Adobe Creative Cloud: Do More, Pay Less

March 17, 2015
Editorial Staff


Editorial Staff

In the last two blogs, we looked into the functional aspects of Creative Cloud to see if it makes financial sense in our quest to answer…“Should I go cloud?”

Before we get to some cost comparisons, it’s important to note that it’s not just about price. Adobe currently supports CS6 on the current releases of Windows and Mac OS, but do not have plans to support it on the next releases coming out from Microsoft and Apple… In other words, within less than a year it’s likely that CS6 will not be supported to run on newer operating systems. By contrast, Creative Cloud is a service as much as a product and will always be supported and updated for the latest platforms, devices, and technologies.

To add to the end of CS6, as of February 28, 2015 Adobe will no longer offer CS6 through the Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP) or the Transactional licensing Program (TLP) for education customers, a change which already went into effect for commercial and government segments in May of 2014.

CS6 products will remain available for purchase as electronic download on However, these will be individual credit card purchases requiring individual serial numbers. Acrobat and other Adobe products will continue to be available through the CLP and TLP licensing programs.

The cost of Creative Cloud is $US49.99/month for a yearly plan, or $74.99 when purchased month-to-month with the ability to turn it on and off as needed. It’s $29.99 per month for the first year for those upgrading from a prior Creative Suite product with Adobe’s introductory offer, and $19.99/month for current students and teachers. Doing the math that’s about $600/year for regular customers, $360 for CS upgraders, and $240 for education customers… In sum it’s around $1-$2 a day. So when you look at these plans versus the tradi­tional CS6 price sheet or the cost of upgrading your current tools, which do you think is more attractive?

If the complete Creative Cloud is too much, there’s an additional choice. Adobe also offers subscriptions for just a single tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Premiere, and others for only $14-$19/month, and that low pricing is available to everybody.

Here is some basic math to figure out the average savings over a 4 year period:

Product Cost/Year Cost Post 2 Updates in 4 Years
CS6 $2,600 $3,600
Creative Cloud Complete $600 $2,400
Savings Over 4 Years $1,200


Product Cost/Year Cost Post 2 Updates in 4 Years
Photoshop $700 $1,100
Creative Cloud Single App $240 $960
Savings Over 4 Years $140

Looking at the above figures, we can deduce that CC results in huge savings over time for users, or as Bloomberg Businessweek says One benefit is not having to lay out $2,500 every few years. It would take more than four years of monthly $50 subscription fees to reach the cost of an all-at-once software purchase, and the programs will always be up-to-date.

However, there are many other factors at play than just pricing that you should consider before adopting cloud.

  1. You need to look at how essential and business critical are Adobe tools to you.
  2. New features and innovation as soon as they are available.
  3. Cloud storage and file syncing capabilities so you can reliably access your files wherever you are, including your mobile device, so you can easily share your concepts with clients or colleagues.
  4. A centralized purchasing and license management console to easily assign and transfer seats at no cost, add seats, and track usage.
  5. Centrally deploy all apps or a customized subset. Admins can also block services and online storage access while on the corporate network.

Final Take: Go Creative Cloud if creativity is a long term business requirement since regular updates will allow your creatives to “Do More with Less.”


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