Adobe subscription – the software subscription for creatives


  • Company name: Adobe Systems Inc
  • Industry: Software, SaaS
  • Formation:  1982
  • Founders: John Warnock, Charles Geschke
  • Location: San José, Kalifornien, USA
  • Number of employees: 22,000 worldwide
  • Turnover: US$ 9.03 billion (2018)
  • Investors: not specified
  • Total funding amount: not known
  • Subscription-based model since: 2012
  • Product costs: depending on the product

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The Adobe Creative Cloud is a range of programmes needed for creative editing such as graphic design, photo editing and web development and photography. Creative Cloud was first offered in October 2011 and has been under continuous development ever since. From 2013, Adobe ended the Creative Suite, with which one could buy the products, and switched completely to the Cloud and subscription solution. The Adobe subscription can be paid monthly or annually and the respective software can be installed from the cloud. The use and storage is possible as long as the subscription is active. 

Adobe subscription offers creative users the choice

Of course, the individual products can also be purchased or subscribed to individually. For many users, the Adobe monthly subscription is considerably cheaper than buying the various tools individually. The complete subscription includes over 20 programmes and apps at a price of just under €60 per month. Photoshop alone is offered for 24 € / month in the subscription. If you use more than two programmes, the subscription quickly pays for itself. The photo subscription supports the creative process for photographers, with Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and 20 GB cloud storage space, and all for €12 per month. All subscriptions can be taken out monthly or as an annual subscription. The annual subscription can be paid either monthly or in one monthly instalment. For teams and agencies, other subscription models with extended storage capacities and technical support are available.

Discounted subscriptions are offered for pupils and students. Likewise, there is the possibility for schools and universities to purchase licences for entire classrooms.

The advantages of the Creative Cloud subscription for users

The Adobe Cloud subscription offers users the opportunity to use numerous programmes at a lower subscription price compared to the previous purchase price. While the subscription is active, all updates and upgrades can be installed. In the past, these were subject to a fee.

The Creative Cloud programmes and apps can also be used offline. However, they require a regular internet connection to check the status of the subscription. With a monthly subscription, the user must check the status online every 30 days at the latest; with an annual subscription, the user can be offline for up to 99 days.

When ending the subscription, your own files must first be backed up from the cloud and saved in order to be able to continue using them.

Alternatives to the Adobe subscription

Even though there was criticism from some users when switching to the Creative Cloud subscription – in terms of quality and versatility of Adobe products, only a few alternatives are apparent. Providers such as Quark X Press explicitly advertise that they are not a cloud solution and thus represent an alternative for users who reject cloud and subscription models. Many programmes that are available as freeware can also replace some functions – in any case, however, a change represents a change in the way users are accustomed to working.

Adobe relies on “Software as a Service

With the changeover to the cloud and subscription model Adobe, like many other providers, is also relying on the software-as-a-service model. Instead of offering individual versions and updates for purchase, the user can use the programmes without restriction during the term of his subscription and also benefit from updates and innovations during this period. This model is becoming more and more accepted not only by private users but also by large companies. For software providers such as Adobe, subscription models also offer greater planning security as well as the opportunity to increase sales. Adobe’s introduction of the Creative Cloud subscription has significantly increased its revenue. In the second quarter of 2019, Adobe’s revenue increased by a full 25 per cent year-on-year, exceeding expectations.

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