Adobe Destroys Software Industry

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Adobe is proving out the monthly payment business model for high end computer software. I hate it.

For many people, it’s probably not a bad deal. The monthly fee for Photoshop seems a pittance compared to the much larger price the behemoth once charged for the software. It’s particularly powerful for those who might not need to use PS every month.

But I hate paying monthly for software. I understand why companies love the recurring revenue. It’s smart business for them. But I do everything I can to not pay monthly for software. I prefer to pay once and then for major upgrades. Sometimes, I skip a version, which makes the initial investment in the software pay off even better. With monthly pay
Adobe changed that, and it’s working for them, and we’re all screwed.

Today Adobe reported its first quarter earnings for 2016, yet again revealing “record” quarterly revenue. This time the company raked in revenues of $1.38 billion and $0.66 earnings per share (non-GAAP). Adobe has set a revenue record for the past three quarters.

Even with all the internet gnashing of teeth over it, everyone still ponies up who needs the software. It’s industry standard in so many places. You can’t avoid it.

With a huge company like Adobe proving the concept out, others will follow suit. The business model works. Why wouldn’t others do the same?

I can only hope they don’t move to this monthly standard for Lightroom next. It’s the last hold-out of the one-time-only pay model. Yes, you can pay for it monthly in a package deal with Photoshop, as I recall, but the standalone model is still an option.

You can use alternatives like Acorn (for the Mac) or GIMP (if you’re REALLY not into spending money, or just adore Linux), but the world has standardized on too many Adobe products. There’s no going away from them, and now their monthly pay model is going to be normalized and standardized.

We’re screwed.

For the record, I’m using Acorn, Clip Studio Paint, and Lightroom for most all of my photographic and graphic needs. They’re all paid for.