Adobe goes subscription-only, rebrands Creative Suite as Creative Cloud

“In abandoning the Creative Suite label for Creative Cloud, Adobe signaled its intent to move fully into the mobile and Internet era, abandoning individual standalone editions of its products and moving toward a subscription-only model,” AppleInsider reports.

“That model will see users subscribing to the $50/month Creative Cloud system and receiving updates through that subscription,” AppleInsider reports. “Adobe will continue support for its existing Creative Suite 6 products, but the company has no plans to release further Creative Suite products.”

AppleInside reports, “A Creative Cloud membership will include access to virtually every product Adobe makes, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Typekit, and more… The new Creative Cloud will roll out in June. Customers that own a Creative Suite product already will be able to get their first year of Creative Cloud at the discounted rate of $30 per month. ”

Read more in the full article here.

Adobe’s press release, verbatim:

Adobe Accelerates Shift to the Cloud

LOS, ANGELES — May 6, 2013 — At Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today accelerated its shift to the cloud with a major update to Adobe® Creative Cloud™, the company’s flagship offering for creatives. Today’s update to Creative Cloud is packed with features, reimagining the creative process through a new set of “CC” desktop applications and enhanced cross-device collaboration and publishing capabilities (see separate press release). With this update, creative files can be stored, synced and shared, via Creative Cloud, on Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android; and Behance, the world’s leading online creative community, is integrated with Creative Cloud, so customers can showcase work, get feedback on projects and gain global exposure.

Creative Cloud’s advanced capabilities are making it a hit with the worldwide creative community: more than a half million paid members, and well over 2 million free members have signed up for Creative Cloud since it was launched in April 2012.

Adobe also announced that the company will focus creative software development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering moving forward. While Adobe Creative Suite® 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. Focusing development on Creative Cloud will not only accelerate the rate at which Adobe can innovate but also broaden the type of innovation the company can offer the creative community.

“We launched Creative Cloud a year ago and it has been a runaway success,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “By focusing our energy — and our talented engineers — on Creative Cloud, we’re able to put innovation in our members’ hands at a much faster pace.”

On top of new collaboration and publishing services and the integration of Behance, today’s announced update to Creative Cloud includes stunning versions of Adobe’s next generation of desktop applications — including Adobe Photoshop® CC, InDesign® CC, Illustrator® CC, Dreamweaver® CC and Premiere® Pro CC. Adobe’s desktop tools, previously known as Creative Suite (CS), are now branded CC to reflect that they are an integral part of Creative Cloud and have been reinvented to support a more intuitive, connected way of creating.

Adobe is facilitating the transition to Creative Cloud with attractive pricing plans and promotions for individual members, teams and enterprise customers. For more details, visit: Adobe will continue to sell licenses for all CS6 products via electronic download from and participating resellers.

About Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a membership-based service that provides users with access to download and install Adobe creative desktop applications; game developer tools and integration with the Adobe Touch Apps. With Creative Cloud membership, users also have access to: a vibrant global creative community; publishing services to deliver apps and websites; cloud storage and the ability to sync to virtually any device; and new products and exclusive updates as they’re developed.

Membership Plans and Availability
By signing up for Creative Cloud today, creatives will be set up to immediately download and use these latest cloud-enabled innovations from Adobe, when they are available next month. Creative Cloud membership for individuals is US$49.99 per month based on annual membership; existing customers who own CS3 to CS5.5 get their first year of Creative Cloud at the discounted rate of US $29.99 per month. Students and teachers can get Creative Cloud for $29.99 per month. Promotional pricing is available for some customers, including CS6 users.

A team version of Creative Cloud includes everything individual members receive plus 100GB of storage and centralized deployment and administration capabilities. Creative Cloud for teams is priced at US $69.99 per month per seat. Existing customers, who own a volume license of CS3 or later, get their first year of Creative Cloud for teams at the discounted rate of US $39.99 per month per seat if they sign up before the end of August 2013.

Adobe also announced Creative Cloud for enterprise today and special licensing programs for educational institutions and government. For more details, visit:

Source: Adobe Systems Incorporated


    1. I’m subscribed for only one software title, it’s $19.99 a month for one, $49.99 a month if you subscribe to the entire suite ( -if you weren’t a CS owner previously, if you were then its 29.99 for the first year.)

        1. It still comes out cheaper than buying a copy of PS CS6 ($700 vs $240 per year). Even if you only upgrade every other version. And you’ll always have the latest version.

          Not a bad deal really for those who use it for business purposes.

  1. Luckily for what little I use Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, my 2003 copy of Adobe Design Collection runs just fine on my TiBook 667 or MacMini G4 1.25 or iMac G5 2.0.


  2. Adobe’s just trying to do what Microsoft’s been doing for decades, create a revenue stream of locked in customers, getting them to pay essentially for nothing substantial, but for the right to access online stuff. Microsoft locks businesses in by charging by the seat for the right to use their products with a subscription that goes on forever, whether the product ever improves or not. It’s a good plan, if you can sucker enough people in. In Adobe’s case, Photoshop is their bread and butter, but many people purchased it for occasional home use. Those customers are gone. We’ll never subscribe to any product for occasional use, and will now turn to alternatives. Adobe must believe there are enough heavy business users to carry the brand. We’ll see.

    1. Well, if Adobe is telling the truth and they really have “more than a half million paid members”, that’s pretty healthy. It’ll be even stronger when CC is the only option. So that should go much higher. We’re used to looking at numbers in the tens and hundreds of billions. But I’d call a steady fifty or a hundred million per month a lot of money.

      1. Even if 500,000 users subscribed at $60 per month, that would only amount to $30M per month. If most of those users are already CS owners, the that drops closer to $15M per month for the first year.

        While that is a lot of money to me, it is not $50M to $100M per month.

    2. Sadly, this is the wave of the future so that companies can continue to make staggering profits. Case in point— Intuit is desperately trying to move everyone to the same subscription model. You USED to be able to process payroll within Quickbooks, but not any more. That now requires a subscription… pay every month and repeat.

      Sorry… just ain’t going to spend every penny I make on these useless subscriptions….

      1. Making payroll is something that most employees would beg to differ as being “useless”. I pay ADP what amounts to a subscription to cut checks.

  3. $600 per year for Adobe products. Yikes.

    So what happens to the photographer or videographer working off-site on location with poor or not internet access?

    Looks like FCPX is going to get a little more popular . . . .

    1. Isn’t $600 what you pay up front to buy the suite now? That kind of makes it seem more economical. At least you can subscribe now, use it for what you need to use it for, and even if you don’t use it the whole year, or you just need it for a one-off project, you use it and then cancel your subscription.

      In fact, if enough people do that – just use it once and then cancel their subscription, they may wind up lowering the price to entice people to resubscribe. Kind of like what MMOs do. 🙂

      1. Actually it is less. The upgrade for master suit was 1299 and the full version 2599. I agree that for people only using one or two products this is a no go. But for those of us using more of Adobe’s product line, it will save us money in the long run while keeping us in the most current version of the software.

          1. Custom software/websites for small business and non-profits. I do all of my own graphic design work and I assist many of my customers with printed materials.
            As I said, this is not great for everybody but in my case, I will save money over time.

      2. I’m still using CS4 from years ago when I worked at Adobe. They priced me out a while back. I fail to see how $600 a year is more economical than continuing to use an old copy for $0 a year.

          1. PSDs are backward compatible for the most part. I’m sure Adobe will include all kinds of new hooks to make them not-so, but I rarely get anything from a client that I couldn’t open in any old copy of PS.
            Not an issue at work, as my company supplies me with a newer (but not latest) version of PS.

            1. If you also work with Illustrator & InDesign (and I do) it simply isn’t worth the headache. I don’t only use PS – who does?

              And this is why Adobe knows that they have people by the short hairs.

    2. Please understand that the way this works is that you would subscribe to license the right to use the full suite of Adobe CC applications. You do not access them via the cloud. Instead, you DOWNLOAD them to your Mac, so you can use these as you do the standalone applications today. HOWEVER, where you absolutely would need an Internet connection is when the application you use will on a monthly basis (and possibly with greater frequency) connects with an Adobe verification server to validate that you have a paid subscription.

      As such, these applications are NOT hosted in the cloud. You download them to your Mac, and they are stored on your Mac. It is possible that they will not launch if they cannot connect to an Adobe validation server at a frequency of Adobe’s choosing.

      I have a hunch that Adobe will make a killing on this. But I view what they are doing as the sign of a an abusive monopoly. Our laws support the notion that a business monopoly is not illegal, but an abusive monopoly is. While Adobe can claim to have competition in different product categories under which the company sells different applications as part of its CC Suite, in many cases, Adobe has an insurmountable and controlling market share. Under this new subscription plan, should Adobe decide in future years to egregiously jack up the annual or monthly pricing, I hope the Department of Justice will take a hard look at this.

      I believe that a lot of smaller, independent graphic designers, photographers, videographers and ad agencies will be heavily pinched by this plan. And that’s putting it mildly. Prepare to grab your ankles and take one for the team.

      Something tells me this brilliant manifestation of greed was hatched by some ex-Microsoft MBAs who then moved to Adobe. In the past decade, the company has become more like Microsoft in its arrogance and behavior. Sad.

  4. The real problem Adobe is going to face is that everyone sees through this move as nothing more than a money grab. There simply isn’t any tangible benefit to the end user for these types of applications to be cloud-only. At least with Microsoft’s cloud services, you may have multiple business people accessing the same document, collaborating, etc. That’s not usually the case with Adobe products.

    1. True. The standard Creative Cloud subscription only allows each of the apps to be installed on two computers – download one of them to a 3rd computer, and it disables the others.

      They do offer a “Creative Cloud for Teams” sub though, but I’m not sure of the pricing.

  5. I believe I’ve made my last Creative Suite purchase. For a while I’ll sit on it. In a year or so I’ll start the search for a replacement.

    I’m not interested in cloud based software for any production workflow — not for at least a few more years.

    1. The software is not cloud based. You download the software and install it on your computer. Once a month it checks with the cloud to make sure you are up to date on payments.

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