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Adobe CEO: We Dropped Creative Cloud Prices Because Boxed Software Is The Past

At the opening of Adobe’s new Sydney office today, Adobe’s global CEO Shantanu Narayen bravely fronted the media to talk about the business. The only question anyone really wanted answered was the justification for charging exorbitant prices for digitally distributed software in Australia. So how was the answer from the head of Adobe? Pretty much the disaster we all thought it would be.

I’m a big fan of Shantanu Narayen’s bravery in showing up to talk to the media amidst the storm of the Australia Tax inquiry, but his answer is a classic lesson in PR spin.

When the gaggle asked him to justify his prices, he responded (emphasis is our own):

When we look at what happens with Creative Cloud the goal, is rapid adoption and we’ve seen that. We grew units over 10 per cent and the barrier to entry to allow next generation of creative professionals to the platform is a key part of our strategy, it’s one of an ongoing and continuous ways to get people to the platform. We’ve used Australia in the first region in which we’ve done detailed pricing studies.

The Creative Cloud is really the future of the creative process. The benefits of the Creative Cloud and having that access to innovation and the ability to get new products in imaging and video [suites to customers faster]. The future of the creative [customer] is the Creative Cloud. It’s all about Creative Cloud in future. The pricing moves [with Creative Cloud] are where we set the future of the company.

Now if you took a drink every time the head of the company said the words “Creative Cloud” you’re probably dead by now, but let me break down what that really means (if anything.

Adobe doesn’t want to drop the prices of its Australian boxed software because it’s achieving quite a healthy profit from them. On top of that, Adobe wants to get people onto Creative Cloud in future rather than actually offering boxed copies or digitally distributed copies of its software.

I’m dizzy from the spin I just saw.