RedShark interview with Grant Petty

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Chris Hocking

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RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 1:48 am

Listen here.
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Steve Holmlund

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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 3:31 am

I think he's wrong to have such a negative view of the subscription model. I personally don't make my living with his products but I believe many of his customers do. I think they would pay some monthly price in exchange for regular, ongoing enhancements delivered in a predictable, timely, efficient manner. I like firing up my computer and discovering that 3 of the Adobe apps I need for my work have updates that fix bugs and add features. I don't need to download and completely re-install the apps. I just click update and it goes from there. The prices are reasonable for the value delivered because I can do a lot of things in-house that would cost 10x to send out. The total price I will pay for access to all Adobe applications is $600 per year or a fraction of the cost of having one marketing piece designed by an agency.

Right now, I'm wondering how many BMD camera owners would pay $5 to 10/mo. in exchange for regular firmware enhancements.
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rick.lang

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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 4:25 am

Steve, if one is a light user of Adobe products, i.e. using Photoshop and maybe Lightroom or just using Premier Pro or just Illustrator, I'm not sure the subscription makes sense. When you're a professional, sure at almost any level it works. But what about when you are no longer working? What happens when you no longer subscribe? I think I'd still like to enjoy playing with (and changing) those things that I created years before after the subscription ends and there is no professional income and expense deductions. Without a subscription model, the last version I buy can last me many more creative years until death or dementia. When you stop paying the subscription, do you get to keep using the last version of the subscribed software forever?

It is clearly a model that benefits both the consumer and Adobe when you have bought into the Adobe ecosystem and enjoy the products and those updates. It encourages a user of a couple of products to become a user of a dozen of their products because, well, they're free. And then you'll never leave that ecosystem because you have tied yourself to the Adobe world. There is no escape at some point. Doesn't feel right to me. I like the idea of individual software products competing on their merits. Once in the Adobe subscription ecosystem, you will use their products because they are essentially free and won't consider what is outside their ecosystem. I don't mean you, personally, but what I'm saying is that this is Adobe's motivation, what they believe will inevitably happen.


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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 4:31 am

Chris Hocking wrote:Listen here.


Always interesting to hear Grant's philosophy and goals. He's always at a higher plane than the people who can't understand why the audio has problems or a sensor has problems or an advertised feature doesn't work or doesn't appear. Love to hear his sermons on the mount, but would be interesting if more interviewers actually asked him about the implementations which can fall short of the mark. If Grant is a 'Steve Jobs' visionary, he really needs a 'Tim Cook' right hand that can make things work.


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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 4:45 am

Geoff, they lost me when I wanted to update my CS4 software to CS6. For years they had allowed you to skip a generation and upgrade every two versions for the lowest upgrade price. Suddenly with CS6 they only allowed users of CS5 and CS5.5 to upgrade inexpensively. I passed thinking maybe the next release will be worth it, but that turned out to be the subscription release... So I was miffed and have stayed with CS4. It still works on the latest Mac OS X.

Someone else may have a completely different experience and feel all the new subscription based upgrades are worthwhile, but I find many of their previous upgrades were not compelling new features. I don't need a cow in a field to disappear, I don't need every face in a group picture to be smiling, and so on.

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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 5:24 am

Rick, Geoff,
You raise good points. It could be that Photoshop and Illustrator occupy unique positions such that people can see using them for the foreseeable future. In any case, I don't think it's much worse than the Microsoft tax that essentially forces a new purchase of Office with every new computer purchase.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 5:28 am

I should add that a subscription model that let's you keep using what you have after you stop paying (foregoing the push updates and some higher level of support) may be more palatable to more people.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 5:04 pm

Geoff Baxter wrote:As near as I can figure, every time my software fires up, it tries to connect with the Internet to check if my subscription is up to date. I suspect this because it gets cranky if my Internet is out for any length of time.

So I rang them and asked about it, but they were evasive. They did say however, that if I did not want to keep up the subscription payment, I would have to fork out $850 to buy the latest version outright if I wanted the current version to keep working. In other words, unless I paid the $850 the software would stop working...


Well that at least is an option to opt out of the subscription model at some point and convert to a purchased license which is no longer and option for those who don't want to subscribe in the first place. I've never seen the option you describe documented but it sounds like something that is at the whim of Adobe marketing and not a guarantee.

Would be very interesting if Adobe published real numbers about the subscription adoptions versus what numbers they would see if they continued doing business without introducing subscriptions. I do think the subscriptions significantly lower your entry point to their software especially if you want to use their suites. That is good of Adobe, but in the long run, Adobe will see a more balanced revenue stream and more dollars overall.

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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 5:33 pm

Unfortunately I see all major software going the subscription route.
One has to accept this I feel at some point.

New technology doesn't always makes things better, but you can't really stop it.

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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 6:51 pm

I bought CS 5 and updated to CS 5.5 just before 6 came out. This was on an upgrade from the old Premiere Pro 2 version that had laid dormant for a few years because I had adopted Vegas. Problem was I still had Vegas and continued to update it too. And I could never bring myself to get back into the more restrictive Adobe environment. Stilll haven't used it, or AE which was my primary impetus for upgrading in the first place. At this point, the money was not well spent, and I frankly don't ever expect to be back into Adobe. As far as the future, Lightworks may be my alternative editor of the future instead, although it is going subscription too.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSat Apr 26, 2014 7:30 pm

Well, I see that Resolve 11 is a no-charge upgrade for existing customers. So if Resolve Lite stays free and you only buy Resolve Full once and then have ongoing free upgrades, I won't argue with that model.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSun Apr 27, 2014 12:18 am

I would LOVE to have Resolve as a subscription. At least that way I wouldn't have to carry around a USB dongle and have to worry about losing or destroying it in some manner. I could have it on my laptop and PC and work...only every running one copy at a time. Frankly, the whole dongle approach is very old and outdated.

I jumped on the Adobe CC bandwagon and yep, I love it. You don't have to wait 18 months+ to get new features. A few one comes online every 60 days or so. They are good features too. Useful additions.

I work at a college, so I only pay $24/mnth for the full suite. It's actually worked out better than I had thought. For example, I never would have paid for Audition...since it's included and dynamically linked with Premiere, working with it has been a treat. I love Audition. THAT's the whole ethos of Adobe. The Adobe way.

Once you're in, there is so much value in that suite, it's crazy. You just don't think of it that way until you've drank the kool-aid. 8-)
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSun Apr 27, 2014 12:26 am

I agree Sean, it definitely has a lot of benefits.

I just don't like the idea of my past projects being lost in purgatory in the cloud if I ever decide to move from CC to avid (or something like that).



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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSun Apr 27, 2014 5:25 am

Two subscription models more beneficial to the user than Adobe CC.

Avid, in addition to monthly, offers the option to buy plus pay an annual maintenance fee. If you skip a year on the fee, you'd have to buy again (or go full subscription) but the exit allows you to keep the Program(s).

RedGiant's new Universe offers monthly, annual or lifetime. Lifetime is pay one price and you are subscribed for life. Their Lifetime subscription costs less that the Premium plugins would cost to buy individually.

Adobe basically makes it difficult to move to other programs because once you exist the subscription you can't open your projects... unless you subscribe for at least one month.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostSun Apr 27, 2014 4:55 pm

I agree with Grant.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 5:04 am

Jason R. Johnston wrote:I agree with Grant.


+1

I hate subscriptions. I want to buy my software and use it whenever and however I want, even away from the net.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 2:05 pm

One more thought on subscriptions. It's hard to talk about Resolve because Lite is free and many people get the full version with a camera purchase. And the upgrades are free. You can't beat free, really.

But if Resolve were $999 for the full version and no other options, I think a lot more people would pay $10 to $20 per month than pony up the full amount all at once, especially those who are not sure they will be able to master its features.

So, the attractiveness of the subscription model really depends on pricing and terms. I don't ever see myself upgrading to the full version at $999 but even as a hobbyist, I might pay $10 per month for it, if I got to a spot where I needed motion blur, etc. I'm thinking someone who makes their living with it might see $20/month a reasonable price as it will take 4+ years to reach $1000, with the time-value of money working in your favor.

And if the subscription model led to more timely and efficient updates and a healthier business model for a software vendor upon which I might depend, all the better.

Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: I meant to say "noise reduction", not "motion blur".
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 4:20 pm

popcornflix wrote:
Jason R. Johnston wrote:I agree with Grant.


+1

I hate subscriptions. I want to buy my software and use it whenever and however I want, even away from the net.

+1
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 6:10 pm

I remember a lot of debate on subscriptions when Adobe first announced CC was the only way moving forward. While it may seem that a monthly continuing membership provides a constant flow of income to the business, it also provides a constant level of risk. Now do I know? I'm a director of 2 large online companies that provide subscription-only.

At any moment when you don't meet or exceed your customers expectations, you risk loosing subscribers. And once you lose them, it's 10x harder to get them back.

As some have mentioned, they pay varying amounts for Creative Cloud ranging from $9.99 to $49.99. To work in the design/post industry, a $50 monthly payment isn't much. Talk about a save on cash flow. You don't have to shell out $600-1200 for an upgrade or $1800-2400 for a brand new purchase.

The people I see this hurting are the hobbyists. It seems like $50 a month (for every app!) is high to toy around with. But, no one ever promised this would be a "free" hobby. Most hobbies cost money. But I find it hard to believe that even a hobbyist can't make that $50/month back somehow.

By the way, anyone wanting to edit for free just needs Resolve. You don't need Premiere or Avid or Final Cut Pro.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 6:22 pm

David Chapman wrote:I remember a lot of debate on subscriptions when Adobe first announced CC was the only way moving forward. While it may seem that a monthly continuing membership provides a constant flow of income to the business, it also provides a constant level of risk. Now do I know? I'm a director of 2 large online companies that provide subscription-only.

At any moment when you don't meet or exceed your customers expectations, you risk loosing subscribers. And once you lose them, it's 10x harder to get them back.

As some have mentioned, they pay varying amounts for Creative Cloud ranging from $9.99 to $49.99. To work in the design/post industry, a $50 monthly payment isn't much. Talk about a save on cash flow. You don't have to shell out $600-1200 for an upgrade or $1800-2400 for a brand new purchase.

The people I see this hurting are the hobbyists. It seems like $50 a month (for every app!) is high to toy around with. But, no one ever promised this would be a "free" hobby. Most hobbies cost money. But I find it hard to believe that even a hobbyist can't make that $50/month back somehow.

By the way, anyone wanting to edit for free just needs Resolve. You don't need Premiere or Avid or Final Cut Pro.


The risk of not meeting customer expectations and losing them is much higher in a competitive market. Adobe already has 80% of the graphics market. Maybe not as high in video production, but they're getting there.

While many of you guys hate it, it's an eventuality. The users of tomorrow are being raised with continuous updates. From their smart phones to their console games with DLC. The whole world is moving away from buy once, use it for 4-6 years. These items (cameras, software, etc) are no longer investments, they're consumables that are part of a lifestyle. Just not your lifestyle.

popcornflix

Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostMon Apr 28, 2014 10:30 pm

Neither of these are compelling arguments.

Still hate subscriptions.

Still agree with Grant. Still delighted that Resolve is no longer $250k, and still keeps being improved.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostTue Apr 29, 2014 12:44 am

Geoff Baxter wrote:This does not make sense, how can a hobbyist "make that $50/month back somehow". A hobby does not, by pure definition, make money, so how can it be recouped?


Not trying to be argumentative. $50/mo. is not the right number. Heck, that buys you the whole Adobe Suite at the moment. I think $10/mo. is the right number for a "hobbyist". My wife has the Photoshop/Lightroom subscription for that price because she takes a lot of photos and also does periodic events as fundraisers, etc.

As I said, pricing is everything. If an application costs $999 to buy it outright, and periodic upgrades cost $150 every year or 18 months (not the Resolve model, I know), then I don't see why paying $20 per month for the application is problematic. Sorry if I've belabored my point too much. Thanks for listening.
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Re: RedShark interview with Grant Petty

PostTue Apr 29, 2014 1:44 am

You're missing something important. When you buy software, everything you create is available to you as long as you have a machine capable of running the app.

Subscription apps keep bleeding money from you just so you can open old files.

It's the difference between owning A BMDCC and renting an Alexa. Some of us prefer the control and certainty of owning our own rig. Imagine if you needed the camera to ingest old footage. That's what the CC is like. You can't dig out old footage unless you rent an Alexa for a non-shoot day that nobody is paying you for. That restricts your options.

Also, the longer we subscribe to Adobe, the more leverage they have against us to raise their rates. Or maybe they will add an "early termination fee" like the phone companies. They could increase the rate by 5x per year, or you could keep the old rate if you sign up for a three-year contract, which you can quit anytime as long as you pay them $300.

That's the kind of crap phone companies do to us, why not Adobe?

Does that make the other side of the argument easier to understand?

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