Survey: Is Adobe Creative Cloud subscription worth the price?

CNET and Jefferies are polling customers about their plans now that Adobe's new software is generally available only through monthly payments -- and unlike Adobe, we'll be publishing our findings.

Adobe argues that customers get more than just software with Creative Cloud subscriptions, but some Creative Suite customers object to what they see as a price increase.
Adobe argues that customers get more than just software with Creative Cloud subscriptions, but some Creative Suite customers object to what they see as a price increase. Adobe Systems

Are you happy or horrified by Adobe Systems' announcement last week that the Creative Cloud and other subscriptions will be the only way to get new versions of its broad array of software ?

Now's the time to weigh in with your opinion.

CNET and analyst firm Jefferies are again surveying Adobe customers to gauge their response to Adobe's different sales approach.

Click here for our newest Adobe customer survey. In it, you'll find questions about whether you plan to move to the Creative Cloud or not, upgrade from earlier versions of the Creative Suite to CS6, and share your thoughts.

Adobe surveys its customers, too, but unlike the company, we'll be publishing our results.

A half million people already have signed up for Adobe's Creative Cloud, a $50-per-month subscription that grants access to Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and everything else that formed its Creative Suite. But a storm of protest greeted the company's announcement that subscriptions would be the only way to get access to new versions of that software.

Our year-ago survey showed more negative than positive views of Creative Cloud pricing , but a follow-up survey showed a favorable reception for Creative Cloud introductory pricing . A Jefferies follow-up with respondents to the second survey showed a willingness to continue the subscription despite the end of the one-year introductory price discount.

The pushback against the CC pricing includes an online petition against the mandatory Creative Cloud subscription, which has drawn more than 11,000 signatories.

It's conceivable Adobe could change course, and it's likely to at least tweak the subscription offer. Senior Product Manager John Nack said Adobe is considering Creative Cloud changes so their files don't become completely inaccessible when their subscriptions end.

Adobe debuted the Creative Cloud a year ago and said customer response has been better than it expected.

Adobe forecasts steady growth in Creative Cloud subscriptions.
Adobe forecasts steady growth in Creative Cloud subscriptions. Adobe Systems

The subscription also includes various online services, including file storage and synchronization, Web site hosting, and membership in the Behance network where people can post portfolios on the Web.

The main Creative Cloud offering costs $50 per month for a full-year commitment. For those who want to pay for a single month, the cost is $80. A Team version for customers with collaborating employees costs $70 per month for a full-year commitment.

There also are discounts for students and teachers, who pay $30 per month, and for upgrading customers, who pay $30 per month for the first year.

Adobe also offers single-title subscriptions for individual programs. Those cost $20 per month, though existing customers get a first-year discount of $10 per month.

Objections to the subscriptions plan focus chiefly on higher fees for those who don't upgrade often. Another problem is that customers won't be able to do anything with their files unless they pay the subscription fee.

Adobe plans to sell its CS6 suite "indefinitely," but the suite is a year old, doesn't include some newer titles such as Edge and Muse, and won't include the latest round of updates that will arrive in June .

Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription includes software, services, and tools for social networking and collaboration.
Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription includes software, services, and tools for social networking and collaboration. Is it worth $50 a month to you? Adobe Systems
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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