Creative Cloud strategy could help Adobe tackle piracy in emerging markets

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Creative Cloud strategy announced by US software firm Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) this week could help the company to better address emerging markets where piracy is rife, as it shifts focus away from the traditional licensing model to other value-added services offered in the cloud that cannot be pirated, David Wadhwani, Adobe's senior VP of digital media, told BNamericas.

At the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles, the company announced a new set of solutions called the Creative Cloud, designed to open the creative content creation process to online sharing and collaboration and which add a new set of Touch Apps designed specifically for tablets.

Speaking to press, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen joked that penetration of Adobe's products in emerging markets was quite high, only people were "not paying for it." But he said that with the new strategy there was "a business opportunity as a well as an innovation opportunity."

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Wadhwani said that the company was actually starting to see a move in certain emerging markets toward paying for software and that South America and Eastern Europe were the fastest growing regions in that sense.

Wadhwani echoed Narayen's comments saying, "The good thing is that in places like India and China people are using our products. It's not like we have low penetration; it's just that there are different ways of providing value for them."

He said the approach to certain emerging markets may differ from that of developed markets. On one hand, the company could lower the cost of software licenses, something it has done in Brazil. Alternatively, there are other ways of offering additional value to an existing user base that has pirated software and charging for it.

"In some countries we're focusing more on pricing moves and trying to encourage people to purchase instead of pirate, and in other countries or regions we're trying to add value so that even if they do pirate they can purchase additional value in the cloud, which is not pirateable," Wadhwani said.

The Creative Cloud concept will include: six new touch versions of Adobe desktop software solutions, a new suite of digital publishing technologies for delivering interactive publications on tablets, and new design services such as the ability to use cloud-based fonts for website design.

There will also be a community that encourages users to share their work with peers around the world.