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> What bothers me about subscription pricing is how expensive it invariably turns out to be considering the amount of use I get out of a program.

I wonder if the problem is you're undervaluing your software. You're expecting a certain price point but often that's too low for a business to be sustainable.

If the Adobe product prices aren't ridiculously overvalued, there's something wrong with the way they develop their software.

I don't understand what you mean. You can get the Adobe Creative Suite with Photoshop, Lightroom, some other stuff I don't remember (don't use), for $10/month.

Is that too much?

Those are individual prices, but yeah honestly they are pretty high. For a business, it's $30/month/app/license. For a company with one graphic designer using Photoshop+Illustrator, that's $60/month (or $70 to get all the apps). That's already $720+ every year. With 9 million paid subscribers [1] that would be at least $90 million / year, assuming that everyone was on the minimum plan and only had a single license. If they gave every developer a $200k salary, that would be equal to 450 developers. Looking at the statistics about creative cloud revenue [2] it seems like they're earning in excess of $3 billion every year, so splitting that up among the same salaries would be more like 15k developers working on the products (no matter how complex their software is, 15,000 developers seems like a massive stretch for relatively minor updates to their existing platforms). Obviously they have other operating costs and they need some net income, but in my opinion it really should not require such excessive pricing, especially when their software is made to stop working as soon as you stop paying. (I actually looked it up and saw that they do indeed have ~15,000 employees (hopefully most aren't developers), but it's honestly insane to think that they need that many people to work on incremental updates to well-established programs that already do 99% of what's expected of them).

[1] http://prodesigntools.com/creative-cloud-one-million-paid-me... [2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2017/03/17/ad...

That's the single exception, any other single Creative Suite app costs $30/month.

Even at $120/year, I have serious reservations about putting my photography library in piece of subscription software. I've heard that LR6 is the last standalone licensed version, so I'll be looking into Darktable as an alternative.

The photos themselves aren't locked in: they end up somewhere on your filesystem (that mimics the structure you see in LR). It's only the metadata and other photo edits that you would lose if you were to stop subscribing. And of course you could export those edits out of LR before you stop your subscription.

It's not much different from another piece of software that you buy outright, but that is not going to be supported after X years. You'll have the same problem: "hey photo_something 2.0 doesn't work on MacOS High Sierra anymore, but our v3.0 does, for a small upgrade fee".

Are you going to hold back on upgrading your OS? For how long? At some point all the delay tactics stop working, and by then there isn't enough of an ecosystem for the "old world" anymore to help you transition out smoothly.

$120/year is really not that much if you are a professional photographer (or digital artist) who needs the bells and whistles that PS/LR provide. If $10/month makes or breaks your business, I have bad news for you.

I personally think that $10/mo for LR/PS is a great deal.

The difference is the "X years" part. I'd rather own software that works until something actually breaks and I can choose if I keep paying for upgrades, rather than software deliberately exploding if I stop writing Adobe a metaphorical check every month.

I bought Lightroom 6 for $79 (upgrade price from LR3) about 26 months ago. It still works fine. Whatever features I'd have gotten with the CC package ($260 and continuing upward forever) are certainly not worth more than tripling the price.

Obviously if it's your profession or a more serious hobby the value proposition changes. But the "everyone pays the same price, even the occasional hobbyist" model is pretty shitty for the occasional hobbyist.

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