By now you likely have heard a lot of chatter on the web discussing Adobe Creative Cloud.  In fact – odds are whatever you have heard surrounding the Adobe Creative Cloud, it has been negative since many Adobe customers are up in arms.  This post is to give you insight into what exactly is Adobe Creative Cloud and also to let you know if and how you will be impacted.

What is Adobe Creative Cloud?

Adobe Creative Cloud is comprised of two key elements.  First – the Adobe Creative Cloud is a central location that includes access to all CS6 applications, as well as Lightroom 4, Adobe Muse, Adobe Edge Preview & more.  Secondly – Creative Cloud includes a collection of great publishing services that are tied together in a digital hub with 20GB of online space for storing, sharing, and syncing your files.

What is the most striking difference between Adobe Creative Cloud and the soon discontinued Adobe Creative Suite is that instead of being able to purchase the software and own a perpetual license, adobe’s products and creative cloud will ONLY be available on a monthly subscription fee basis.  In addition – Creative Cloud will hold all applications online, in the cloud, where you will only be able to download onto your computer, rather than get an actual boxed set or CD/DVD.

Adobe Creative Cloud

How Adobe Creative Cloud will Affect You!

For the majority of adobe users – Creative Cloud will cost you more.   If you use more than one adobe product, but not their entire creative suite of products – in almost all scenarios you will be paying more with Adobe Creative Cloud and the monthly subscription fee rather than just paying the license fee with the traditional boxed software as before.

If you are an avid adobe user and use numerous adobe products and always upgrade to the newest versions when available then you are likely going to be saving money by paying the creative cloud subscription fee.

How much is Creative Cloud?

There are a few different subscription options for Adobe Creative Cloud.   For a detailed chart with notes about each of the pricing options please check out this link right here.  In summary though, if you only want access to a single program, it is $19.99/month.  To have access to all 26 adobe applications it costs $49.99/month.  In addition to having access to the software, users are also given 20gb of data storage within Creative Cloud.

A few pricing scenarios –

  1. Professional photographer – A Photoshop & Lightroom user who upgrades once every 3 years.  Total cost of initial software & upgrades is roughly $1,129.  For this same user who needs Photoshop & Lightroom through Creative Cloud, it is $1,800. Note – it is rumored that Lightroom will be an application available for purchase, as it is now, not through Creative Cloud, if that is true same user would be better off by a 3 yrs of a single product Creative Cloud subscription for $19.99 a month and then purchase Lightroom separately making the total cost $950, which would actually be cheapest option.
  2. Recreational photographer – A Photoshop only user who never upgrades.  Total cost of initial software is $699, a single application creative cloud subscription at $19.99 a month is $720 over the 3 year period.  For this person, the cost savings is little to none, especially with having access to other software and tools otherwise not available.
  3. Graphic designer – A power user of the full CS6 Creative Suite Master Collection who upgrades every 3 years.  Total cost of initial software and upgrades are around $3,650, a 3 year Creative Cloud subscription is $1,800 – roughly ½ of the cost.

What is Creative Cloud
Benefits of Adobe Creative Cloud

  • Access to all 26 adobe programs that users otherwise wouldn’t purchase and use
  • Always have access to the newest/upgraded versions
  • Ease of sharing work, projects and work within community using Behance.
  • Social media integration with Behance.


The Top 3 Consumer Issues with Creative Cloud

  1. Renting vs Owning – With creative cloud being exclusively a subscription based service users are ultimately paying for the ability to use the software, while never actually owning a license, as all of us currently do today.  In other words – one day if you decide to quit paying for creative cloud, you have nothing to fall back on.  No pay = no play
  2. Forced Higher Cost – Currently users have the option to continue using older versions of Photoshop, Lightroom or any other adobe products and only upgrade when the new enhancements made sense to do so.  Today with Creative Cloud, you don’t have the choice; once you are paying for Creative Cloud you always are getting the most recent products – however, at a steep price of course.
  3. No price protection – Adobe at any point can change their subscription fees.  One can only assume that over time, Adobe’s price will gradually increase from their current fee structure today.


Who is Creative Cloud For?

  • Users with a need for the software applications for short term projects.
  • Users that upgrade to the newest software version whenever available.
  • Graphic design or creative professionals that will benefit from sharing their work & projects & social media integration within the Creative Cloud community – Behance.


It is quite evident that for numerous reasons, Adobe decision to move everything to Creative Cloud is certainly going to bring them greater profits.  The idea and premise behind Creative Cloud isn’t all bad, and for a certain type of professional, it is actually a welcomed and great plan.  However, for the majority, it will clearly mean increased costs while removing ownership from the product themselves.

What are your thoughts?  Do you see any value in Creative Cloud for you and your work or are you planning on looking for alternative software solutions?

Similar Posts