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What about an Adobe App Store?

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Greg Andonian
What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 1:52:37 am

Adobe has said that they are discontinuing perpetual licenses so they can put their focus squarely on their vision for the cloud. The cloud services they are offering sound really great, but do the apps themselves really need to be lumped in with them?

Adobe has said that the big advantage to getting apps through the cloud is that they can receive updates and get major upgrades more frequently. That sounds great, but the "app subscription" model isn't the only way to achieve this. Apple does the same thing with Apps that are sold in their App store- which is why FCPX has progressed as far as it has despite the fact that there hasn't been a "version 2" upgrade yet- or in this case, a 10.1 version of FCPX.

So we don't have to subscribe to apps to get frequent updates and upgrades- which leads me to wonder if there's a solution to this boondoggle that would give us the best of both worlds.

Adobe has said that they would rather just focus on the cloud so they don't have to maintain two different versions of their apps. But since an App store model would offer the same frequent upgrade benefits of subscribing, why not continue to sell perpetual licenses- but only as an electronic download? Then they could release the same upgrades for both the downloads and the cloud subscriptions, at the same time.

The differentiating factor between the downloads and subscriptions would then be the added-on services like the cloud storage and Behance- so there WOULD be a difference between them, but not nearly as drastic as there was with CS6.

They could design the downloads so that any "cloud" features and services aren't there but could be accessed by activating a subscription that comes with the purchase. Maybe have it so that any "suite" of apps you download comes with the option to subscribe to the services plus either some or all of the apps that are not in your collection. For the Master collection there could be a subscription that can be activated with it that doesn't allow you to access any apps in your collection (since you already have them all).

Along with this they could offer the main subscription plans, for people who just want to subscribe without paying big bucks up front.

They could also give people the option of purchasing a download of any apps that they are currently just subscribing to, if they want to have them permanently.

To me, this seems like a win-win for everyone. Adobe can focus full strength on its vision for the cloud (which does seem impressive), and the fears and uncertainties over price gouging or Adobe pulling the safety net out from under us will be mitigated.

I, for one, would really like to see something like this. If the downloadable apps still have the "CC" designation it won't matter to me- as long as there's an option to keep them.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Craig Seeman
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 2:29:00 pm

My guess is people are missing the reason why Adobe has chosen the subscription business model. WIth a subscription, all upgrades are paid for whether or not you actually install the upgrade. Given users the option to not pay for an upgrade (to purchase a perpetual license app) defeats that business model.

Fundamentally if you can buy a "permanent" app you can chose to not buy (or subscribe) to get upgrades. That doesn't make financial sense for Adobe.

Apple's business model is entirely different. Apple sells hardware. Apple can sell you an app as a perpetual license and later provide a "free" upgrade that may demand greater hardware resources so you buy a newer Mac.



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Mark Dobson
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 2:50:44 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple's business model is entirely different. Apple sells hardware. Apple can sell you an app as a perpetual license and later provide a "free" upgrade that may demand greater hardware resources so you buy a newer Mac."

Yup - worked with me. (FCPX)

[Craig Seeman] "Fundamentally if you can buy a "permanent" app you can chose to not buy (or subscribe) to get upgrades. That doesn't make financial sense for Adobe."

We should copy this business model for our clients, charge them all a fixed auto renewing fee, in return for a fixed number of films a year. That would take the angst out of running a business.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 3:21:23 pm

Mark -

That's taking a page out of what the big ad agencies do with retainer fees. And that's why you find the big clients jumping agencies every couple of years. Keep 'em paying for as long as you can, but the client is never really happy with you.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Mark Dobson
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 4:49:11 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "That's taking a page out of what the big ad agencies do with retainer fees. And that's why you find the big clients jumping agencies every couple of years. Keep 'em paying for as long as you can, but the client is never really happy with you."

Strangely enough nearly all our work comes from one client. But the thought that they might keep us on a retainer has never been raised. Should the quality of our work go down I'm sure they would look elsewhere and that keeps us on our toes.


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Michael Hendrix
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 12, 2013 at 12:57:44 am

Others in this business do this as well. Music companies, talent agencies, stock photo sites, some photographers will do it with photos.



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Greg Andonian
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 10:15:38 pm

[Craig Seeman] Apple's business model is entirely different. Apple sells hardware. Apple can sell you an app as a perpetual license and later provide a "free" upgrade that may demand greater hardware resources so you buy a newer Mac.

Yes, but Adobe could do something like this too. They could offer a free upgrade with a great feature that requires a subscription to the cloud services to be used to its full potential, and that would give the perpetual license segment incentive to subscribe.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Craig Seeman
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 13, 2013 at 1:23:26 pm

[Greg Andonian] "and that would give the perpetual license segment incentive to subscribe."

I think they're looking for something more than an incentive like that. Do or die. Subscribe or you don't get the apps.



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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 3:20:06 pm

[Greg Andonian] "Adobe has said that the big advantage to getting apps through the cloud is that they can receive updates and get major upgrades more frequently."

This has been the case even prior to CC!!! Have you never updated via an app's built-in updater?

This entire role out of CC has been a farce and I put it to a lack of being honest with customers. All Adobe had to say is this -
1) cloud and subscription makes more money
2) more money means more R & D, more development and better products
3) there will be issues, numerous issues BUT these will be ironed out with a focus on customer satisfaction

That's it! They've done nothing but utter crap and refuse to answer perfectly appropriate and serious questions.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE


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David Lawrence
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 9:32:09 pm

Greg, here's what I posted in another thread in response to Walter S.:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/53722

[David Lawrence] "From a development standpoint, there's no need to split efforts between perpetual and rental. It's absolutely trivial to implement and the foundation already exists. Here's just one way it could work:

Right now when you sign up for Creative Cloud, you have two options:

1) 30-day trial
2) Activate membership

All Adobe needs to do is add a third option:

3) Full license (or whatever the marketing people want to call it)

In all cases, you enter your credit card number. If you choose option 1) you get to try the software for 30 days, then after 30 days you return to the activation dialog and can choose from options 2 and 3.

If you choose option 3, you're presented with a dialogue that allows you to enter a serial number from a previous version of CS. Your price for the upgrade depends on the serial number. You then have perpetual use of the software in its current state. You account is flagged so that you do not get any feature upgrades as they roll out. A year later, you again return to the activation dialog and can choose from options 2 and 3. If you choose 3 you pay the upgrade cost and catch up.

At anytime, you're free to sign up for Creative Cloud membership from your perpetual license if a compelling feature is rolled out and you want it now.

In each of these three cases, development is exactly the same. In each of these three cases, download is exactly the same. The only difference is a single one-bit flag on the users account that determines whether they get feature updates during the year.

It's absolutely trivial to implement.

Honestly, this is exactly how I thought they would roll this out from everything we heard during the year. I'm blown away by how they could get something so simple so wrong."


Craig is right. The only thing driving this decision is the business model. Unfortunately, this business model is not a good fit for many of their current customers.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Walter Soyka
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 10:27:09 pm

[David Lawrence] "Greg, here's what I posted in another thread in response to Walter S..."

For a little context, here's my stance, as succinctly as I can put it.

If Creative Cloud is just a new way to pay for Creative Suite, it's a disappointment. If Creative Cloud becomes more focused on connectivity [link], I think "membership" will be prove more valuable than "ownership."

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Greg Andonian
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 11, 2013 at 11:25:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] If Creative Cloud is just a new way to pay for Creative Suite, it's a disappointment. If Creative Cloud becomes more focused on connectivity [link], I think "membership" will be prove more valuable than "ownership."

What I'm proposing isn't a "new way to pay for Creative Suite". It's Creative Cloud, with the added ability to purchase the apps so you can use them perpetually. You could start a subscription and then at some point later on decide to purchase the apps- or suite of apps- that you use the most, or if "connectivity" isn't a big deal to you, you could just buy the apps you need. If later on you start to see a benefit to the other stuff, you could start a subscription and activate the "cloud features" (and possibly gain access to other apps that aren't in your collection). And if at some point, for whatever reason, you're unable to keep paying for the subscription part, you'll still have the apps that you purchased, so you'll still have full access to your project files.

If Creative Cloud was set up like this, I'd be really excited about it right now. As it stands, it feels like Adobe is giving their customers the finger.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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David Mathis
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 12, 2013 at 4:56:55 am

I would like that option as well Greg, but I just don't see it anytime soon.


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Michael Hendrix
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 12, 2013 at 1:39:13 pm

Apple's App store is a profit center for them. Adobe would have to develop this just to distribute the software because it probably would not generate anymore sales.

The only way I can see this working if third-party developers could sale software, music, stock footage, etc and Adobe take a percentage.



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Craig Seeman
Re: What about an Adobe App Store?
on May 12, 2013 at 3:06:00 pm

[Greg Andonian] "with the added ability to purchase the apps so you can use them perpetually."

Fundamentally, Adobe wants you to pay for upgrades whether you need them or not. It's KEY to their new business model. Baring a change of heart and business model, they will not put themselves in a position where you have the option to skip an upgrade.

I personally I think some people are in denial about this.

I suspect too many people were skipping upgrades. That's not possible now. I doubt they will change that.



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