back to article Adobe results show it is still creaming those subscriptions but its share price fell – why?

A day after Adobe posted hugely profitable Q3 results, its share price dropped by as much as 5 per cent (~$270) and has been bouncing around the sub 3 per cent mark (~$275) for the remainder of trading. The headline figures [PDF] look swell and Adobe chairman, president and CEO Shantanu Narayen may as well have been replaced …

  1. macjules Silver badge

    forgot about Quark ..

    "What is the pricing for a single user please?"

    "£835"

    "And what is the pricing for 1,000 users please?"

    "£835,000"

  2. Snapper

    FSCK me!

    Angry QuarkXPress users?

    How would anyone tell the difference?

    They only have themselves to blame, as does Adobe unless they start writing software properly for once!

    Oh Deity! I kill myself sometimes....

  3. Qumefox

    I've always hated SaS models. All it does is give vendors a free pass to quit innovating. With normal buy to own version releases, they have to actually improve the product with new features to entice people to upgrade. With subscriptions, they can just sit on their asses and watch the money roll in because people don't have a choice. You can't just 'keep using the old version' if you're dissatisfied.

    Yes i'm aware that buying adobe products outright is still an option. However that option is priced so high that very few people can justify the cost and be willing to pay it.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      I rather like the JetBrains model: if the inventions and features added to the product over the last year are not convincing enough to keep paying the subscription, then you can stop paying and keep the one-year old version of the product, before all the other irrelevant stuff got added to it.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Me too. JetBrains seem to bend backwards in order to accommodate everyone, from students to freelance developers to SME corps.

    2. Stern Fenster

      @Qumefox

      - Yes i'm aware that buying adobe products outright is still an option.

      Really? How's it done?

    3. Jove Bronze badge

      What you describe only works if the vendor has a monopoly of the market segment or a dominant position - the SAS model is not the root of the problem if the vendor demurs on evolving their product.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adobe CC is cancer

    Adobe management drank Mark Zuckerburgs coolaid just before the world started to realize that cloud based spyware isn't cool.

    The whole business is designed to screw their customers as hard as possible. Their support is terrible, their products are loaded with spywa.. I mean "Telemetry" software, security is terrible, performance is terrible, stability is terrible, they are using their customers as QC, and their startup apps are more resistant to being turned off then most malware infections I've seen.

    If you can live without it, DO that thing. If not, keep piling on the hate. The marketing department seems to be the only one they listen to, and it's clear that they won't start trying to change until their brand has worse associations then Rick Santorum's.

    1. vaporland

      Re: Adobe CC is cancer

      Run CS 6 in a VM - it's file compatible.

  5. asdfasdfasdf2015

    Lawsuits

    They threatened everyone with a lawsuit if they didn't upgrade their Adobe products to the latest versions... So they rake in the money because people need to use their software, but they take a hit on the stock market over their greed and ill will from not doing business as usual.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Lawsuits

      So they rake in the money because people need to use their software, but they take a hit on the stock market over their greed and ill will from not doing business as usual.

      "Greed and ill will" are considered good things from an investor's perspective. If you're not charging at or above the threshold of pain, you're leaving money on the table.

    2. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Lawsuits

      "They threatened everyone with a lawsuit if they didn't upgrade their Adobe products to the latest versions"

      No they did not. They warned users that the risked legal action from third-parties for the software components that were no longer licensed.

  6. Stam

    Cookie monsters

    I had Creative Cloud but didn't use it a whole lot. Last time they asked me to update my card details I spent 5 minutes trying to not accept ad cookies on their site, gave up and cancelled my subscription

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Share prices reflect future expectations

    So, even if profits exceed predictions, you don't tend to see much movement, but you will see sell-offs if they're not met. But currently the stockmarket is finally worried if the exceptional corporate profits can be maintained. They're also starting to query some of the purchases that they've cheered on over the last few years.

    They love the subscription model but are petrified that customers might wonder if they have a choice. Some of these areas need looking at by the antitrust lot.

  8. luminous

    Optional

    I don't get why people moan about the subscription model price (they are probably people who would never buy/need it). It's $50 a month where I am for the full creative suite. I use Photoshop on a near daily basis, I use Illustrator occasionally and I also use Adobe Fonts for some of my online work. I use Acrobat too but that could be replaced with a free alternative. Adobe Media Encoder is pretty handy although Handbrake can do some of what it delivers. $600 a year, even if you were only going to upgrade every 4 years on the purchase software (which is a pretty long cycle), is still only $2200 which is half the price of the old boxed set. It's a great deal for creative professionals.

    Adobe is kind of at a saturation point. All the people who want CC have it. Investors hate this as they want exponential growth, hence the purchase of other businesses to try to appease investors. Frankly, I couldn't give a rats arse about the investors; they can pull their money but the business will survive. The software allows me to do my work, with many great features, some of which now do several hours of work in one click that takes seconds. Content Aware was recently brought to video in After Effects which has changed the industry in a major way. This sort of thing has been requested for years.

    1. Dan Clarke

      Re: Optional

      If you're using Photoshop daily and other products occasionally as well then, sure, $50/month might seem like a reasonable cost, and I presume that the bulk of Adobe's users are creative types who do use the software every day and presumably benefit from regular new features and innovation. However, anecdotally I know that I'm certainly not the only person who has always used Adobe products, but much more sporadically.

      I'll typically use Photoshop fairly intensely for a week when I have a particular job to do, but then a couple of months can pass without it being used at all. We use InDesign a handful of times a year. I'd suggest that for this kind of user 4 years ISN'T an unusual upgrade cycle at all, and in fact it may be way longer. In fact, I'm still using an old copy of CS2 which I think dates back to the mid-2000s? I'm sure people will scoff at that, but for what we need here, it's fine. Without wishing to litigate all the alternatives, Photoshop CS2 still does things which (just for example) Paint.Net doesn't, and more to the point we have years-worth of client design work in Adobe formats. Our quandary is that during various office moves we've lost the installation CD and the PC it's currently installed on is ready for the knackers yard. The path of least resistance would be to stay with Adobe - we know our existing files will be fine, there's no re-learning time costs and we get all the applications we need in one go - but at $600/year (actually more for us, since we're in the UK) it kind of forces you look at alternatives like Affinity.

      1. luminous

        Re: Optional

        Seems like they should offer the plans at a slightly higher rate on a monthly option. It's £49.94/mo in the UK for the full suite since you need InDesign. How much would you be willing to pay for a month's access when that big job comes in?

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Optional

        You could always suggest that they introduce a "charge by the hour" billing model

        1. Jove Bronze badge

          Re: Optional

          ... or simple stop whinging like an entitled free-loader and learn to do with-out, find an alternative, or write your own.

        2. luminous

          Re: Optional

          I didn't know it was that "personal" a service...

    2. fandom

      Re: Optional

      At work we pay subscriptions for a few packages we wouldn't be able to do without and I am fine with it, but for my personal computer I don't, I wouldn't pay a subscription even if I weren't into Linux.

      And it is not just software, if it is not essential, like electricity, I avoid subscriptions like a plague, I don't understand how they can market something being only as expensive as 'a cup of coffee a day', my mind inmediately translates that as 'really expensive'.

      And I do drink coffee.

      1. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Optional

        "I don't understand how they can market something being only as expensive as 'a cup of coffee a day'"

        They appear to be charging about $2.50 per working day which seems to be less than that cup of desiccated camel droppings call a Tall Coffee Frappuccino.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Optional

      >I don't get why people moan about the subscription model price

      GIMP, Krita and DigiKam are good enough for me, no purchase necessary only a voluntary one off donation should you so choose to contribute financially.

  9. The Average Joe

    Only the honest Americans are paying the SaS game...

    In India and China combined they have 10 licenses of CC or CS. The piracy rate is over 95% because the cost of the software is too high. Americans are funding Adobe software so that other countries can steal it. The criminals will always have a way to steal it.

    Trump needs to have the BSA audit India, China and Russia for stolen software. If you can't afford commercial software use open source and quit stealing. You want proof? India has like 70,000 newspapers and the publishing is done on Windows XP with old Adobe software....

    1. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Only the honest Americans are paying the SaS game...

      Yes, it is a bit of a problem in that part of the world.

  10. ColonelClaw

    Pedant Alert

    Sorry to be a pedantic git, but as someone who uses Photoshop and After Effects for a living, I thought I'd point out "And what would you use instead of After Effects?" is actually incorrect; it's the one part of the CC suite that actually has decent professional competition. Key rivals are Nuke and Fusion, two packages that are highly regarded by their user base.

    But yes, in the case of Photoshop, for how I use it at least, there's nothing that comes even close. Alas.

  11. hatti

    Old school

    I remember installing software from a Cd-rom on my computer, how quaint

    1. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Old school

      ... or slightly more quaint - from a cassette tape?

      1. magickmark
        Trollface

        Re: Old school

        Well lets not get into the whole thing about punch cards!!

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