Once Upon a Sketch Podcast Episode 5 – Conversation with Adobe about Creative Cloud


Last month on our podcast we had a roundtable conversation about Adobes new subscription model and it turns out that Adobe was listening. We got the chance to speak with Terry Hemphill a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe. He heard our Conversation and approached us with the intent to speak with us about some of the confusion and concern regarding Creative Cloud. At first we were a little skeptical about speaking with a representative from Adobe. We were afraid that it might just be a long pitch for their products but we found Terry to be very open and honest with his answers. Before we spoke with Terry we put out a request for questions that, if you had the chance, would want to ask Adobe about creative cloud and we got a lot of great responses. Here are a few of the questions we asked him. Thanks for your input;

  • Why ONLY the subscription model rather than allowing for a perpetual license?
  • Why is the cloud subscription model better for me as a customer and as an illustrator?
  • What would you suggest young freelance artists or students do if they cannot afford to pay a monthly fee?
  • If you sign a one-year contract with Adobe and have to end it early what is the penalty?
  • If your customers are paying you month to month what incentive is there for you to upgrade your products competitively?
  • Has the outcry from the community at all affected Adobe’s plans for Creative Cloud?

We certainly got to ask him a lot more but those are just a handful of the questions we asked. Give a listen to the whole conversation to hear everything we talked about.


Once Upon a Sketch Podcast Episode 4 – Roundtable Adobe’s Big Switch

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud VS Creative Suite (Infographic)

Alternatives to Using the Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe announces plan to switch to subscription service

Creative Cloud Team Blog

Creative Cloud Forums

Adobe Ideas

Audio Version of the podcast or listen on iTunes

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  1. William Palacio

    Here is a link to one of the products that is Adobe and is not included. It’s a very useful tool for screen capture and making video presentations and it’s another $359.00 There are a few others as well.

    • Norm

      Thanks for the comment and the info. I will pass this information on to Terry.

      • Terry Hemphill

        William and Norm,

        Yes, Captivate is not included in Creative Cloud — it’s not generally considered one of our creative apps, e.g., one of the design, web, photography or video apps. But I’ll certainly communicate this ask, though.

        But to be more specific, not every Adobe product is part of Creative Cloud — only those under the “creative” umbrella. Adobe has a large number of apps for digital marketing, digital analytics, social marketing, web experience management, media optimization, and document services and management that are not in Creative Cloud.

  2. Cheryl

    Thanks for doing that! Fortunately there are many other programs out there available for us to use. I have already moved into using them, and find they do everything I need and more. They are compatible with the big boys and affordable, so Adobe is welcome to do whatever they choose… and so are we.

  3. Jehanne

    Super podcast. It was really informative and interesting. The hour just flew by. Thanks.

    • Norm

      Thanks Jehanne, we really appreciate your comment. Wilson and I have been trying to figure out if an hour is too long but glad to hear it flew by for you.

  4. Chris

    Great podcast guys, thanks for this. Good to hear about this from Adobe’s perspective.

  5. Mike

    This stinks to high heaven even more than I possibly thought! Glad the general user populace is here to make Adobe’s life convenient! I like how every 5-10 minutes it’s mentioned how “painful” this process will be. That’s a bunch of Crap! NOT for this user! Goodbye Adobe! RIP at CS6… Hello Painter, Manga Studio and whatever else I can find.

    Here’s the simpleton’s math. 600 bucks a year locked in. The average user upgrades every other upgrade (about every 2-3 years). Guaranteed $600 annual income instead of an original big purchase $600-1200+ and $400 upgrades (average $300ish per year over 10 years). Overall another $200-300 in Adobe’s pocket per user every year (doubling their $).

    Quit acting like you’re doing us a favor Adobe…

  6. John Petersen

    Great podcast. However, I still remain unconvinced. I simply don’t like the idea of renting software, which is essentially what you’re doing. At this point there are too many cheaper alternatives to Creative Suite. I realize Adobe is the “industry standard,” but after this move the competition is only going to get better. Goodbye, Adobe.

  7. LadyViridis

    Honestly, all I am hearing is corporate waffling along the lines of “no no, we swear it’ll be better for everyone!” and I’m just strongly reminded of the recent issues with Microsoft and the XBox One. Adobe seems to be getting a little less pushback than Microsoft did, but me… I’m just thinking “maybe it’s time I learned another program.”

    There is a growing trend of companies trying to tell you that you don’t own the products they sell you, you’re only buying a license. It’s not a good trend, and I’m inclined to discourage it wherever possible. So I don’t think Adobe is getting any more of my money if they are going to pursue this angle.

  8. mary uhles

    Hey guys just had a chance to listen to this and fond it very informative. I agree with some of the other comments here that clearly the reason Adobe did this was to have a steady revenue stream…. lets not try to smoke screen artists with “accounting practices” and “regulations.” I wonder if whats really going on is Adobe is losing money because its software is being pirated in a frenzied madness overseas. I have a weee bit of sympathy for companies regarding this so it would be interesting to find out if this is an attempt to shut down some of that.

    Regardless the market will determine how this shakes out. If, in another 18 mos, its not going as well I bet you’ll see all kinds of pricing incentives… but it will take at least that long. From this illustrators perspective I think they should work harder to make Adobe products seamless with the Mac OS… I’m more likely to give up Adobe than I am to give up Mac products. I also think they should make a concerted effort to reach out to the small studios, really understand their particular problems and create a solution that fits them. It still sounded to me like they are thinking along the lines of companies, or agencies. The thing is whle the world MAY be moving in the direction of “more collaborative projects” its definitely moving in the direction of all creatives being free agents.

    And on a shallow peevish note, I’m getting fed up with the companies comparing the price of owning something to the price of Starbucks. Maybe i’m naive but can I get a show of hands of how many people really spend more than $600 a year on coffee? I’d like to see Starbucks do an ad campaign -tongue in cheek- that says “for less than the price of a car/college education/important software tool you can have a cup of coffee every day.”

    • WilsonWJr

      Yeah Mary business is business. I doubt they would come out and say that it makes us more money. That may be honest but it would obviously be bad PR. I also doubt this is something that piracy is at the bottom of. It may be a factor but ultimately creating a product that even your paying customers can’t afford could potentially increase piracy not reduce it in my opinion. But I don’t know what numbers they have and are working from to come to their conclusions.

      I also agree that the market will determine things. In the process of creating limited options at a high price point it gives their competitors a larger pedestal to stand atop. Many had no idea about all the other photoshop alternative applications that are out there. But now many are seeking them out and testing those waters since they feel that Adobe has priced them out of an integral tool they need to conduct business. In this situation money may talk more than complaints. If it hurts them in their pocket then like any business they’ll change up their formula. If not though…..all bets are off.

      I almost wanted to say that we don’t even have a Starbucks where I live. I don’t think he realized how kinda elitist that may come across. It also doesn’t bode well in explaining how they came to their price structure. It comes across that they really don’t know who the people are that use their products. I think that says something about the cost of living differences in different parts of the US not to mention the world. In New York or California $50 may very well not be a lot of money compared to their cost of living. But in other states where the cost of living and therefore average income is significantly less $50 is a LOT of money. I’d love to have the luxury of spending $50 a month on coffee. But I’m not in that position and I imagine many others aren’t either.

      • Terry Hemphill

        FIrst, I apologize if the comment on the coffee came across as elitist; it certainly wasn’t my intention. People spend money on a lot of things each month — cable service, internet, mobile phones — that may or may not be business critical. It’s really up to the you, the customer, to determine the value for a tool that is integral to your business.

        And if I made it seem that we don’t know who uses our products, both here and abroad, then that’s a failure on my part in the discussion.

        Thanks again for having me on the podcast, and I do encourage people who have suggestions and comments for Adobe to reach out on the Creative Cloud Team blog:
        or the Creative Cloud Community Forum:

        • WilsonWJr

          Hey Terry!

          I’m sure you’ll hear from many. But again ultimately business is business. I think Adobe is following the same format that a lot of other services are switching to. You are hardly alone in proceeding this way. We can all question the motivation but at the end of the day the change is coming whether we like it or not. As you mentioned, it comes down to how integral what Adobe presents is to our business and for most of us it can be VERY integral.

          So I imagine I’m in the same boat as most and we’ll be waiting to see how things go in the next few years. We know what Adobe has presented and we see that the options presented are evolving with input from customers and eventually reactions to competition. Now we wait and see what the reaction will be and I’m sure that will color the response from Adobe and others who are following similar business plans.

          So thank you for your input and clearing the air as much as you could! I think it was very helpful. Many are reacting unfortunately without doing much research so it was great of you to come in and answer the questions many of our readers had. At least at this point they’ll be able to make an informed decision about how they want to proceed forward with your product.

          Thanks again!

        • mary uhles

          Hi Terry
          I actually appreciate your candor and willingness to answer questions cheerfully from what, I’m sure, are a bunch of politely grumpy folks. We can’t be the only ones;) I personally hope that some combination of market forces and creativity at Adobe collide to cause the pricing structure to better include small studios. Either that or I hope my clients start to pour more money into my budgets. I have an idea, what if Adobe decided to hire a bunch of us to create images supporting the switch. With a good budget of course (or maybe a license in perpetuity;) to be eligible you had to be a studio of less than 5 people and you had to have been an Adobe user for more than 5 years. I bet thats the demographic thats shaky. At the very least it would be an interesting PR campaign.


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