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Jeremy Garchow
Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 2:35:37 am

American Multi-Cinema Theatres (owned by a Chinese conglomerate) to test subscription service with MoviePass.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/technology/article4512995.html

"Under the MoviePass business model, theaters are paid full price for every admission. To make money, the service depends on traditional subscription-service economics: More people pay than go.

Spikes said that, based on his company’s experience so far with members, 'Some overuse; a lot underuse.'”


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James Patterson
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:28:00 am

We've had this in the UK for over a decade with one of our biggest chains Cineworld, it's called the Unlimited card. It's £16.95 a month and it's not limited to just one per day you're free to watch as many films as you want. It's definitely true that some people sign up and never use it whilst others just live at the cinema. If you watch more than at least 2 films a month it's worth it.

Best

Paddy


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 2:40:09 pm

Interesting. I can't remember the last time I was in a movie theater.

sw

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Bill Davis
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:27:56 pm

Like CC Subscriptions or a gym membership it's a business model based on entropy.

You sign up, all excited to have full and free access to the product, but at some point, you find yourself distracted doing something else other than using those services - and you more or less stop consuming at the same level - but the vendor still gets paid at the same level regardless of what you consume.

For every gym membership where the person uses it every week for the entire year - there are thousands who pay the money, go for three months - and then stop.

Never underestimate the massive power of a business model that generates revenue in exchange for doing nothing.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:44:05 pm

[Bill Davis] "Never underestimate the massive power of a business model that generates revenue in exchange for doing nothing."

Innovation at it's finest!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:07:56 pm

[Bill Davis] "Like CC Subscriptions or a gym membership it's a business model based on entropy... Never underestimate the massive power of a business model that generates revenue in exchange for doing nothing."

Looking at the continuous improvement in Creative Cloud apps so far, I don't think it's fair to associate CC subscriptions with "doing nothing."

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:38:31 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Looking at the continuous improvement in Creative Cloud apps so far, I don't think it's fair to associate CC subscriptions with "doing nothing.""

I don't think anyone could accuse Adobe engineers of doing nothing. That would be, even by my standards, cray cray.

I just thought it was interesting to get an honest assessment of what subscription does for a company:

"Under the MoviePass business model, theaters are paid full price for every admission. To make money, the service depends on traditional subscription-service economics: More people pay than go."

and this was decided after looking around at what other subscription based companies are doing and seeing that it "wouldn't be smart to ignore" what's happening. Adobe CC seems to have a bit of a different model in that Adobe doesn't have to pay "movie theaters" every time a subscriber fires up an Adobe app in the way that MoviePass has to pay a theatre when a person goes to see a movie.

It's fine if you're getting the value out of a subscription, but if you need to subscribe to a service just to interact with others, and don't necessarily get the value out of it, it does feel a little like throwing out money. And then if you add up all the subscriptions, there is simply not enough time in the day to get the most out of everything. What this article seems to be suggesting, is that companies aren't competing for consumer's attention, they are competing for the highest amount of monthly subscribers, and on some level, the lowest amount of usage (attention), they actually don't want you to come back. It's a new day. Or am I not seeing the forest for the trees?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 6:04:18 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What this article seems to be suggesting, is that companies aren't competing for consumer's attention, they are competing for the highest amount of monthly subscribers, and on some level, the lowest amount of usage (attention), they actually don't want you to come back. It's a new day. Or am I not seeing the forest for the trees?"

No, I think you're right. But there is an important economic distinction we can draw.

Subscription access to limited resources (gym memberships, movie theater seats) is consumption arbitrage.

Subscription to effectively unlimited resources (software licensing, SaaS, online services, etc.) is fundamentally different.

The potential for overuse in the former case creates risk for the seller. There is no such thing as overuse in the latter case.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 6:40:14 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Subscription to effectively unlimited resources (software licensing, SaaS, online services, etc.) is fundamentally different.

The potential for overuse in the former case creates risk for the seller. There is no such thing as overuse in the latter case."


Absolutely, but while these are two different styles of subscription revenue, it's not about the overuse, it's about the underuse.

Moviepass makes money when a lot of people pay to go to the movies, but don't use it.

If we want to use Adobe as an example, they will make money when people who weren't updating their software as often as they hoped, now have to join in on subscription to be able to receive and use documents from other happy Adobe customers. Of course, Adobe would love to have more customers just like you. If Adobe's customer base were full of Soyka's the world would be a much happier environment, but unfortunately it's not the reality.

Don't get me wrong, I do think it is ultimately Adobe's goal to make a great product that people want to actually use, but my guess the profit is in the spillover, where there are a bunch of users that need the service, sort of. They are pretty low cost subscribers, and won't need the latest and greatest advances from Adobe, they just need to remain compatible with colleagues.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 6:58:18 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Moviepass makes money when a lot of people pay to go to the movies, but don't use it."

I agree that the quote in the original article is oddly transparent, though the idea isn't new. Whether it's a season pass to Disneyland, a subscription to Netflix or a cellphone contract, the concept that most customers won't use what they are paying for is the crux of the business model. For people that do use the service enough it's a great deal though.

A big difference for me between something like Adobe CC and MoviePass is that Adobe CC makes me money (a lot more money than my subscription price). MoviePass just costs me money. Yes, if I go to enough movies MoviePass will cost me less money than paying for a ticket each time but MoviePass still just costs me money.

A while ago I signed up for Videoblocks (I'm sure everyone has seen ads for their 7-day free trial) and every now and then I go through their site and just download a ton of stock images and AE templates that I think might be useful at some point in time. Why? Because I'm paying for a subscription and I'm going to get something for it even if I don't have an immediate need for what I'm downloading. I'm sure some people sign up and forget they have an account (and forget to turn off auto-renew) and for those people it's not a very good deal. For me though, I make sure I get my money's worth. haha


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 7:12:35 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "A big difference for me between something like Adobe CC and MoviePass is that Adobe CC makes me money (a lot more money than my subscription price). MoviePass just costs me money. Yes, if I go to enough movies MoviePass will cost me less money than paying for a ticket each time but MoviePass still just costs me money."

It is true, that hopefully, you can make your money back, or make it worth it, or whatever. I am not singling Adobe CC out, here. I think CC is a pretty decent value for now.

But it just goes to show that subscription favors the ultra users, and of course, the provider, and doesn't really benefit the user who needs it but doesn't use it all the time. However, if the casual user were to go away, the provider would have a lot harder of a time providing to the ultra user. At best, subscriptions have to be cheap enough that casual users forget about it, or nearly forget about it. It doesn't seem to be about producing, and especially innovating, good products. The odds favor the house and it's good to be reminded every once in a while before you go out gambling.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 7:32:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "But it just goes to show that subscription favors the ultra users, and of course, the provider, and doesn't really benefit the user who needs it but doesn't use it all the time."

It really depends on the type of subscription offered. For example, I'm working on a gig right now that's only a few months in duration and so the production company went with the month-to-month Avid subscription. Much better deal than buying a perpetual license or the annual subscription.


[Jeremy Garchow] ". It doesn't seem to be about producing, and especially innovating, good products. "

I've never agreed with this. Lack of competition leads to companies resting on their laurels, not business model. Adobe has to compete with Avid and Apple (and maybe even Blackmagic and Lightworks down the line) or they will lose editors to other NLE makers. Adobe has to find a way to keep me paying for CC just like Avid and Apple have to keep finding ways to convince me to pay for their products.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:13:39 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "It really depends on the type of subscription offered. For example, I'm working on a gig right now that's only a few months in duration and so the production company went with the month-to-month Avid subscription. Much better deal than buying a perpetual license or the annual subscription."

Sure, this is another area where subscription is nice, when you don't need a yearly contract and don't need the software all the time, and a month-to-month option is offered. It does allow a job to scale up or down accordingly. How often does that happen?

[Andrew Kimery] "I've never agreed with this. Lack of competition leads to companies resting on their laurels, not business model. Adobe has to compete with Avid and Apple (and maybe even Blackmagic and Lightworks down the line) or they will lose editors to other NLE makers. Adobe has to find a way to keep me paying for CC just like Avid and Apple have to keep finding ways to convince me to pay for their products."

Again, I am not trying to single out Adobe CC here. But since it somehow keeps coming up:

So far, Avid has adopted a similar business model to CC. Blackmagic (and Lightworks, really) has taken the hardware approach, much like Apple, those are different models. Yes, competition is good, but I think that all of these companies offer something very unique, and those things that make them unique are not competing with one another, at least not today. Adobe is a software giant, and they do much more than Pr and Ae. Their documents are sent all over the place, all day everyday, and if you are on the receiving end of those documents and need to modify them in a way to make them useful for YOUR work, then you are going to need to subscribe. This has nothing to do with competition, as a matter of fact, it has to do with having some of the market cornered and offering something that you have no choice to do, but subscribe. And I won't necessarily make money off of that transaction, but Adobe will.

Yes, in order to garner brand new subscribers, you, as Adobe (or whoever) will have to keep innovating, and if that doesn't work out, you can always rely on a price increase to get more money out of the existing subscriber base, and it requires exactly zero innovation, and has nothing to do with your competition.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:05:26 pm
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:25:33 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "How often does that happen?"

How often do people need to a rent car? It depends on the situation does it not? In my neck of the woods it's a daily occurrence (productions ramp up and down all the time) where as it may be a once in a blue moon experience for you.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Their documents are sent all over the place, all day everyday, and if you are on the receiving end of those documents and need to modify them in a way to make them useful for YOUR work, then you are going to need to subscribe. This has nothing to do with competition, as a matter of fact, it has to do with having some of the market cornered and offering something that you have no choice to do, but subscribe. And I won't necessarily make money off of that transaction, but Adobe will."

And in the past if you wanted to stay current you had to buy the latest version of CS. Having to 'stay current' is a result of Adobe cornering the market in certain areas, and that happened long before CC.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Yes, in order to garner brand new subscribers, you, as Adobe (or whoever) will have to keep innovating, and if that doesn't work out, you can always rely on a price increase to get more money out of the existing subscriber base, and it requires exactly zero innovation, and has nothing to do with your competition."

The exact thing can be said for any product and any company though. If people don't think Adobe is worth the price (and there is an alternative, even if it's not quite as good) then users will leave. If the price keeps going up for the same ho-hum product then ever more users will leave (and probably even faster). As long as a company has competition they have to compete. Business model isn't relevant.

Avid, with perpetual licenses, coasted during the mid-2000s and that cost them a lot as it gave FCP Legend a foot hold (and those switchers had a whole lot more money invested in Avid than CC subscribers will have invested in CC). If any company coasts, and they have competition, it will coast them business (regardless of business model).


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:49:49 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "How often do people need to a rent car? It depends on the situation does it not? In my neck of the woods it's a daily occurrence (productions ramp up and down all the time) where as it may be a once in a blue moon experience for you."

Of course it depends.

We don't hire facilities, we hire freelancers, and they usually bring their own gear. We also rent gear for the production side constantly.

I know what renting gear entails, how much it costs (with insurance) and the advantages therein. We scale up and down, too. It is more than once in a blue moon and our gigs, I'm sure, are even more temporary than yours. It's one thing to fire up a few more copies of Avid for a few months, and it's another thing to rent out a 3-day weeks worth of camera gear valued at $500,000.

[Andrew Kimery] "Having to 'stay current' is a result of Adobe cornering the market in certain areas, and that happened long before CC.
"


The difference being that people were slow to upgrade, even high output users. Subscription has monetized the ineffectual, which is my point of this thread, and what the article points out, very bluntly. Avid has structured it a bit differently. I think Adobe (as opposed to MoviePass) have very unique offerings, and it is hard to work with designers if you don't have Ps, Ai, or Id these days. This "forces" subscription on some folks that don't really need it. It is of no benefit to them, but yet directly benefits the provider with minimal requirements going back to those users. You are literally not getting what you pay for anymore if you are someone who needs an Adobe app once or twice a month. I just want to say this for the millionth time, I am not specifically pointing fingers at Adobe (they just keep coming up).

And of course the answer to this is "don't subscribe". I think someone from one of these video companies tweeted that once and later apologized. This seems like a new business practice, scaring people off. That was usually done with price, now it's the opposite. For now, it's too cheap to turn down, yet we really hope that you don't come back. If I operated in that manner, I would be out of business very quickly. I also don't have millions of subscribers. Pitty me.

[Andrew Kimery] " If people don't think Adobe is worth the price (and there is an alternative, even if it's not quite as good) then users will leave. If the price keeps going up for the same ho-hum product then ever more users will leave (and probably even faster). "

I don't know if it will work that way. I think we have learned in this forum over the years, that changing workflows is hard and takes a lot of time, which in turn costs money. It won't be as easy as just switching from CC to Avid (or Pixelmator, or Smoke, or X/Motion, or whatever, mid-stream. There is a lot of careful consideration that needs to happen, but you know all this.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:59:39 am
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on Dec 18, 2014 at 1:09:15 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "We scale up and down, too. It is more than once in a blue moon and our gigs, I'm sure, are even more temporary than yours. It's one thing to fire up a few more copies of Avid for a few months, and it's another thing to rent out a 3-day weeks worth of camera gear valued at $500,000."

Maybe I misunderstood your previous comment. Usually when someone says something like "but how often does that happen?" it implies that the thing being talked about rarely happens. In this case, how often would people go month to month on an NLE subscription? In my neck of the woods, pretty often. For people not in my neck of the woods? Probably less often. I like that it's an option though.


[Jeremy Garchow] "This "forces" subscription on some folks that don't really need it. It is of no benefit to them, but yet directly benefits the provider with minimal requirements going back to those users. You are literally not getting what you pay for anymore if you are someone who needs an Adobe app once or twice a month. I just want to say this for the millionth time, I am not specifically pointing fingers at Adobe (they just keep coming up). "

It forces them to get Adobe software, which in the past meant buying it ($2500 if you needed the whole shebang) and upgrading as fast as your most upgrade-happy collaborator. Now it means $600/yr (assuming no CS owner discount) for the whole shebang (assuming some combination of single app and/or month-to-month doesn't make it any cheaper that $600/yr). For someone that only occasionally needs Adobe software *and* interacts with others (which means they need to upgrade when others upgrade) the situation has never been ideal. I agree though that people that bought CS and then skipped 2-3 versions before upgrading are left out in the cold now.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know if it will work that way. I think we have learned in this forum over the years, that changing workflows is hard and takes a lot of time, which in turn costs money. It won't be as easy as just switching from CC to Avid (or Pixelmator, or Smoke, or X/Motion, or whatever, mid-stream. There is a lot of careful consideration that needs to happen, but you know all this."

Agreed, though FCP Legend hangs around, in large part, because people don't want to move away from FCP Legend. If Apple somehow started charging $600/yr to use it you'd see people drop Legend like a hot box of rocks. Companies (and individuals) with massive investments in Avid (money, training, hardware/software, etc.,) moved to FCP because they wanted to move, and these days the barriers to switching are much, much lower. If people are motivated to move away from a vendor they will find a way to move away from a vendor (assuming their is competition to move to).

Granted, this is all from my perspective as an editor and PPro certainly does not have the presence in the NLE world that it does in the GFX or photography/print world. For editing there are multiple, viable alternatives to PPro where as I know that's not true for all of Adobe's apps.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 3:29:25 am

[Andrew Kimery] "Maybe I misunderstood your previous comment. Usually when someone says something like "but how often does that happen?" it implies that the thing being talked about rarely happens. In this case, how often would people go month to month on an NLE subscription? In my neck of the woods, pretty often. For people not in my neck of the woods? Probably less often. I like that it's an option though."

Production rental is just different, I think. It's for shorter time periods (typically) than post. There's a vast range of price points depending on what you need or what the job requires. We tend to own most of our post gear. We used to rent decks, but that's pretty much gone. Another big difference is that we deal with rental houses. We don't call up Arri for the camera, Sachtler for the tripod and Matthews for the c-stands when we rent. I have rented post machines in the past, and typically the software was already on it. Maybe it's different today.

If true rental is what you need, then yes, subscription is convenient and beneficial for the user.

Using Adobe as the example (again), and as you point out, it is now $600/yr to use Adobe software. It was never $600/yr before. It was less expensive to be a loyal Adobe customer before subscription. It is more expensive to be a loyal Adobe customer today if you need anything more than Ps.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 8:21:45 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have rented post machines in the past, and typically the software was already on it. Maybe it's different today. "

I don't think it is, though being able to rent NLE software directly from the manufacturer is pretty new so maybe some things will start changing.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Using Adobe as the example (again), and as you point out, it is now $600/yr to use Adobe software. It was never $600/yr before. It was less expensive to be a loyal Adobe customer before subscription. It is more expensive to be a loyal Adobe customer today if you need anything more than Ps."

It cost $2500 for the whole shebang before (plus $525 per upgrade and, for the last couple of years if you skipped an upgrade you had to pay full price). Lower cost of entry certainly got me in the door. In the past I'd just use Adobe on work's computers because I could never justify the cost to own a copy for myself. Now that I have it though I've probably used PPro (for sure) and AE more in the past 16 months than I have in the past 10 years. It was a bit of a chicken/egg problem and getting into Adobe inexpensively (relatively speaking) go the ball rolling.

I actually let my CC subscription lapse recently because I didn't need it (no work I needed Adobe's tools for) but that only lasted a couple of weeks before AE work came along so back on the subscription train I went. I agree that for long term users it's going to eventually be more expensive which is why Adobe needs to keep adding others things to CC. Behance, the cloud storage, the fonts, are nice but those types of things need to keep coming down the pike. The Market Place seems cool (no cost, royalty free graphics, icons, etc.,) but needs to be more expansive. Buying Fotolia is another step in the right direction.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:05:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Absolutely, but while these are two different styles of subscription revenue, it's not about the overuse, it's about the underuse. Moviepass makes money when a lot of people pay to go to the movies, but don't use it."

Moviepass needs subscribers to underuse in order to make money.

Adobe CC doesn't. I can use Ae/Pr/Ps/Il every single day, and you can use Pr once every two weeks, but we will look the same on Adobe's bottom line.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:12:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Moviepass needs subscribers to underuse in order to make money.

Adobe CC doesn't. I can use Ae/Pr/Ps/Il every single day, and you can use Pr once every two weeks, but we will look the same on Adobe's bottom line."


I get it, I get it. Honestly. I didn't want to make this about Adobe CC, but I do think it does touch on the resistance to subscription, in general.


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David Lawrence
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:41:14 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I get it, I get it. Honestly. I didn't want to make this about Adobe CC, but I do think it does touch on the resistance to subscription, in general."

It's exactly why there's resistance to subscription. The only one who benefits from forced subscription is the vendor, not the users.

_______________________
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Dennis Radeke
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 3:41:13 pm

Well David, after a couple of years...we're just going to have to agree to disagree! ;-)

You're one of the few guys that still bangs on this drum quite a bit. I respect that opinion (I really do), but given the comments from some users even in this thread, I think your opinion flies in the face of some facts. Subscription is a mutual agreement. You are not compelled to subscribe, but we do our best to make the toolset incredibly valuable to you. If you do subscribe the onus of innovation for David is up to Adobe. If we fail to meet your criteria (whatever it is), then you have the option to walk away. Both parties win and only you have control over maintaining that agreement.

Frankly, at this point, I know the above won't convince you but I'll hold out some hope!

good luck,
Dennis - Adobe guy


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Chris Pettit
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 3:50:50 am

[Dennis Radeke] "You're one of the few guys that still bangs on this drum quite a bit."

Hi Dennis. I'm not sure that's the case. For every person who is "banging drums" (I'm a confessed drum banger) there are many more that are simply voting with their purchases. As an example: a couple of quotes from the recent CNET (albeit unscientific) survey (posted Dec 9):

"In the unscientific survey, to which 284 people responded, 95 percent of Creative Suite customers said they don't plan to move to the Creative Cloud, indicating that a sizeable population is still eager to take Adobe to task for its shifting business."
.....

Their major objections were as follows: 72 percent said it was too expensive; 56 percent said the current Creative Suite products were good enough; and 28 percent said they plan to switch to products from Adobe competitors.
.....

Adobe's financial fortunes hinge on converting CS customers to CC subscriptions; with no more CS upgrades, they're no longer paying. "Creative Cloud is around 3 million [customers], or 23 percent of Adobe's 12.8 million active base," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross MacMillan.

I and many more like me are no longer paying Adobe any money whatsoever. As a result, it seems like its more than just activism, its marketplace.

[Dennis Radeke] "Subscription is a mutual agreement. You are not compelled to subscribe"

Certainly true technically, but it really is more complicated than that, particularly for those of us who are smaller entities working for (and with) much larger ones. With proprietary formats being leveraged by Adobe, we are often forced to contend with format and compatibility issues that are key to our livelihood. As a result, many loyal Adobe customers don't consider Adobe's shift to mandatory subscriptions to be all that mutual. The option to simply stop using Adobe software if we don't like it is often simply untenable. That's why you have an enormous base of users willing to simply sit on CS6, refusing to migrate to subscriptions, until competitors (wishful thinking perhaps) establish alternatives.

This is simply much more complicated than banging drums.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified, once human bones audibly break
on Dec 23, 2014 at 12:14:46 am
Last Edited By Aindreas Gallagher on Dec 23, 2014 at 1:57:25 pm

[Dennis Radeke] " You are not compelled to subscribe,"

are you joking under god. you just all broke us under your knee. you used every leverage you had to break your previous customers into tenants. you literally constructed a scenario where you could hear each arm bone break.

those bones break. mine did. congratulations to you: a constructed olive oil for adobe software there.
your days must be filled with the sound of human arms breaking.

such grand royal days for adobe.

half point: i pushed that angry as far as you could - this is quite some cow barn.

-

*edit* - ok possibly overly florid language used there but well...

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified, once human bones audibly break
on Dec 23, 2014 at 3:28:14 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "those bones break. mine did. congratulations to you: a constructed olive oil for adobe software there.
your days must be filled with the sound of human arms breaking."


The don't call him Dennis "The Enforcer" Radeke for nothing.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified, once human bones audibly break
on Dec 24, 2014 at 10:32:42 am

[Andrew Kimery] "The don't call him Dennis "The Enforcer" Radeke for nothing."

And here I was hoping that I would be able to leave my former WWF career behind me! Drats, I've been discovered!

Merry Christmas to all,
Dennis - The enforcer ;-)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 3:43:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I get it, I get it. Honestly. I didn't want to make this about Adobe CC, but I do think it does touch on the resistance to subscription, in general."

You didn't make it about CC. Bill did. And I get why there is resistance to subscription. David, Bill, and others have made some well-reasoned arguments against software rental.

I just think it's important to point out that not all subscription services are based on the same business model of consumption arbitrage.

Moviepass and CC do not work on the same model at all, and I think that saying that Adobe is getting paid for doing nothing runs contrary to the evidence.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 9:40:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Moviepass and CC do not work on the same model at all, and I think that saying that Adobe is getting paid for doing nothing runs contrary to the evidence."

EXACTLY.

This is the worst simile in the history of this forum, and that's saying a lot. LOL The basis of a simile is that the things have to be similar, but in this case, they're exactly the opposite!

Moviepass/Transit pass/gym membership/Gift card

  • Vendor gets all the money up front
  • Vendor doesn't have to do anything to keep customer engaged
  • Customer has to take significant action over long periods of time to receive any value


Software PURCHASE fits here. Vendor gets the money. Vendor doesn't need to do anything after that. YOU have to hustle to get your money's worth. That may never actually happen.


Compare that to:


Single purchase of movie ticket, bus ride, sandwich, iTunes download, etc.
  • Customer pays for only what's needed, when needed
  • Customer otherwise keeps the money that the vendor would have had in scenario above
  • VENDOR now has to take actions over long periods of time to PROVIDE value, or the customer goes elsewhere


Monthly software access fits HERE. You pay a month at a time, for exactly what you want. The theoretical vendor, for the sake of argument, let's call them Abode, has to woo you if not monthly, no less than once a year.

Additionally, smaller transactions, whether monthly or annually, mean that at the end of every period, you're vastly more likely to have extracted the value you need from the transaction -- or you just don't spend the money the next time.

So, sure, if you have a philosophical objection, no literary devices will sway you. I'd say that we're wasting our time arguing about the aptness of literary devices at all, but arguing about the aptness of literary devices is all that separates us from the apes.

And if the financial model doesn't work for you, welp, it doesn't work. See above, re: literary devices.

But wow, heavens to Bowie, comparing Creative Cloud to a moviepass is stupendously inapt. Be a grown-up and take responsibility for stepping in before autopay kicks in. Keeping transactions smaller and more frequent puts ALL the power with you. Make Adobe keep earning your business.

Because that's my other issue with literary devices. Nobody loves making sh|t up more than I do, but the one thing I'm not hearing out there is, "You know what? I'm just not getting my $29/months's worth of value out of Adobe. They're sitting on my money and getting lazy. They clearly don't care about customer-responsive development."

There may be some alternate universe where Spock has a beard and Adobe ISN'T the benchmark for major vendor customer-responsive development, but it sure ain't this one.

So let's at least set aside that aspect of Simile Or Not: The Debate until there's a reason to debate whether Adobe is actually delivering. I've yet to see any meaningful debate on THAT.

The rest is all just literary wrasslin', which, again, I'm fine with. What with arguing about literary devices bein' all that separates from the apes and all.


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David Lawrence
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 10:35:02 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Keeping transactions smaller and more frequent puts ALL the power with you. Make Adobe keep earning your business."

Tim - similes aside and with all due respect to you and Dennis, I think you're both ignoring the elephant in the room.

If I have to pay the software vendor rent *forever* or lose the ability to open the proprietary project files containing my creative property, how does that give me, the user, ALL the power? What if I'm an artist with years of investment in creative work done with the tool? What if my work is completely non-commercial with no client to bill? How do I just walk away from years of investment in the ecosystem?

I'm not following the argument.

Let's take the software rental model to its logical extreme. Let's pretend that every application on your personal computer required monthly rent *forever* or it stops running. How many applications do you have on your machine? I have over 200. Even at a buck a month it's untenable. How about five bucks a month for the more specialized apps? See where it's going? Is this the kind of digital world you want to live in? Would the personal computer revolution have happened if it started with the rental model for software?

Yes, it's about choice. No one I know of is complaining about subscription-based software as an *option*. But when rental is forced on users without an fair exit path, then it's about something else entirely. There are many possible win-win scenarios that reward and encourage subscription loyalty while offering a fair exit. We've discussed them here at length.

You're right it's about power. But I must disagree that it's about giving ALL the power to the user. It's actually the exact opposite.

_______________________
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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 11:56:34 am

[David Lawrence] "If I have to pay the software vendor rent *forever* or lose the ability to open the proprietary project files containing my creative property, how does that give me, the user, ALL the power? What if I'm an artist with years of investment in creative work done with the tool? What if my work is completely non-commercial with no client to bill? How do I just walk away from years of investment in the ecosystem?"

Traditional media artists have consumables that they must pay for, even if they're non-commercial. How do they do it?

(I understand you will argue that software is not a consumable, and that it's more akin to a tool like a brush. I'm not sure there's really a good analogy here at all. Software doesn't get used up like paint, but brushes don't require strenuous on-going development like software for continued relevance in the market, either. I'm just pointing out that others have ongoing costs to manage.)

I still don't entirely understand why you are arguing for "open" access to your applications instead of true open access to your data. Folks were scared of Microsoft's format dominance in the 90s, and they were selling perpetually-licensed products. Now you're asking for that?


[David Lawrence] "Let's pretend that every application on your personal computer required monthly rent *forever* or it stops running. How many applications do you have on your machine? I have over 200. Even at a buck a month it's untenable. How about five bucks a month for the more specialized apps? See where it's going? Is this the kind of digital world you want to live in? Would the personal computer revolution have happened if it started with the rental model for software?"

With perpetual licensing, I don't buy apps I can't afford. With subscription, I wouldn't subscribe to apps I couldn't afford, but at least I'd gain the option of renting them for a limited time without the upfront cost.

Let's imagine a world were subscription software were the norm, and pretend that some vendor started offering a new perpetual license. From that frame of reference, paraphrasing your argument:

"Let's pretend that every application on your personal computer required a big initial payment or it never even runs once. How many applications do you have on your machine? I have over 200. Even at $50 each, or $10,000 upfront, it's untenable. How about $1000 for the more specialized apps? See where it's going?"

Also, people would be suspicious of the upfront fee as a cash grab, and of the perpetual license as a lack of commitment from the developer.

I don't know what the personal computer revolution would have looked like under a different sales model. Maybe the more even cash flow of a subscription model would have benefited independent developers and made for a more sustainable software industry.

Would that be worse than the devalued app-for-a-dollar (or free app-for-your-private-data) world we live in now?

As always, David, I respect your argument. I understand why you believe perpetual licensing is always better for the consumer. I believe that subscription can sometimes actually provide a better product, though. While it'd be nice to have both, I think that the hybrid "options" development/sales model within a single product necessarily reduces benefits to subscribers.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 7:34:02 pm

I understand both sides of the argument though I obviously see there being more upside than downside which is why I subscribe to CC (at least for now). I'm not worried about paying Adobe 'forever' because the odds are exceedingly slim that people will never move away from Adobe. Who were the major players in print, GFX arts, video post production, etc., in the '80s? The '90s? Today? Any bets are what the field will look like in 2030?

[Walter Soyka] "I still don't entirely understand why you are arguing for "open" access to your applications instead of true open access to your data. Folks were scared of Microsoft's format dominance in the 90s, and they were selling perpetually-licensed products. Now you're asking for that?"

This is something that I think gets lost in the hyperbole even though it's one of the most important things to think about. How do you keep your data 'fresh'? It's certainly not by buying into a particular ecosystem. I think we should take a cue from archivists. When it comes to physical media for archiving you want something that will last 50, 75, 100 years, but when it comes to digital archiving longevity isn't the goal. The goal with digital archiving is to refresh the data and the storage medium every 5-10 years so that it all stays compatible with current hardware and software. For example, what would I do with a stack of 5 1/4" floppy disks or a bunch Lotus Notes files today?

[David Lawrence] "What if I'm an artist with years of investment in creative work done with the tool? What if my work is completely non-commercial with no client to bill? How do I just walk away from years of investment in the ecosystem?"

Transition to an affordable, modern ecosystem that hopefully has an easy way to share project data between other applications (XML for example). What if the artist still used linear editing gear from 30 years ago and was bemoaning the death of analog video tape and how hard it is to get decks and SD CRT monitors serviced? Anyone using technology is going to have to prepared to adjust as changes happen.

I worry too about everything going subscription and it's not just because of Adobe. Fore example, Apple's App Store prohibits charging for upgrades. Since most businesses can't survive on a "sell it once, support it for free forever" business model we are seeing a rise of applications that either make money from ads (i.e. the user is the product, not the customer), make money from micro-transactions (the freemium model) or make money form subscriptions (usually a free app with limited function that becomes fully functioning if you subscribe).


[David Lawrence] "You're right it's about power. But I must disagree that it's about giving ALL the power to the user. It's actually the exact opposite.
"


It power doesn't solely reside in either camp. The power has shifted but I think it's a more lateral type shift. Depending on individual situations, some users feel more empowered by the shift and some users feel less empowered by the shift. I would still like to see an off ramp, more price tiers from Adobe (similar to the different CS packages), and more services included with the subscription price.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 7:20:52 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Dec 19, 2014 at 11:20:49 pm

I don't know if you are directly calling differing points of view on this forum inapt, sir, or insinuating we are not capable of making adult decisions? If so, that is pretty out of character and I'm not sure if I like the new Tim. It has been said that I wasn't comparing CC to MoviePass, and even pointed out the differences.

By the way, Creative Could is more than $29/mo. And if you're paying $29/mo today, you won't be paying that for much longer. Of course, if you have more than a few seats, you are paying more than $29/mo today. Eventually, you will be paying $600/yr per seat. Are you paying $600/year per seat, yet? This more than we have ever paid for Adobe products. I guess the argument could be made that we are getting more? I'm not so sure about that. I didn't need or but the Master Collection when it was available, and I don't need it now. The Production Bundle was just fine, and there is no equivalent CC tier.

Since we seem to not be able to get away from Adobe CC;

You, Walter, Andrew, and now Dennis, keep working on the short term. Besides Andrew's totally apt defense of software rental, this is not about the short term.
This is, what I would hope to be, a long term relationship. After all, these are careers we are talking about, not monthly open mics at the community center.

I always thought that telling customers to walk away was bad business. To tell me that one of my options is to walk away does not feel like we are sitting down to hash out a mutual agreement, it's telling me, politely, to f**k off. Sorry, I'm using adult words here.

Perhaps this is inapt. The deal seems to be, that I must accept the terms, all of them, or I get nothing except a quick buzz around the Creative Cloud tower before being dropped back down on the ground.

I have always said, this is not about the money. David Lawrence has said it too, and might I offer, much more capably than I.

This mutual agreement is pretty much about the power. Adobe work files are so prevalent in this business, that it feels like there isn't a choice. That seems to me to be a pretty decent example of power. I think it takes an adult to realize those implications.

Let's move to Avid, for example. There is residual value when signing up. It is a support contract, you get a little something out of it by keeping what you've worked on even after you've stopped paying. Those finished projects will remain fully editable and working as long as you can keep them around.

Our shared storage, on top of the hardware purchase, has a support contract. If the support contract lapses, we still can use our shared storage, we just can't update to the newest version, which sometimes means we can't update to the latest OS. I am not against subscription. It does keep a level of skin in the game for the provider, but being told to fuck off does not help the case.

If for whatever reason my shared storage provider told me to take a hike, I could find another one, and probably with a little reset, I could find another contract with another company. Since none of my work is tied up in the original provider, this process would be relatively painless, especially since my storage con tunes to work until I can find a replacement.

Since MoviePass and CC are different subscription models, I guess we can compare CC to a cable subscription. As soon as you stop paying, you lose the service. When I deliver projects to my clients, all of that really hard work, hopefully, goes on to make them money, or raise awareness, or help someone. That is how we keep getting work, because the services that we have provided and delivered have residual value, and the client enjoyed the process. Adobe CC's new model, which is new to the company, and nearly new to the industry, does not follow what I would consider to be a value proposition of client services. This is not spending money for my entertainment.

So, I don't know if this is a simile or not, but whatever. I originally linked to the article because I thought it laid out how subscriptions, mostly, benefit the provider, and if the company is successful, that benefit is long term. In the case of MoviePass, the company is trying to solve the problem of empty theaters, by hoping the theaters remain mostly empty of paying MoviePass subscribers. I have a choice to either take them up on the offer or not, but I can still go to the movies despite my decision.

In something like Adobe CC, there is no residual value. I'm told I can walk away, or choose something else. In the actual reality of production, if I need to keep putting food on the table, I don't have much of a choice as I have to use Adobe products. Adobe has smart people, they know what they are doing, and they know that most professional adults need to autopay perhaps more than what it is subjectively worth.

In the CC scenario, if I choose to walk way, I can't go to the movies anymore. Not going to the movies is no fun. I do not hate fun.

Adobe engineers are doing a great job. They have taken Pr to a full functioning and highly competitive NLE in a very short time, and keep improving the other mature applications in the suite. There's no doubt that Adobe engineers are hard at work, earning the subscriber keep. But look at the deal, look at the big picture, look at how I have to make a living, and unless your post gigs are temporary and you can let your subscription lapse to cut off service, then CC doesn't really mirror any sort of decisions that we have to make to run a business.

It would be great if I could force clients to autopay, but I can not. I also can't let the good ones walk away.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 8:00:18 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know if you are directly calling people on this forum inapt, sir, or insinuating we are not capable of making adult decisions? If so, that is pretty out of character"

Thanks for acknowledging that that would be out of character.

Note that my post was agreeing with Walter (not to say that he would he agree with anything I said),and specifically NOT disagreeing with you, for exactly the reason you point out, that you think the simile is in-APT, ie, not applicable.

This is completely different from, and not all related to, in-EPT, ie clumsy or incompetent.

That would be me.

I sincerely apologize for my overly casual language and overreaching tone. I agree that they were inappropriate, making me both inapt AND inept.

Apologies again.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 11:16:55 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I sincerely apologize for my overly casual language and overreaching tone. I agree that they were inappropriate, making me both inapt AND inept. "

Nope. No no. There is no apologizing necessary. I really enjoy your posts, a whole lot actually.

This forum is, what I think you have described before, a full contact forum. Speaking frankly helps others to understand the stakes. I just wanted to be sure I was understanding what you were saying, and I appreciate being able to say what I need to say and have colleagues who will attempt to understand, even if they don't agree. That environment is a bit of rarity these days and thanks for keeping it going.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 19, 2014 at 8:14:39 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You, Walter, Andrew, and now Dennis, keep working on the short term. Besides Andrew's totally apt defense of software rental, this is not about the short term. This is, what I would hope to be, a long term relationship. After all, these are careers we are talking about, not monthly open mics at the community center."

I'm actually most interested in subscription because I think that taken holistically, a subscription model offers some of my preferred software a better future over the long term than the perpetual license model did.

Discussing the economics of subscription is just touching on one aspect of a pretty complicated issue. It's not about the money for me, either.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:24:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I can use Ae/Pr/Ps/Il every single day, and you can use Pr once every two weeks, but we will look the same on Adobe's bottom line."

And also, who does this benefit in the long run? The user who uses the service once a month or Adobe (Avid, Autodesk, whoever)?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 3:32:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "And also, who does this benefit in the long run? The user who uses the service once a month or Adobe (Avid, Autodesk, whoever)?"

Both?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Mitch Ives
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:55:32 pm

[Bill Davis] "Never underestimate the massive power of a business model that generates revenue in exchange for doing nothing."

I think you're missing out on an opportunity for a great "sig line" here...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:33:01 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "Interesting. I can't remember the last time I was in a movie theater."

What seems weird to me, is that in plain text, we have what a subscription model is designed to do?

It is a calculation relying on most customers won't use what they pay for. Am I holding this right?

I don't like to sound preachy, and I promise I'm not a grumpy old man quite yet, but what in the actual f8ck?

When is someone going to offer the life subscription? For $xxxx.xx per month, you get the house, the spouse, the kids, the car, the computer, the software, the insurance, the music, the movies, the technology, everything but the decent education and a well paying job.

For $x*10,xxx.xx per moth, you can have all of this in a penthouse in Shanghai.

For $x*100,xxx.xx per month, you get the beach house in Malibu AND the 5 bedroom Chelsea flat.


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Glenn Grant
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:10:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "When is someone going to offer the life subscription? For $xxxx.xx per month, you get the house, the spouse, the kids, the car, the computer, the software, the insurance, the music, the movies, the technology, everything but the decent education and a well paying job."

They have something close to that. Instead of the spouse you get an ex-wife and it's called alimony and the ex gets it all.


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John Davidson
Re: Evidently, some of this is quantified.
on Dec 20, 2014 at 1:47:32 am

[Glenn Grant] "They have something close to that. Instead of the spouse you get an ex-wife and it's called alimony and the ex gets it all.
"


The worst part is you can't use the ex after you cancel.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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