back to article A-dough-be: Photoshop flinger pumps profits 50 per cent

Adobe is crediting the success of its cloud and digital media groups in reporting record quarterly revenues. The Creative Cloud maker says that its Q3 2016 period (ended September 2) saw a number of units reach new highs: Revenues of $1.46bn were up 20 per cent over the year-ago quarter. Net income of $270m was a 55 per …

  1. LINCARD1000

    Having had to deal with this Adobe cloud nonsense at work...

    ...I'm fairly confident in saying the only people happy about this are Adobe. It's exceedingly painful to handle installations and upgrades inside a corporate network with this stuff, not to mention all the utterly ridiculous hoops you have to jump through to licence individual users.

    Bring back old-fashioned install media and software keys.

    And then get the HELL off my lawn, you damned kids with your head in the goddamned clouds.

    < /grump>

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Financialization is an economic hack to buoy up profits in the short term. When this bubble explodes it's going to be glorious.

  3. jtaylor

    Is this all about moving customers to a subscription (rental) model and off of perpetual licenses?

  4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "Our leadership in cloud-based content and data platforms make us a mission critical partner to the world's biggest brands as they transform how they engage with their customers," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said.

    Nope, unless it's also 'disruptive', no sale.

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Incentive to fall off a cliff

    It's more incentive for developers to create alternates.

    It's more incentive for users to switch.

    MS is making this same short term mistake. Lots of people in the long term can't afford this rental (extortion) model. The original licences were over priced too.

    This will explode eventually.

  6. Dave Ross

    Given a capative market..

    It's hardly surprising.

    You make stuff on computers creatively, there is little option but to go Adobe, after all, whats the point in using an alternative (as if there are any real alternatives) if once you have sent your files elsewhere they come back and say half of it doesn't work?

    I will stick with CS6 as I can't afford the subscription fees, it does everything I want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given a capative market..

      You might want to give the stuff from the Affinity guys at Serif a go.

      Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo may not have the whole sea of Photoshop tools available but they're rapidly getting there and it certainly is priced attractive enough to give it a shot. I normally don't get on with designer tools as I'm not a pro, but their stuff is *very* usable and is feature rich enough to be a sensible alternative for professionals on a limited budget.

      Not affiliated, just a happy user of both.

      1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: Given a capative market..

        Still waiting for the windows port of Affinity Photo, but it could certainly give pohtoshop a run for its money

        The truth is a lot of photographers think have to use photoshop, but only use 10% of the features. They could use other packages just as well.

        Unfortunately if you pick any photo magazine up they only ever do tutorials for photoshop meaning it is hard understand what you are doing initially.

        In the corporate world photoshop is so ingrained into workflows that it is hard to see it ever being replaced.

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Given a capative market..

          In the corporate world photoshop is so ingrained into workflows that it is hard to see it ever being replaced.

          People used to say that about Quark

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Given a capative market..

          Sign up for the beta of the Windows port. It's free.

  7. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    The Extra Cost

    People always tell me that the subscription price is great value. However to me it feels like those higher purchase deals where the monthly cost looks so affordable, until you add up the lifetime costs. Also once you stop paying, you lose access, so it is difficult to ever leave.

    Of course the other argument is that you get lifetime updates.

    There is some benefit in this, but no one ever seems to question whether the updates have any value. The truth is when PS went subscription it was a mature product. There has be nothing revolutionary in photo-processing since CS6. There has been a few tweaks, and UI improvements, but nothing that stands out. Also do not underestimate that a lot of the power of PS comes not from the product itself, but the 3rd part add-ons such as Topaz and NIK. Take those away and it would be like nn iphone without an app store.

    And that is the big problem with the subscription model. It makes the supplier lazy. There is the old Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert is rotating his hands and says to Wally, "we are getting paid for this". If Adobe never did another update, they would still rake in the cash from their existing subscription base. It makes companies lazy and inhibits innovation. The only way Adobe have got away with it for now is because of their gorilla position in the market. If someting comes along with 90% of the features, but at a non-subscription price, they may find they have lost the ability to react

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Extra Cost

      "People always tell me that the subscription price is great value."

      The sorts of figures Adobe is reporting here should give them pause to think.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Extra Cost

        The sorts of figures Adobe is reporting here should give them pause to think.

        As long as their budgets aren't tight enough to force them to find alternatives the established companies will just keep on paying the tax. Much like Microsoft houses do. It's like smoking, it takes a lot of bad side effects or financial problems before alternatives are considered.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Extra Cost

      And that is the big problem with the subscription model. It makes the supplier lazy.

      .. which is the exact reason that a let's-make-it-a-weekly-update-so-nobody-notices-just-how-much-we-need-to-patch-every-time Windows 10 subscription is IMHO really worth avoiding.

  8. Korev Silver badge

    Adobe's model works for amateur photographers like me; I would have never paid the kind of money they used to ask for Photoshop, Lightroom etc but have subscribed to CC. I can see how trying to manage the "Cloud" side of things would be a royal pain in the arse for people administering the systems that have the Adobe products in.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      amateur photographers like me

      Amateurs tend to subscribe because they think that's what the professionals use. However the majority rarely use PS for much more than cropping or a bit of cloning.There are far more cost effective tools to do that.

      Most of the processing photographers do, can be done in RAW processing This can be done in lightroom, DxO, Capture one etc and do not need a subscription. If you feel you need to add or remove items (which is a big no-no if you want to enter landscape competitions), PS elements will do most of what you need.

      PS is used as a photo manipulation package, but is in fact a supremely capable graphic design tool. Unless you are creating images from scratch, you will hardly touch the surface of what it can do and be wasting your money.

      So get a RAW processing package, a cheap photo manipulation tool such as elements, zone, paint shop pro and after 18 months you can start putting that money you've saved towards better lenses, which will actually make a difference to your photo quality

  9. TRT Silver badge

    I'd be happier to see...

    figures relating to the installed customer base and customer satisfaction figures but of course money talks, and that's all investors are worried about. This might just be the extra drippings you get when you squeeze something dry. I hope their revenue stream falls off as people switch to software and companies that display less of the "fucking you in the arse and telling you that you love it" attitude.

  10. Jan Hargreaves

    Complain all you want but it's a no brainer for people like me. I get the full master collection for $50 a month instead of a $5000 one time purchase (that reaches EOL after a few years). I would never have been able to afford that in one go. If I had taken a loan to get it, then I would have paid interest on top.

    And saying there is no innovation and new features is just plain ignorance. They are constantly adding new stuff. Maybe it's not useful to you but doesn't mean they are just sitting on their hands. One of the new features I've liked is preview mode for InDesign where you can share interactive documents in the browser with just an URL. Great for clients to share their brochures or catalogues online with customers.

    I think it was around 2009 that I started talking with a mate about Adobe and how they should add a subscription model. Very glad they did. If you don't like it then use the legacy CS6 or find other alternatives.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      "should add a subscription model"

      Correct. But that's not the issue. The problem is that they've removed the other models.

      I work in a research lab where money is fixed, tight and people work in small teams. There's no monthly flow of income from clients settling bills; one has to predict ones requirements for a project and cost it in during the application cycle. We have people who might use Photoshop and Illustrator intensively for a few weeks every now and again when working up a publication and not at all the rest of the time. We can only buy through our purchasing system in 12 month blocks - it's prohibitively expensive and cumbersome to turn a subscription model on and off. We have little need of new features and every need to produce file types compatible with the publishing houses. We used to be able to buy a boxed product for ~£400 that could be installed for concurrent use across all group machines and it would work for the 3 or 5 years the grant would run. To achieve the same under CC costs ten times that much. Good for Adobe, not so good for medical research.

    2. Tessier-Ashpool

      I don't pay anything at all each month for my Affinity tools. And they are great. Coming to Windows soon.

      Adobe should consider re-branding themselves along the lines of our local pub: The Golden Fleece.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Now if they had a model where they charged you, say, £1.50 for every day that you launched one of their products, and invoiced you on a monthly, quarterly or annual cycle, we might be looking at a model that would work in research, education etc.

  11. calmeilles

    I said this in 2013:

    For me at least. As a hobbyist user of Photoshop I've been an Adobe customer since for ever and, to save money, bought only every other release these last few.

    Doubtless this behaviour is what riles Adobe. But the subscription model is far more expensive than I can justify for a hobby. My guess is that the same is going to be true for many, perhaps the majority, of private users. So Adobe rather than make more money out of me you've lost a little.

    However what will make the difference will be the take-up by corporate customers. That I cannot guess about. So far it doesn't look good but corps. are notoriously slow so maybe Adobe will keep them as CS6 becomes too old to use.

    I guess we've now seen.

    A while back I discovered that a new camera needed a new RAW plugin that needed a newer version of CS. Seems that Photoshop is now, after 25 years, no longer useful to me.

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