So how about Adobe going subscription only? Hmm…
Let me just say that I like the Creative Cloud subscription model. I have a current year subscription. I love the fact that even if I only use one program once a month, it’s included and I can just download and use it. I love the fact that when new versions of the software become available, I will have it immediately. I love the fact that instead of having to drop a chunk of cash on it all at once, you pay in installments.
It hasn’t been perfect, though. One sunday I was working away when I opened After Effects and due to a tech issue beyond me, my creative cloud subscription wouldn’t activate and I had to contact Technical Support…
Which is not. Available. On weekends.
Worse, this was sunday in Australia. Sure I had the software to do the job, I just couldn’t open it until Monday night my time. If I was working to a strict deadline I would have been utterly screwed.
Clearly there are things to be worked out but the subscription model works great for many people I know. But it’s not for everyone. There’s been quite the backlash to the idea of paying for things on an ongoing basis. People are reacting with vitriol to the idea of paying for things “forever”.
But you know what? You always have.
Software is constantly revised and updated. I don’t even buy a computer anymore with a real sense that I own it. I just feel like I am “renting computer-ness” which will slowly drain out of it as time goes by as technology improves and software develops beyond the machine’s capacities. And eventually I will get another machine. I won’t even miss the first cos I never lost what I cared about – The Computer-ness – is what I bought years ago and resubscribe to every few years. If that’s not a subscription model…well, it feels a lot like it.
Anyway – long story short, subscription is cool with me. If I’m gonna want to upgrade my software regularly in the future anyway, subscribing is just a way of formalising it.
But not everyone sees it that way. Folks are polarised over Adobe’s Subscription Only approach for many good reasons. But thats not what i want to discuss here.
I’m interested in the fact that now, it’s Apple’s move. It’s the first break they’ve had in some time in the struggle to win back minds and hearts that have slammed shut to FCPX- and I’m fascinated to see how they respond.
Personally, I’d love to see them take full advantage. I want to see a big graphic on the Final Cut Page that says this:
FCPX. $299. Once.
They should do it upon release of FCPX 10.1 – which they should announce is a free upgrade and if they want to really get attention – announce free upgrades for FCPX customers forever.
In one fell swoop they could avoid the backlash that would come from making FCPX 10.1 a paid upgrade (if they decide to which would be a terrible call), establish a clear and compelling point of difference to Adobe and bring skeptical editors to FCPX – many for the first time since 7. And while a lot of editors profess to hate FCPX for many that is for want to proper exposure to it.
As an aside – remember that Adobe CC’s $600 per year only pays for 2 seats, while an FCPX license allows for 5.
I guess what I’m saying is Mac users practically “subscribe” to their hardware as it stands updating every 2-3 years. Software like FCPX demands powerful machines that Apple – and only Apple – provide. I’d say they’d be smart to play the “once” angle on this and relinquish ongoing software upgrade revenues for hardware sales that will inevitably result from FCPX pushing what is possible with the current hardware.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.