Photoshop pricing structure is too high

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The price of Photoshop standalone is too high, and the pricing structure for the suites is too complicated.
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ken zirkel

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  • confused and annoyed

Posted 8 years ago

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Roger Walton

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I find it frustrating that having been a loyal, paid-up user of Photoshop for years, there's no sliding scale that recognises that I've paid for all those earlier versions! By now, I reckon it should be much cheaper for me to update my CS4 to CS5! And why are UK prices (apparantly) dearer than US ones?
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Dave S

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TAX
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BeauR

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It would be nice if Photoshop and after affects cost less so more people would have the money to buy it

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: Can't afford it?.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
A few ideas:

Adobe offers upgrade pricing for users who own a copy within 3 versions back (So currently, users of Photoshop CS2, CS3 or CS4 can upgrade to Photoshop CS5 for $199 vs $699 for the full version)

Student Pricing - Students get an amazing discount on Adobe software.

Subscription License - Great for people/businesses who only need software on a project basis.

Photoshop Elements is very powerful version of Photoshop for non-pros is available for only $99 (the Editor is available on its own from the Mac App Store for $79).

I do agree that the product/pricing structure for Suites is complicated. It's something I'd like to see simplified for our users.
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Robert Sinkus

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Dear Adobe,
This is the 3rd time I am taking the time to write to you on this topic.
I’m an art photographer, advanced amateur level, once had some buzz around me & currently trying to get back to it. I was a film & paper type with my own B&W darkroom; where I printed & toned my images to hand color. Digital came along & I was a hold out. I bought a used computer that had Photoshop on it. I think the version was 7.0. I liked it very much. I could still shoot on Plus-X & then scan my negatives. I could also scan my older negatives that I did not have the talent to produce a good image from in the dark room. It was great. I started digging thru family photo albums to find old, beat up photos to scan and restore. Photoshop opened some new doors for me. I moved into a new home in farmland, water here is well & septic. Not good or safe for a traditional darkroom. I was embracing digital & making all types of new creative images. I invested in a high end Epson printer to improve the quality of the prints for gallery showings.
As time passed, technology grew & my computer was left behind. Everyday life events stood in the way of my “art career” and it went to the back burner. Recently, I decided to try to resurrect my art photos. I went out and bought a new tower, scanner and monitor. I then went out to buy the newest version of Photoshop. The version I have was out dated when I got it, I could not wait to see what the new software could do. Research showed it was beyond my expectations. I saw new programs and software bundles. Not just photo software, but web site tools, effects, design. Also art graphics, digital illustration & many more possibilities. CS 5 has it all. Actually way more than I need and more than I’d probably ever use. Then I saw the price. I looked at stripping it down to Photoshop only, but I must admit, it was very steep for my budget.
The Adobe website had links to package discounts. I saw that educators and students can get the software at great discounts. Places like E-bay, Overstock, Amazon, etc, carry the software at huge discounts over Adobe as well. But, any site other than Adobe warns the software cannot be registered and might not be able to activate to work. It did not sound legit to me. I was doing more research when it was suggested to me to have one of my nieces or nephews who are active students or one of my friends that are teachers to buy it for me. I’m sure many people do this, but that type of thing is not my style. If there is some problem, it could backfire & since it would not be a legit purchase, I would prefer not to do it and keep to the high road.
I saw that the Adobe site ran a contest, download the trial version of the program to explore for 30 days & get a chance of winning a home office make over. The down load was a nightmare. The amount of data used up the allowed amount in the agreement with my internet service provider. I had to stretch it out over two billing period and still incurred extra costs. The worst part was that after all that, I was unable to open or activate the download to try it out. I understand this is on me. The overages, the extra costs, all on me. Why it would not open is on me as well probably because of not being able to download in one attempt.
This brings me to why I’m writing. Artists don’t tend to make money like commercial users.
We can’t afford the commercial rate. So Adobe shuns the honest people who don’t use connections to get the software. Shuns the money we want to spend to get the software. If you are going to discount to some groups, why turn away others. More artists would submit Photoshop creations to Adobe to use in advertising to allow Adobe to attract more artists and more business. Unless of course the economy does not affect your revenue.
This is what I think every time you send me an e-mail. I’m sure plenty of people are currently taking advantage of your discount program. Your current pricing guarantees this practice will continue.
Consider the market you are missing out on.
If you are someone who is important enough to make changes in Adobe and you are reading this, follow the path this message took to end up in front of you.
From the customer service person who gave it to their supervisor to the person who handed you the printed copy, and every hand that moved to closer to you in between.
These are the Adobe employees who care about the company and are team players. Find them, reward them, they are Adobe’s future.
I’ve sent this before and I will continue to send it until I hear a response.
Thank you for your time.
R. Sinkus

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Why I have not updated my software..
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DMNYBUSTIN

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Wow, what a novel.
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Dave S

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You'll be lucky if Adobe even read it. Manufacturers like Adobe have forums for one reason, so subscribers can share knowledge and fix issues so they don't have to bother. Ever tried Adobe support? it sucks and that is why everyone is here, everyone but Adobe.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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You'll be lucky if Adobe even read it.
This Forum is officially being monitored, just because
• some requests are not being implemented, 
• some bugs linger, 
• some threads don’t feature replies from Adobe employees
does not mean the threads have not been registered. 
(Edited)
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DMNYBUSTIN

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I agree with christoph. Not everything is a conspiracy.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Yep. First of all, this is a very old thread and no longer valid anyway. People complain about paying 999 for Photoshop, but today Photoshop can be had for only 10/month.

And secondly people always think that their idea/report/complaint is the most important remark ever made in any forum. So if there's no answer, or their suggestion is not implemented, they get frustrated and complain that Adobe never listens to its customers.
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Dear Adobe Gripe #2503

"Please lower the prices for Photoshop. Do you really think that poor students who want to use your software pay $999? We don't have that money, and saving for it takes years, which will make us have no jobs because lack of software."
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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http://www.adobe.com/education/purcha...

Edit: If one were to open a carpenter’s shop acquiring the necessary tools would appear to be a necessity and due to their haptic nature most people are likely to not contend that their prices correspond to some actual value.
With software many people seem to have somewhat of a disconnect – by copying the software the proprietors of the intellectual property does not suffer a reduction of any material possessions so they appear to have suffered no damage.
But if a creative professional’s copyright is infringed upon – by unlicensed and unpaid use or re-use of their photographs, illustrations, layouts, animations etc. – they might appreciate the point more.
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Robert Sinkus

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I was suprised to see this pop up again 4 months after my first post.
I'm still not going after a boot copy for myself, but I was suprised to see this pop up again after 4 months. Then I saw a thread on a model website.

Adobe staff, you might want to see this debate.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thr...
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Chris Cox

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You probably want to post that to this thread: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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ChristyG

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How Come YOUR software is so HIGH, who has $700 just to edit pictures, how come you can't bring the price down..I think it is ridiculous to be so high, guess i will never be getting any of your products!!!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
HIGH PRICE!!!.
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Robert Sinkus

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Adobe corporate officers & staff, for every person who has posted for fair pricing, there are dozens who do not yet own Photoshop & never will. One look at the price & they move along. How many current PS software customers see the price & never update, while not bothering to send you feed back. Take a lesson from Kodak, accept the market as it is, adapt, work with the consumer & survive.
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SuperDeTodo

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Dear photoshop,

My wife, she's unsatisfied. I got her Photoshop Elements, but it's,
of course, not enough to express her incredible talents. :)

Is there a Middle Path, because a whole 800-1000 dollars is kind
of an issue. Don't you guys have a thing where you can get it in
pieces, or maybe a Photoshop Elements ++ option?

I'd settle for pretty much anything, just don't... make... me...
homeless. LOL.

Can I purchase Photoshop Super (or whatever) in monthly
chunks or something? PLEASE. My wife's hot. I'll do anything.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
photoshop for... POOR PEOPLE!.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, there is a subscription option for Photoshop and the suite now.
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SuperDeTodo

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Subscription? What is a subscription?
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DarkVater

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> Subscription? What is a subscription?
You rent the software instead of buying it, i. e. you can use it as long as you pay a monthly fee.

> My wife, she's unsatisfied.
And you are sure a Photoshop license can help it? :D
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SuperDeTodo

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> My wife, she's unsatisfied.
>>And you are sure a Photoshop license can help it? :D

Yes, I wrote, "my wife, she's unsatisfied" because it was like a funny way of putting it, sort of like the way someone who doesn't speak good English would put it, all the while being unaware that they're inferring rather strong (and embarrassing) sexual connotations.

After I posted it, I said to my wife, "Now watch, someone's going to see the opportunity for a cheap joke, and they won't be able to help it."

My wife said, "How much you wanna bet that it's a GUY who will take the bait first?"

And here you are. The predictable, dumb guy who took the bait. :P
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DarkVater

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You are right, I should have expected that from someone who is super de todo ...
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Robert Sinkus

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I am using a great plug in system that works with & expands Elements. Great control, good pricing.
I don't want to break the terms of agreement set by Adobe, so I don't know if it's ok to post the name of the software here.
If an Adobe mod weighs in, I'll know.
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SuperDeTodo

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My God, what is this, a communist country?? Is Stalin running this place?

Speak freely, my dear. Don't let fear enslave you any more than it already (quite obviously) has. Respect for Adobe is one thing, but being afraid to speak freely is quite another. That's not integrity, it's just fear. Speak freely, and let the responsibility for it be mine. If anyone gets banned, for this, I'll take it.

To me, Adobe is making a huge mistake by selling Photoshop for either $800+ dollars, or giving you the "renting by month" option, which takes advantage of people who can't afford it, but need it.

When you buy anything else, such as a car, or a large TV, you can pay it off in monthly payments. So why can't we pay Photoshop off in the same way?

If you hire a servant and you leave your wallet full of cash out on the table, if the servant steals your wallet, which of you is responsible? It's you, of course, because you tempted them with a huge stack of cash knowing very well they wouldn't be able to help themselves.

Well, most people have a stolen copy of Photoshop. Why? Adobe leaves a big shiny thing out on the table, knowing very well that most people won't be able to help themselves. If you could make it affordable, in bite-sized chunks, that would alleviate you from the karmic responsibility of all of those cracked copies. People know that paying $22/month (to never even own it) is a ripoff. Adobe is saying, "If you're rich, we like you, and if you're poor, please enjoy a lifetime of enslavement to us." LOL.

This world. Everything is backwards here. The above paying customer is afraid to speak freely here. This is truly backwards. Man oh man.
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Robert Sinkus

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Ok, I heard from a user & not adobe so......I use the Topaz system. All you need is Elements 10 and Topaz added as a plug in.
It's about $300.00. (259.00 on sale)
It's a direct download straight from Topaz or the CDs can come from B&H in NYC or Hunt's in Boston. http://www.topazlabs.com/
Check it out, affordable editing to expand on Adobe.
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Robert Sinkus

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I just got an e-mail from Hunts, the Topaz bundle is currently on sale for $249.00
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»My God, what is this, a communist country?? Is Stalin running this place?«
This is not a country, but a Forum.

»Respect for Adobe is one thing, but being afraid to speak freely is quite another.«
This Forum is maintained by Adobe so it would not only seem unwise to proclaim to any practices that might not be legal, it would be impolite to the Adobe employees who contribute here.

»If you hire a servant and you leave your wallet full of cash out on the table, if the servant steals your wallet, which of you is responsible?«
So you think temptation (at least in financial matters) is insurmountable?
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SuperDeTodo

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"This is not a country, but a forum."

Stating the obvious in order to make me look stupid. (You loveless freak.)

"seem unwise to proclaim to any practices that might not be legal"

She wasn't. She was talking about a plugin.

"So you think temptation is insurmountable?"

Actually yes, in many cases people are still more 'animal' than 'human', such as yourself, who can't help but to try to make others feel stupid, ashamed, and 'morally inferior' as compared to the wonderful wonderful 'you'.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»She wasn't. She was talking about a plugin.«
I guess I had misunderstood the motivation (or what was implied with »terms of agreement«) then and there was indeed no reason for restraint on that poster’s part.
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SuperDeTodo

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I guess you misunderstood her intent, yep, just as you misunderstood mine and started to attack me. It's called "projection" and it ruins lives every single day. I don't really blame you, I blame the structure of the ego. It's obsessed with being 'right' and feeling 'morally superior' to others, and will usually stop at nothing to achieve those two juicy narcissistic ends. It just can't help itself, not unlike the person who can't help but steal a copy of Photoshop since Adobe doesn't offer more reasonable monthly payment options, and nobody wants to pay $22 a month, for life, and never actually own it. They're losing a lot of money, and they're picking up a lot of 'bad karma' in the process, since we all know that 'simple folk' just can't help themselves when it comes to stealing 'shiny stuff'. Out of compassion, then, I recommend giving people some kind of monthly payment plan. There's a lot of people who would go for it, and many of those same people are just going to steal it. It's simple, really, and getting people to understand simplicity is just about impossible. :)
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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We might have different views on what would constitute an »attack« and politeness in general.
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Natalie Connor

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Why is the software software so expensive? cant you make it cheaper? there are really young people who use it but can't afford it. do you honestly think that's fair?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop is too expensive!.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»there are really young people who use it but can't afford it. do you honestly think that's fair?«
Have you thought this through?
Do you consider fairness a requirement in capitalism?

If things exist that people want to use is it unfair to deny them those things?
With basic necessities like food, shelter, medical care etc. I appreciate the argument, but when talking about professional tools I think it gets pretty difficult to argue that a corporation has an obligation to provide its customers with those goods at a price of the customers’ choosing.
A certain relationship between a company’s production, development and infrastructural costs and the selling price could, I guess, be required to avoid price gauging, but where would that leave the purveyors of brand name luxury goods?

But back to the example at hand: What is the price of an educational license? Because when you talk about »young people« I assume some of those might qualify.
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Justin Gerard

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Cloud for Photoshop is too expensive. Piracy will continue.

Traditionally I pay $200 about every 20 months to upgrade to the newest version of photoshop. This comes to $10 a month. The new Cloud rate is double that for a single program.

The benefit of immediate access to new features is not worth that price hike.
Also, structuring it this way de-incentivies Adobe from needing to pursue new ways to expand its products capabilities and value to encourage its users to upgrade. Since they now must pay to even use the program, Adobe no longer will feel any pressure to truly push its product further.

Piracy is wrong. But based on these things, I believe Adobe will continue to lose the war against it.
However, people will stop pirating something if the price point is good. Please consider lowering the price to $10 a month. Even if it is $10 a month only if you sign a 1-year plan or something. Just lower the price.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Cloud is too expensive. Piracy will continue..
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Ziggy

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I agree the pricing structure is too complex. I also get annoyed that it costs so much more in the UK than the US - but I believe that's down to our government and its import taxes, not Adobe. (If it is Adobe though, it should be addressed).

I do think the software offers good value though. Yes, it hurts when you have to pay for it yourself, but then all artists and professionals have to pay for their tools. A violinist pays a fortune for a violin! A career mechanic needs to buy expensive spanners, but if it's just for DIY you buy cheaper tools and it doesn't hurt as much. I suspect that on the whole we expect to pay for tangible goods, but most people aren't aware of what it costs to develop and distribute slightly intangible stuff like software.

PS Elements is amazing for the price, but if you're a pro and need a more sophisticated package, bite the bullet and put it against tax. The Cloud subscription option looks like decent value to me - h**l, the monthly cost is cheaper than my mobile phone, works a whole lot better and doesn't deliver any nasty financial surprises at the end of the month. It worked out cheaper to subscribe to the entire suite than just upgrading the 3 apps in CS Standard, and you get a whole lot of extra stuff on top. Plus it's all tax deductible. The only thing that would make it better would be if I could suspend the subscription when I'm on holiday (but telecoms companies don't let you stop payments while you're on holiday either).

Software IS expensive, because it costs a lot to develop it! No I don't work for Adobe, but I've spent decades working with companies who develop digital imaging software for other markets that cost around £10,000 per license (it was double that in the 90's). Why? Because it costs a fortune to hire the kind of brains and the manpower required to make such products. Photoshop offers a great deal of functionality for less than a tenth of the price - which is only possible because its market is so huge. If Adobe were forced to bring the price down, there would undoubtedly be a negative effect on future upgrades, not to mention the next product. (Yes, there will one day be a new product - it's probably happened already a few times. Software has a life-cycle and eventually has to be re-written from the ground up - and that ongoing development can't happen without massive investment.

(*The 2 e's are missing from the middle of this word because the site considers the word for the opposite of heaven to be a profanity. Sigh...)
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happy66

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Wow, $699.00 for a piece of software. That is highway robbery. The disc should be scratch proof.
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remo wieland

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the price of a Photoshop licence in completely reasonable for a graphics company. But photoshop is completely ubiquitous for non professional hobbyists playing around with their vacation photos or creating silly images to post on facebook. These users want all the functionality of the full version of Photoshop, but it's unreasonable to expect them to pay the full price of a professional licence. That is more money than a new computer costs these days. the creative cloud doesn't really help since an ongoing membership still ends up being very expensive and is overkill for occasional sporadic use.n The pricing of the educational licence seems appropriate for these users, and is in spirit more appropriate for the non-professional creative hobbyist, but that licence is only available if you are enrolled in an accredited school.

It seems to me Adobe is missing a huge potential segment of the market. So many people would buy Photoshop and other creative tools for casual home use if they could afford it. Instead probably a lot of people just download cracked copies.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
why is there no cheaper licence for non-professional users of the creative suite tools?.
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Greg Ihnen

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Over $300 annually? That's way too high for casual users. I'd consider a 10th of that as a reasonable fee. I'm a Lightroom owner and I'd consider spending some money to be able to use Photoshop when I occasionally need to. But over $300 annually for the CS suite is ridiculous. I'm sure you're covering the high end of the market well, but there's a lot of casual users who you're missing with this price structure.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
The monthly fee is way too high for casual users.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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You can rent Photoshop for just a month if you like. The per month price is higher if you do it for just one month than if you do it for a whole year, but in the end you are only renting it when you need it.
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DMNYBUSTIN

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These product are not catered to casual users. There is a reason that Adobe products such as Premiere Pro and After Effects are used on major motion pictures. It's because Adobe products are made for professionals or at least people who are aspiring to be professionals. By no means am I saying that casual users shouldn't use these products, but let's be realistic here.
(Edited)
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DarkVater

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Renting for a month does not really help. I use Lightroom (still version 6) maybe 20 times per year, mainly after vacations or weekend trips, parties or certain other events. This happens across the year. 

If Adobe wants the money of casual users, they'd either need to return to the purchase model or they woul have to offer tariffs that go per session / hour or the likes. E.g. a tariff of 5 € per months for up to 10 hours of usage, then increasing prices for other packages with more usage time.

Currently there's just one price for anyone, whether he is a pro spending all day on it or just a hobbyist who wants to organize and edit their family photos here and then.

For pros it's rather cheap, I belive Adobe could even charge much more. For casual hobbyists it's too expensive.
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Ziggy

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I feel your pain; I have the same problem with Illustrator which I use just now and again. However there are plenty of alternatives to both Illutrator and LR/PS for casual hobbyists. If - as is your right - you choose to use pro tools for a casual hobby, you can’t expect the vendor to subsidise this. Nor can you expect other users to; as a pro, I find it interesting that a casual hobbyist (whilst whining about the cost of a pro tool) suggests that Adobe could actually charge pros more, whilst charging casual hobbyists less. For the same tools. Hmmm
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DarkVater

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Well, I would understand that if this had been their strategy from scratch. And if I started photography today, I'd certainly go for alternatives.
But Adobe has for many years addressed advanced amateurs with a fairly priced purchase version. It has even reduced the price significantly - my first lightroom version (2) had cost me 300 €, later versions were only in the ballpark of 130 €. And even with LR6 Adobe promised(!) that there would always be purchasing versions.

So for ten years they have drawn amateurs to build up their entire collections, workflows, tools etc. around Lightroom and made them virtually dependent on it, and as soon as they have build up a huge user base, then out of the sudden they start charging pro prices. Like a drug dealer giving the first three shots for free.

This is what really upsets me!
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Greg Ihnen

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I understand but I don't think you guys get it. At that price range it's a great price if you're a pro making a living with it. If you just want to play around with it then it's too much.

Greg
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Dukemaster

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I also agree with them who say it's a little to high. There are thousands of users with low income but who have great skills and talents of art. I published in my board the idea of prices especially for lower incomes. Others do it also. We have rising prices all over the world. These people can build up their little business with the amazing software of ADOBE. Later they have more money to pay a higher price. But with high prices right from the start poor people will never ever have a chance to work hard in art to make the world great with awesome artworks. I also built up my community and videos from less as nothing to a real good business. Please, thing about it... help the world growing..
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Mike Ligocki

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You need to invest in yourself and your business if you want to make money.
(Edited)
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DMNYBUSTIN

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Here's the thing though. Nothing should come easy and if a person really wants something then they should be willing to literally shovel shit for a time to make their goals happen. Of course everybody has different circumstances and therefore challenges, but asking a world renowned company that provides an industry standard product for a handout is pretty silly. Especially when considering the fact that the product Adobe provides to people allows them to make money. A lot of money. People need to make their dreams come true. Not ask others to do it for them.
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Mike Ligocki

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Whoever thinks the price of Photoshop or CC in general is insane and greedy.  I subscribe to the entire suite for $600 a year (at $49 a month) and the amount of money that the suite allows me to make is ASTRONOMICALLY more than the cost of the software.  It's a professional software suite and true professionals (who understand the value of the services they are able to offer) will appreciate the value of the software.  If you're not a pro there are SO MANY FREE AND INEXPENSIVE options.  Gimp for example and a multitude of very cheap options on the Mac store.

If you drive in the Grand Prix you buy a Ferrari, if you drive for Uber you buy a Honda.  Go buy a Honda and stop complaining.
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JIM CHAMBERLAIN

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Too high?  Not for professional use.

Consider standalone AutoCAD license costs $4,195.00. If you do not get the $1,250/year maintenance subscription, you will receive no major updates and no tech support from AutoCAD.

A monthly subscription of AutoCAD costs $210/month.



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Dave S

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I agree and I think Adobe are creeping up the price off the Photographers Cloud and I have noticed that people are starting to look for cheaper alternatives which will eventually lose Adobe its crown. I am the Vice-President of my local camera club which consists of mainly retired people and these people rely on Adobe to edit their images. They cannot afford to pay the money now asked for the Photographers package and many are looking at Stand Alone LightRoom which negates the use of layers and then they lose out again. I'm sure Adobe's intention was to make it affordable for the masses but we find that again, Adobe products are too expensive for the average home user.

Adobe, if you read this then it is time that you had a discount pricing for members of not for profit clubs such as mine, perhaps at the student rates. The clubs could provide conformation that the person is a paid up member via a copy of the membership receipt and you could licence accordingly. I would be happy to arrange for my club to be involved in a beta program to try this out.
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remo wieland

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My main gripe with the pricing model is that a monthly subscription just doesn't make sense for a lot of people who don't use photoshop more than a couple of times a year. It's not that $10/month is a lot to pay for something you use regularly or professionally but it's a lot if you don't even use it most months. It's like how fitness clubs force you into multi year memberships but then most people never end up going after a few weeks. It's an unsavory business model.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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I understand that, but nobody forces you to use Photoshop. There are competitors that do not charge per month, and there are even free alternatives.
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DMNYBUSTIN

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Has everybody forgotten about the days when there was no such thing as Adobe CC and a pay per month subscription? Remember the days when if you couldn't afford to pay for these programs upfront you didn't get the programs?

People seem to only focus on what is convenient for them. Adobe provides the highest level software for world class professionals who are using their products on a regular basis. And you want them to focus on people who use their software a couple times a year? I think they have done more than they ever needed to by providing a subscription service and to be quite honest, if you can't afford $10 a month, you're doing something wrong and may need to rethink your life goals.
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