Thursday, May 2, 2019

Adobe Doubles Price of Photography Plan

I remember working with Adobe Photoshop as a young child, probably around five years old. It was a different time where you could actually own software and opt not to upgrade. That's why it pains me when people my age don't realize that there was a time where you could get Photoshop without buying an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Today, Adobe says it's "testing" a new pricing for their Photography plan, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom. Previously available for $9.99 a month, some users are seeing it at $19.99 a month.

I get it. A lot of software can't make it work with one-time payments. But I think the model where users can choose to update to a major new version is a fair compromise between consumer and developer. It lets the user have a choice as to if an update is worth it. A lot of these apps have subscriptions when they shouldn't. Note, journal, calendar, and sketching apps really shouldn't have subscription plans for use, additional tools, or dark mode. I won't name any names, but I can't think of a reason to pay a monthly fee to use something like a calendar or a mail client that provides very little over the default calendar or mail client.

If Adobe doesn't change their payment model, I think a new developer needs to step in and take over Adobe's reign with a new payment model. I think Procreate and Pixelmator are the closest to doing so with Photoshop. They both have one-time purchases and they take full advantage of iOS and macOS respectively. I've made it very clear that I'm done with keeping track of so many subscriptions, and that I think the bubble of subscription services is ready to burst. I hope we can move away from this and find a better way to support app developers in the long-term that benefits both the developer and the consumer.

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