month for access to the Creative Suite, it is still less than I pay for high speed internet access per month. I have spent more on a nice dinner out with my wife than I do per month for a tool that I use for 8-10 hours per day. To me this is simply a reasonable business expense. It is much better than shelling out $2500 at a time for the master collection, and even $1000 for the upgrade price is still steep in comparison. Being a freelance designer, especially at slower times in the year, I don’t always have a spare $1000 lying around. The other aspect that makes sense is that for the subscription price per month, as long as I keep paying it, I will always have the latest software. If they decide to come out with CS7 in two years, all I have to do is simply download it.


Why is Adobe Creative Cloud Offered at Such a Low Price?

My guess is that Adobe offered their subscription service at this price to make it affordable to everyone. They were tired of software piracy, and they were losing millions of dollars per year due to people copying and ripping off their software. Most people can afford $50 per month. College students are less likely to say, ” I just can’t afford $1000, because I am on a ramen noodle budget.” I delivered pizzas in college, and made $50-$100 per night, so if I could stow away one night’s pay, I could pay for the subscription service. This leaves no excuses for not paying for the necessary programs. Financially, Adobe stands much better to make $50 per month from 1,000,000 subscribers than they do to make $1000 from 250,000 people once. (My numbers aren’t factual, but they help to illustrate my point). On one hand Adobe is making 50 million per month, and one the other hand, they only make 250 million over 2 years, until they come out with an upgrade.


Upgrades are More Manageable Financially

They also stand to make more money, because it is much easier on the designers and developers to upgrade. You simply download the newest version and keep paying your subscription fees. You are paying $50 per month anyway, so nothing has changed, you simply get the upgrade. This keeps people from skipping an upgrade. Why not? You are paying for it, but if it were $1000 to upgrade, you or your company may think twice about upgrading. Most people only upgraded Their Creative Suite once every 2-3 versions.



Overall the  Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription service is a no-brainer. You always have access to the latest Adobe programs from anywhere, and at any time. The subscription plan makes it affordable for businesses to acquire this essential design and development software, and Adobe makes more money in the long run. More revenue means that they can budget more money into research and development, so each upgrade in theory will be packed full of new features to make our work much easier, and make us more productive. Have you subscribed to the Adobe Creative Cloud service yet? How do you feel about it? Have you run into any problems? Tell your story in the comments below.

  • Ravitej

    Don’t forget about it’s download only. That takes Sony patients for disks out of the cost, takes disk creating and packaging out of the equation. The only thing left is product development and online distribution. That makes the per unit profit higher with a lower price. Give easy access and everyone is going to want it. I jumped the very first email from Adobe. No hesitation. Plus got the extra deal for a registered owner. And not fretting over when to upgrade. And Lightroom 4 just came online for download for participants. If it all went away in a year, still worth it. But don’t think it will. This is the future. Even better then working in the cloud. Best of both worlds. Separate to keep client files safe and cloud download to make it easy, easy. And yes, many commercial studios and agencies commonly copied and hacked the codes. This resets it again. Start over with guilt-free software. Nice.

  • Mary Charlotte Ferris

    I have said that once they did this with Adobe CS, and I could use it with my older computer, I would be on board. However, how old is TOO old? What are the minimum specs for the hardware on my end?

    Your article was straightforward and easy to comprehend. Thank you.

  • Maurice Murphy

    Good analysis, i was looking for this user’s point of view.

  • Louann Wilcock

    I, too, can’t see a downside. I’ve had it for 2 months now and I love it! Access to everything Adobe…for about the price of Photoshop? Downloads were easy and now I know I will have the latest. You can’t lose, unless you stay on that old computer. ;-)

  • Phil Price

    I’ve also used it for two months, and it’s OK, but you don’t have access to everything Adobe. ConnectNow & Captivate for example are not available. You can’t play video you upload in the storage space. The five sites are minimal functionality. It’s really more about having access to the Master Collection of tools, which I like. The other things seem like just throw ins.

  • Alex Myrhorodsky

    Interesting, and mostly accurate, but with one major assumption- you have a relatively high speed internet access all the time. If that is a given then fine. For my stuff- — many files are 2-3 gig in size and slow internet.. I really think that the internet should not have control over me. I take my laptop in the field- no internet and sometimes just a small generator for electricity, and create and finish prints for clients and make them very happy. I kind of like the control I have.

    • jgeorge

      Alex, to clarify, you actually download the apps to your desktop natively. They work after you download them, whether you have internet or not. You don’t need internet all the time. Have all the files you want, because everything is still on your computer like it always has been.

  • David Salahi

    I pretty much agree although I have to say the current implementation of the Creative Cloud still feels rough around the edges. I’m not talking about the desktop apps. Those are the same fine apps as always (upgraded to CS6, now!). My main complaints are about the awkward web-based UI for accessing Cloud storage, the failure to integrate Cloud access directly into any of the apps (e.g., being able to open/save directly from Photoshop to the Cloud), and the limited integration with Photoshop Touch. For more on this subject see this video on my blog:

  • PixelJedi

    As someone that attends Adobe Max, I received a free year for the subscription. But even if I hadn’t received it for free, I would have definitely paid for it. I don’t see any downsides.

  • Chris McKenna (@HotPotBrew)

    The only bump I’ve had in the road is the touch Apps. Debut has no saving function, and thanks to apple’s harsh store policy you still have to buy the apps (but they do deliver you a free month of subscription if you buy them all).
    I’m sure they’ll sort it out over the next 6 months though.

    Otherwise, access to the whole suite and the online storage integration is brilliant.

  • Ricardo Medina

    I would agree. This has been debated before but it’s a win-win situation for both Adobe and it’s users.

    • Cowicide

      No, it’s win-lose. The customer loses.

      This won’t stop piracy, instead it will hurt the paying customers. The irony will be that the pirated versions of Creative Cloud will be safer to use than the legit version because the pirated versions won’t have a gaping hole in your computer to contact Adobe’s servers or even hacker’s servers who exploit the hole.

      It’s only a matter of time until Creative Cloud’s subscription is hacked and Adobe customers are locked out of their own apps on their own computers. Then again, I guess Adobe thinks it owns it’s customer’s computers too nowadays, huh?

      How long before Adobe’s customers have to pay a license fee just to have access to their own files they create?

      This is a nightmare for consumers who want to own and control what they have on their own computers. When Creative Cloud comes tumbling down with hacks, I’ll be here to say I TOLD YOU SO.

      • Guest

        Sounds like one of the many who just use pirated copies.

        • amieb05

          I paid for my fucking copy of CS4 and I still hate CC. What the hell are you talking about?

    • Mike Baldwin

      For it’s paying users. As you can see by the backlash, the pirates don’t much care for this.

  • Michael Long

    Why tax on an online service/download?

  • Pat Roy

    Wow, your head is so far up Adobe it’s not even funny. I was hoping that I would be able to finally afford the suite but fifty a month is a car payment for me. If it weren’t for hackers, there would be no next generation of suite users. Autodesk makes it just hard enough to make it look like they don’t want hackers but easy enough to get the next generation trained up on their products so they’ll bring it to the corporate environment.

  • Cowicide

    This is a public relations piece, right?

    It’s going to be fun once Adobe’s Creative Cloud is hacked and people can’t get access to their apps and files. Or how long before the subscription service protocol is hacked and hackers can disable your Creative Cloud apps remotely?

    This is why this is a horrible idea for consumers, but great for Adobe to price gouge its customers down the road.

    Adobe is just another corporation that doesn’t want Americans to own the products they buy.

    This won’t stop piracy, instead it will hurt the paying customers. The irony will be that the pirated versions of Creative Cloud will be safer to use than the legit version because the pirated version won’t have a gaping hole in your computer to contact Adobe’s servers or even hacker’s servers who exploit the hole.

    Adobe thinks it can steamroll this insanity on its customers. But it’s already backfiring and most customers don’t want this security threat on their computers in the name of broken DRM for Adobe.

    Adobe, we know that Creative Suite doesn’t benefit your customers. We see through your blatant LIE.

  • Gecko

    Must say I pretty much hate the concept… If at least Adobe would align it’s international prices on it’s USA prices but at over 60 euros per month, I’m pretty sure many people will end up pirating their software. I’ve paid for licences and upgrades for years and this shift pisses me off… The worst I can think of is not being able to open my work and files as soon as I don’t pay their subscription anymore… At least with the traditional way of doing things I could be sure I’d always be able to open my files. With creative cloud I could end up not being able to open files that I created and spent a lot of time working on…

    For the first time in ages I’m really looking at and considering alternatives to Adobe software.

    • dawesi

      just create a USA adobe account with a us address, and pay with any credit card ;-) simple us pricing!

  • Jerry Avery

    Hope you like that Kool-Aid you just drank . . .

  • John

    What a load of corporate rant! How Much have you been paid to say that mate! Adobe creative cloud is the end of the road for Adobe. They have just alienated the people who empowered them in the first place. The worst business move of their career! I hate creative cloud concept. Essentially rape the users, rape their ideas, rape their independence. Pathetic. Adobe such a shame, sort it out really is this a joke?

  • Matthew Williams

    Im just going to say one thing. DOLBY. You pay that money for “everything”. No you dont. You have to PAY $300 a year to license the Dolby encoder… and without it (it only active for 30 days in your trial) you cant even play the soundtracks on the video files you import from your AVCHD cameras. Adobe you penny pinching XXXtards… Theres no way im paying for it, so im going to hack that. This makes CC Prem Pro V7 worse in this way than CS5 or CS6! CC gives you LESS.

    • James George

      Mathew, I can see your point with the Dolby encoder. I would be frustrated at that, too. I guess it just boils down to what works for you. I like the fact that I only pay $32 per month. Its just more affordable for me, and less of an impact for me to rent the software each month.

      Honestly, I consider it a service, just like web hosting. I like Adobe’s tools because they make my life easier and easier. I have to pay for web hosting yearly, which breaks down to $5-$10 per month, and i will never own the server that I pay to use, but I need it in order to operate. I don’t have to have Hootsuite or OnlyWire either, but they make my life so much easier, that it is worth it to me. If it’s not worth it to you, then stick with what works for you.

  • W500

    RIP Adobe, this was the last nail.

  • Sara Hiasat

    It is a cool read indeed but I’m afraid I have to agree with the majorities here and say that Adobe is becoming way too expensive.

    I would recommend using Zoolz’s unlimited plan instead and I am ready to accept the many thanks of all you guys in any way you see fit, haha :P Christmas is just around the corner, #JustSaying ;P

    Oh and here is the link:


  • Bob Davey

    Would you still say it’s a no brainer if you had to pay $78 pm which is the price adobe are screwing the UK for & more in other country’s. It is going to cost me roughly 100% more to go with the cloud & I DONT WANT OR NEED the entire suite

  • Mike Baldwin

    The comments on here are so funny. Such anger!

    I love the Creative Cloud apps, and don’t even use the “cloud.” I think a lot of people are confused by the term “cloud.” You download the apps still, just as before. You just don’t get a hard copy, and they just suspend your use if you don’t pay. I actually never had a hard copy for CS4.

    So many people are saying they are trying to control our ownership of their product. EXACTLY. They’re tired of people using it for free. If you don’t like this, blame all the people who pirated Adobe software over the years. It’s funny that this sentiment comes from creatives, as our stuff is copied and stolen the most and NONE of us like it.

    As far as the cost, if you’re a professional in a creative field and need adobe products and can’t afford $50 a month, then you should probably get a new career. (Not to mention, it can be a tax write off if you know what you’re doing.)

    My favorite aspect of it is that I have learned how to use After Effects and Premiere Pro as well as the audio software and next up I will be learning Adobe Edge. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do any of that without the new subscription based service.

    Bread would be expensive to you if you were used to stealing it.

    P.S. I can assure you I don’t make a penny from Adobe for saying any of this.

  • iowashorts

    I’ve enjoyed my subscription up until now, 18 months later. BEWARE, if something goes wrong with your credit card, like having a new one issued, Adobe cuts you off without much warning. My payment was supposed to be debited on December 1st. I didn’t realize I had to update my cc info until I received an email on December 22nd! With the holidays, it took me a few days to get to this. When I went to the site, it would not let me update my credit card info – site just wouldn’t work. I finally contacted support and they couldn’t do anything for me and told me I needed to call into the weekday support. I called them and they said that they had to bump up this issue and that my subscription would continue to work. While waiting, now my subs don’t work and I can’t use my apps, can’t download trial, can’t call because now it’s the weekend. Woe to you if something goes wrong with your payment info.

    • SillyLib

      Good point. I’ll learn from your mistake (I’m sure I’ve made plenty you can learn from, too). 8c)

  • Dewbert

    You do realize that if your hard drive crashes, you will have to re-download the software. Not much different than owning a disc, except you don’t have to open your disc drive. I had to have Windows reinstalled and had to re-download Norton Anti-Virus. It turned out to be a nightmare because they upgraded their version, so my password no longer met there new stricter criteria. I was on with tech support for 5 hours to try to convince them that was the reason. Instead they told me I didn’t know my own password. Then they said I don’t have an account with that email address. Turned out I was correct. Coincidentally, Norton had errors out of the blue today. It required a re-install. Same thing. Five hours later, it seems to be working. If I had a disc, there would have been absolutely no problem.

    You are high if you think it is better on the wallet. It depends on the user’s needs. I didn’t upgrade the 1st version of CS until CS6. You don’t think I would save money by waiting 6 versions to upgrade? Plus, I was laid off in June. My unemployment payments ran out. I can’t afford $50 per month on my $0.00 salary. I couldn’t afford it on the maximum unemployment payments I was getting, which was only $900 per month. My mortgage alone is more than that.

    You are just another Adobe shill.

  • SillyLib

    I think most people who hate CC are the ones who pirate the software. Sure $50/mo vs. $3500 is less expensive, but not to the guy who pirates it.

    I disagree with the “Upgrades are More Manageable Financially” section. Sure, upgrades come out often enough because Adobe MUST keep upgrading their product to maintain income, but when we’re all on the per-month-leash, I don’t trust that the NEED of Adobe to keep updating and upgrading their product will remain. They can do 10 years with CS7 before upgrading and still make their $50×1,000,000 a month. (Rather than $250m in 10 years). We have too much faith that certain factors will remain consistent.

    • amieb05

      Another silly evangelist. I paid for my fucking copy of CS4 and I still hate CC. What the hell are you talking about?

      • esolesek

        agreed. Adobe is my enemy at this point.

  • amieb05

    You silly silly Adobe evangelist. Adobe is ripping people off with $50/mo. locked-in subscription model! You lose your job, all you have is freelancing, but even that isn’t enough to cover your f’ing rent! I’m sorry, but if I’m making some money off of freelancing the first thing in my mind is putting bread on the table, second: keeping up with payments on some expensive subscription shit. Can’t even access your files if you fail to pay. If you think $50 is cheap, then you must enjoy wiping with Benjamins, unless of course, you own a stable freelancing business that provides well and you can fill your mouth with saying that I can afford my sub. For the rest of us, we think in terms of yearly cost for a software most of us don’t upgrade that frequently. CC was modeled with businesses in mind, not the struggling freelancer. Adobe can shove it.

  • esolesek

    WHat a load of tripe. Go away. ADobe products already sucked on many levels, and anyone who uses them at any complex level already knew that. Now they suck AND their products are inaccessible. Believe me, I’m looking elsewhere and finding alternatives.