Adobe Creative Cloud Pushes Past 1 Million Subscribers; Photoshop CC and Lightroom Now Available for $9.99/mo

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Cloud Deal

After the Creative Cloud subscription method was implemented in full and perpetual licenses for future versions were killed,  many photographers vowed to leave Adobe in the dust and proclaimed that the company would crumble and fall from the decision. Adobe’s prior goal was to reach 1 million subscribers before the end of 2013. It seems that they are ahead of schedule.

While some folks aren’t subscribing to the whole package, I would venture to say that the majority of users pay the $50/mo rate. Do the math on that and you’ll see that Adobe is probably doing just fine. For those waiting for Adobe to offer a perpetual licensing scheme, I suspect that is only getting further from any likelihood of ever happening again.

And, on that note, the recently announced, limited time deal on Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom for $9.99 is now available from Adobe Creative Cloud. The subscription includes:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5
  • 20 GB of online storage
  • Behance ProSite (custom site/portfolio hosting)
  • Access to the online video tutorials in Creative Cloud

You can sign up here for the Adobe Photoshop Photography Program.

If the subscription method just goes against your grain and you’re not willing to shell out even $9.99/mo., then there are other options:

Expect more competition to fill in the gaps soon for those that don’t want to join the Creative Cloud. Just don’t expect Adobe to offer a non-subscription option for the full version of Photoshop again.



  1. Jim L says

    Reducing the price of something wrong and greedy to begin with does not make it less wrong. I will use the Adobe products I have and when need be, find alternatives. This si a matter of principle not just money. Adobe should be reprimanded not praised for such actions. I will never buy Adobe anything again.

  2. Sam W says

    I agree with you Jim, so far I don’t know anyone in the industry who has embraced this pricing ideology.

    • Jim L says

      It’s a shame because there are many of us that do not use Adobe products enough to warrant a monthly fee and/or don’t use enough of a product (ie Photoshop) to warrant a monthly fee. There are some months I use it 10-15 time sand others i don;t use it much at all.. It all depends on workflow and many photographers have different levels of needs. Spend some money to make software more resistant to piracy but don;t take it away from those who want to buy it and use it for their needs, at their pace for their period of time. I have found Corel AfterShotPro to be an excellent alternative to Lightroom. I have not tried any alternatives for Photoshop yet other than GIMP but I am still experimenting.

    • Jeff says

      Everyone I have personally spoke to in the industry has moved away from Adobe including me because of the CC subscriptions. Some Adobe Executives need to be fired.

  3. Geno T says

    Well, considering they pretty much don’t sell anything anymore, how could their Cloud model not be increasing in subscribers? I am not one and will never be. I’m in photography full time. I will not ever rent their software. Oh… Paintshop. Change your name. Seriously.

  4. sjms says

    read carefully they say its not an introductory price. but then say its only for a year and will then if the price changes it will change with it. talking out of both ends of their body.

  5. Baz says

    If they genuinely had 1 million cc users why reduce the price? Special offers like this usually mean “oops, sales are down, lets reduce the price to gain market share then we can raise it again later”. I will not be going down the cc route.

  6. Jeff says

    What Adobe doesn’t say is how many customers actually left them and it’s a massive amount. Once their subscription rates go back to the normal rate in a year expect another mass exodus. Customers want choices – they don’t want subscriptions. Adobe will never get any $ from me on a subscription – I don’t rent my tools and NEVER WILL ADOBE. – This former lifelong customer whose business $ you no longer want will NEVER COME BACK WITH MY $. The Adobe Executive(s) that thought up CC should be FIRED. I’ve LOST ALL TRUST IN ADOBE (a company whose products I formerly bought and loved to work with as well as recommend to all when giving speeches to groups – NO LONGER).

  7. says

    I am a bit of a contrarian on this one. I like the subscription service. I have three seats of CC at my office (originally CS6) and I like spreading the total cost of ownership over the year. For me that is $150/month, which happens to be my hourly billing rate. I like getting the updates automatically from Adobe, which helps me stay on the cutting edge. Having run my company for 25 years now, upgrades are a normal part of the business that have to be budgeted into the cash flow. This cash flow will also benefit Adobe. After all, they are in it to make money just like me. Hopefully the improved cash flow for them will help cause faster innovation in their product. Only time will tell. I also do not begrudge any of the comments above and people leaving a company if they do not like how they are operating their business. Free market at its best.

    • Jim L says

      “I am a bit of a contrarian on this one:”
      Actually Clark you sound like a bit of a tool on this one. Your opinion is immaterial to the vast majority of people affected by the BS subscription situation. I get the feeling you were more concerned about letting everyone know you bill $150 an hour than your opinion on CC.

      It goes without saying that companies or super cool high charging designers like yourself can and will afford the new subscription rates at Adobe without complaining… its just another business expense to write off along with your four client lunches this week… that goes without saying and exactly what Adobe is depending on. Its like the 99% versus the 1% in our economy except in this case its more like the 90 and 10. There are the 10% which are represented by design houses and ultra cool and expensive geeks named Clark and then there’s the 90% of us who cannot afford or simply do not wish to pay in to what should be an illegal choke hold on consumers, not to mention downright unreasonable. The subscription plan is BS, pure and simple and I hope Adobe chokes on it. From what I hear, their revenues are down and I am quite happy to hear it.

    • Jim L says

      I think its sad that you feel the urge to disclose how much your hourly wage is. Perhaps it is a deeply subconscious need to make up for something else you fall “short” on. The subscription only move by Adobe is a disgrace. I hope they go bankrupt.

      • says

        Jim, I truly am sorry if I offended you by disclosing my hourly wage. It was not intended to be a slight towards you or anyone else. My intention was to make a business case where the subscription model makes sense.

          • says

            I get what you are saying Clark. I feel the same way about spreading the cost out over the year. I appreciate you adding valid points to the conversation.

            You’re out of line Jim. If you’ve got a problem with Adobe, that’s understandable. Feel free to air your frustrations against Adobe. There’s no need to berate someone who’s trying to make a case why something works for him. If you want to add counterpoints against someone’s case, that’s fine. Trolling is not. I really shouldn’t have to spell this out here.

          • Jim L says

            Very noble of you Eric but Clark is a big boy and can speak for himself. However, that said, true, there is no reason to be specific top one person. I think Adobe and those who support their subscription only plans are a disgrace.
            There are far more people out there that would prefer to own software and upgrade if and when they wish. What Adobe is doing should be illegal. In this day and age with this economy we all have enough monthly bills without having to worry about Adobe being one of them. I think they are an absolute disgrace and encourage others to avoid using their products if at all possible.
            They are the industry standard and they know it. It is not a monopoly by definition by as close as you can get and they are using their power as a monopoly to force monthly funds from many who do not wish to be obligated to them. We live in a country of choice and when a company takes choices away I think its a disgrace… Adobe falls into that category and the only way to stop this kind of monopolistic behavior is to boycott it. I encourage others to realize this before the trend takes hold and cannot be stopped. I don’t want to have monthly bills for the four or five types of software I like to use regularly. I want the “choice” to use the version that fits my needs and upgrade if and when I want and when I can afford to without being forced to pay every month. I will say it just one more time… this is a disgrace.

  8. Jared says

    If this is true, it means Adobe makes a *minimum* of 10 MILLION DOLLARS PER MONTH (if everyone used only the basic plan posted in your article).

    • says

      For the three months of June-August the revenue for Adobe was $995.1 million. I don’t know what percentage of that is subscription-based revenue. According to Bloomberg, net income was $83 million, compared with $201.4 million a year earlier. But it is hard to get a read on whether that is good or bad because in the past Adobe would have huge quarters if they had an upgrade come out and then really bad quarters when they had no new product to sell. It will probably take 2-3 years for all this to shake out in the marketplace and to know whether this idea was a success or failure.

  9. Ryan says

    Jim L – when it comes to heavily used business software (and PS certainly falls in that category – though it’s also popular with consumers), subscription models have been the norm for many years with fewer examples of perpetual license situations available and most of those switching over. There are pros and cons for both the software developer and customer. The biggest pro of subscription models is likely the reliability and consistency from a budget standpoint. This goes for both the developer and customer. If I’m running a business – small, medium or large – I want to be able to accurately budget my expenses and revenue ahead of time. Curve balls like an unexpected upgrade to critical software that I need which requires a substantial up-front cash outlay isn’t fun for any business. Also, it throws year over year comparisons out the window because it’s inconsistent. The same thing goes for the developer except they’re dealing with inconsistent revenue spikes and dips instead of expenses.

    The other potential pro is that if you get a temporary job/bid that will require bringing someone on for a short period of time it allows you to do so at a much lower up-front cost than having to buy a perpetual license for a short-term worker.

    Personally, I like to own things as opposed to renting or leasing them and I use PS infrequently enough that a subscription model wouldn’t work well financially for me – and therefore I’m not a huge fan of the change – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a perfectly valid business model that will work really well for many of Adobe’s current customers. Will there be those that don’t like it? of course. Change is hard, particularly when you’ve moving away from the ability to own something that customers feel they should be able to own. But just like phone, internet, electricity, tv and other services for which a subscription is required regardless of how much you use it, software is moving in that same direction and particularly for large organizations like Adobe that want and require the consistency that subscription models bring with them. There will likely be many others step up to fill this hole because there will be a market demand for it, but the offerings will likely come from much smaller players and won’t be as full-featured as PS because they won’t have the financial resources that PS provides Adobe.

  10. Jim L says

    “Curve balls like an unexpected upgrade to critical software that I need which requires a substantial up-front cash outlay isn’t fun for any business.”
    I have been using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom since their beginnings and cannot recall any instance where there was a “substantial” upgrade fee so I disagree with that comment completely.

    “it allows you to do so at a much lower up-front cost than having to buy a perpetual license for a short-term worker.”
    Ryan, you are really reaching here too. If you are in a business that would require you or a hired designer to use Photoshop once, you will likely do so many times over. The short term argument is horrible.

    ” I like to own things as opposed to renting or leasing them and I use PS infrequently enough that a subscription model wouldn’t work well financially for me.”
    EXACTLY my point. Why doesn’t Adobe put some cash into measures that make piracy much harder to pull off? Even if they can’t they make so much more money selling physical CD programs to both designers and consumers than by subscription. It is an attempt driven by greed and one that appears to be failing. I just hope it fails big so Adobe learns a lesson about greed.

    “that doesn’t mean it’s not a perfectly valid business model that will work really well for many of Adobe’s current customers.”
    SOME, not MANY.

    I am sorry to see Adobe go this route because on principle alone I will not subscribe, not to mention the expense log-term. I want to own my software and upgrade if/when I wish. Many of us do not need every upgrade or new version when they come out. In fact, I usually skip a version or two before I buy again… Photoshop 1, 3, CS6. The others simply were not necessary and I am confident the versions (of Photoshop and Lightroom) I have now will serve me well for several years. On the side I have Core AfterShotPro when Lightroom isn’t enough and GIMP to do minor adjustments if Photoshop is not available. I also anticipate Corel coming out with a much improved competitor program to Photoshop and i expect GIMP to continue improving. Adobe has real nice product… no doubt but for the majority of us, they simply are not necessary. As a side note, I am very impressed with AfterShot Pro. Lightroom is still the best but Corel hasput out a very good and compatible program, one that I am quite content using often.