NetFlix is a superb example of how this works with subscription services...when the company tried to spin off Quickster, dropped Stars Play, and increase streaming rates, DROVES of members literally left the service. The company reversed its policies, shored up its services, increased content offerings, and their members came back.
Sorry, but anyone who thinks Adobe has more power over the customer than the customer themselves regarding price and offerings just doesn't understand market dynamics or the power of the customers "wallet vote."
This is true but also very different markets. Streaming video is/was still an immature market at the time, and growing rapidly. It still is in a period of rapid growth. Netflix's target customer base was mainly young(er) individuals and families. Their business was retail, one consumer at a time, who could easily change their viewing habits.
Adobe has a mature product in a mature market. The product is the same, with enhancements/improvements being added over time, and the way it works is the same. It still resides on the person's computer. Adobe's customer base is businesses and individuals, but I'd venture that most CS buyers and CC subscribers are small to medium sized businesses, be they sole proprietorships like an individual professional photographer or a company like my brother's which I mentioned earlier, which has 15-20 seats. The only
thing that has changed for them is that they're paying over time for what they'd buy anyway, and their cash outlays are fully deductible in the year they make them. Also, some improvements are likely to be released more frequently, because new feature sets do not need to be held back for the next release cycle.
The other difference is that streaming video is not a necessity. One can still go to the Redbox and rent a DVD for a dollar. This software suite has few real competitors and so is a necessity for many businesses. For a company with 50-100 seats, the sheer cost of changing, of installing new software on multiple workstations, of training entire staffs to use something different, and of converting from one format to another is tremendous. There needs to be a really good reason to move away from Adobe with all that investment in time and training, and that involves the availability of a suite with comparable features at a significant cost savings to offset the costs of "retooling" and the "hassle factor". Adobe is the de facto
gold standard, not just PS but other tools as well. When a company looks to hire someone for their art or graphics department, they often put in their ad something to the effect of "Must be familiar with Adobe [xxx].". Small price changes, or even price model changes like this are not going to change that, again absent a viable competitor at a really advantageous price that can provide all the tools in a way that interoperates, etc. For a growing company the cost is lower to add five seats this way than to buy five licenses. Cash flow is important to growth, and thinly capitalized, rapidly growing companies would rather shell out a monthly fee than a big outlay that may get in the way of their obtaining the next five seats, and scaling back is easy as well.
My point is that while customers can and do influence the market, a small minority, even a vocal one, may well not have much effect. Consider that when AT&T announced they were putting in data transfer limits in Q2 2010, some people yelled and screamed, and some customers even left. AT&T stuck to its guns and still has huge market share. In fact, it probably unloaded/avoided some users of high amounts of data transfer and improved its margins. It was followed by Verizon in Q3 2011. People yelled and screamed and "threw up in [their] mouth". Guess what? Verizon still has lots of customers. More than any other US provider. In fact they both are gaining users. All this while Sprint has remained "unlimited". Their relative positions haven't changed much according to the following graphic.Source: http://www.fiercewireless.com/special-reports/grading-top-10-us-carriers-second-quarter-2012
The people who are "grandfathered" into "unlimited" data plans are not really "unlimited" either. If they are in the top ~ 10% they get seriously slowed down by both carriers. That usually equates to around 6GB/month if I recall correctly, a common amount selected by families, and which is cheaper, at least at Verizon, than is the unlimited plan to which some are still grandfathered.
Again, my prediction is this is all much ado about nothing. CC is here and this type of software pricing is here to stay just like data transfer limits, at least until the next and better model comes along.