SaaS Subscriptions Require Long-Term Access for Expired Subscribers

Adobe just announced this week that it plans to make photos available to users of its Lightroom software even if they should cancel their Creative Cloud subscription.Overall, this is a smart move from Adobe. Lightroom allows subscribers to edit and catalog photos, but the subscription-based model made many former Adobe fans wary that canceling a subscription would lead them to lose all their pictures. Such concerns could easily lead to consumer backlash (remember the Netflix debacle when it changed its business model?) and low adoption rates, making it easy for a competitor to convert users away from Adobe.However, the solution provides a good example of the rising costs of running SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) subscription models. Given the almost monopolistic dominance of Adobe in the digital creative space, the company will have to be able to host all of its users photos (which can be very data-heavy) even if users are no longer paying.Expired users will not be able to edit photos, but nevertheless, the amount of data space needed to house such a large number of images will be a significant cost.On the other hand, having a perpetual library of images will allow Adobe to stay in consumers’ minds, and possible lead to more revenues with effective win-back campaigns.What do you think? Is this move by Adobe profit-savvy or a necessary expense to keep consumers on board with its new business model?

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