Creative Cloud tops 1 million: what do you think of it?

Adobe has announced its 1 millionth Creative Cloud subscriber in the year since launch. Are you signed up?

Adobe has announced its 1 millionth Creative Cloud subscriber in the year since launch. Are you signed up?

Goodby Silverstein’s I Am The New Creative spot for Adobe


In May, Adobe announced that it was ending so-called ‘perpetual licence’ sales of its Creative Suite software in favour of the Creative Cloud subscription model. CS6 would be the last version of its creative programmes to be available for purchase outright, with all new releases distributed via the Creative Cloud to subscribers only.

The news provoked an enormous outcry in the creative community. Four months on, in its Q3 results, Adobe has released figures which appear to show a significant uptake of its offer. Creative Cloud now has over a million subscribers and Adobe is claiming to be adding over 20,000 subscribers per week currently, compared to 8,000 per week last summer.

But just how impressive is that figure? It is almost impossible to know how many Creative Suite users there are worldwide. In 2010, on its 20th anniversary, Adobe claimed that Photoshop alone had 10 million users. (Presumably, many more use pirated copies). In that context, 1 million CC subscribers is impressive, although we don’t know how many of those are taking up the full version, how many are on special offers or education users etc. Nevertheless, opposition has been vehement – both through Adobe’s own forums and via community efforts such as this anti-CC Facebook page.

Initial criticism of the switch to CC-only appeared to centre around chiefly financial and technical issues. On the financial side, many users complained that the CC model would cost them more and would price sole traders out of the market. Not everyone upgrades to every new version, they argued, so the comparisons which had subscriptions matching up favourably with the cost of buying new software every 18 months were not relevant in many cases. Others feared that, once it had users signed up, Adobe would be free to ratchet up prices, tying subscribers into paying ever higher costs, the lack of alternative programmes creating a virtual monopoly.

On the technical side, there were concerns that creators would be unable to access their files if they were no longer a CC subscriber (Adobe recommended saving down to earlier versions owned by the user), concerns over having to sign-in to validate subscriptions if internet access was interrupted and worries over service interruptions which might make accessing vital files impossible (some of the concerns are addressed here and by Adobe here).

So we’d like to know how readers feel now about Creative Cloud. Have you signed up? If so, how do you find it? What problems have you had? What advantage does this system have over CS?

What do people feel now about the subscription model? Have Adobe made a massive mistake here or will we all get used to paying monthly for software just as we do for broadband or Netflix? Are you exploring alternatives such as Corel (BTW, there’s still a lot of love for Freehand, Illustrator users…)?

Let us know in the comments below


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