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The cost of the Adobe Creative Suite subscription

simon gray - 2021-06-05, 07:48:05

From time to time I get adverts from Adobe pop-up in my Facebook advertising feed; friends of mine on Facebook will know that it’s one of my leisure activities to snark in the comments on Facebook adverts but I’ve usually ignored the Adobe adverts. The last couple of days though I’ve clicked in just to see what other people have been commenting; the lion’s share of comments have either been the usual luddites on the Photoshop-themed adverts banging on about how it’s cheating and real photographers make their pictures using the daguerreotype process or something, or mostly from people complaining about Adobe’s subscription model and pining for the good old days of being able to buy the applications outright.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Complete CS6 standalone — £2,223.

Complete CS2021 — £40/month (you mean you didn’t subscribe during one of the frequent special offer periods?).

Length of time you subscribe for to match the last standalone price — 4.6 years.

OK, so it’s fair to say most individual users won’t actually use all the applications in the suite, so let’s take a typical individual user — let’s take myself and the Adobe applications i routinely use:

Photoshop Extended — £794
Premiere Pro — £675
Audition — £278

Total — £1,747

Number of year subscription cost to match the old standalone costs — 3.6.

But wait! Recently I’ve started doing animations, so let’s add the additional tools that are optimised for that:

Illustrator — £476
After Effects — £834

And many years ago I used to work for a magazine as the web content editor, where the workflow was they’d send me the weekly InDesign file and I’d copy and paste the articles from that into the website content management system:

InDesign — £556

And as a side hustle I’d also myself edit organisational printed newsletters, and I even typeset a couple of books to send to a printer:

Acrobat Professional — £444

My rundown of my own personal use of the Adobe Creative Suite wouldn’t be complete without mention of the fact that at the beginning of my career as a web developer, when websites were mostly static websites rather than script-generated database driven sites, the professional tool of choice to create them was a certain product originally developed by Macromedia:

Dreamweaver — £301

My conclusion — 95%[*] of the people complaining about the Adobe subscription model vs the good old days when you could buy the product outright (and get a cracked version of the product outright from Kickass Torrents…) never really made use of the Adobe Creative Suite in the first place.

[*] Number pulled out of thin air for rhetorical purposes.

Source for historic CS6 pricing — https://prodesigntools.com/products/adobe-cs6-pricing-list.html

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