In July of 2013, Adobe made major changes to their business model. The switch from Adobe Creative Suite releases which carried a hefty price tag to the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service made it more affordable for artists to get their hands on powerful professional grade software. Another change that has meant great things for the digital media industry is the streamlined updates with the Creative Cloud. Whenever Adobe pushes bugfixes to the software, adds new features, or corrects old ones, subscribers get the update immediately. This was and continues to be a huge step for the TV & Film industry, because in an ever more advanced technological society we are seeing more ways to create content that stray from the norms.
With these new possibilities comes the necessity for new features, a fantastic example of this is Virtual Reality. As a student worker at Middlesex Community College, I had a chance to see first hand how Adobe Premiere Pro has progressed to include an entire VR editing environment. Seeing this opened my eyes to how necessary VR may become in the coming years to the narrative storytelling process. However, this is not the only change Adobe has made to their applications. With the new versions of the Apple Macbook Pro, there has been a major hardware change, the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar sits on the same plane as the keyboard, right below the monitor and allows the user to add their favorite Mac functions to it for easier access. Adobe has accommodated this new feature by adding a new arm to their Photoshop API (Application Program Interface) which allows the user to add their favorite Photoshop tools to the Touch Bar.
Now that we’ve talked about the impact of Adobe’s change in business model, let’s see how the price difference has impacted the consumer as well as the company. Adobe Creative Suite 6 is a good example to base this comparison on because the prices have generally stayed the same over the years. Adobe has released packages of applications tailored to different veins of the industry. One for Graphic Design, one for Web Design, another for Video Production, and the Master Collection which included all Adobe applications. The first costed $1,299, the next 2 were each $1,899, and the master collection was $2,599. Now, for anyone who knows anything about much professionals make in any digital media industry, you’ll know that very few people have a spare $1,299 dollars lying around. With the advent of monthly payments, Adobe swung open the doors to a whole new demographic of customers while maintaining their previous user base. Next, we’ll consider the price over time. Adobe Creative Suite releases were not on a fixed schedule, they varied from 2 years to 7 years. One way to look at it is that they released new versions as the industry required them. As a content creator, you’ll be paying anywhere from $20 a month to $50+ a month for CC. Over the course of 4 years, the consumer would be paying nearly the same total amount as they would be to buy a CS release of the product. This is why Adobe is able to do this, in 8 years they’ll have double the original price which allows them to continue doing business as usual. The final benefit is that the consumer gets all of the aforementioned perks mentioned in this post, while not screwing up their already delicate financial situation.