Alongside the many consumer releases announced at Adobe MAX 2011, the Mountain View Calif.-based software maker has also brought to light a new, Single Licence Edition of its Digital Publishing Suite Software. Zeke Koch, director of product management, design and digital publishing at Adobe Systems Inc., said “the way single edition works is that all of the content is contained within the application.”
The issue, however, at least according to Tim Hickernell, analyst at London Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Inc., might be in the way Adobe is talking about DPS Single Edition. “The messaging behind Single Edition so far, has been pretty poor. They led everybody this morning to believe that ‘hey! if JD and Tim want to get into publishing, that’s what this is for’.”
Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. Shortly after announcing the single use version of the suite, Adobe announced the pricing. “They let out in the last couple of sessions that no, what they really mean is small to medium business, who doesn’t want the permanent relationship with Adobe or any publishing platform but wants to get something out quickly,” Hickernell said. Not only is the software priced at a one time $395 cost, “but (that) $395 does not count the investment you have to make in the creative suite products up front, that’s just the “ok, we’ll let you on an ad-hoc basis…go ahead and publish your media on our platform and you can sell it and we’ll take our cut just like Apple does”
Koch said the release was designed based on requests from InDesign customers. “(They want to) create a product, sell it, have a fixed price, and not have a continued relationship with Adobe,” Koch said.
Emin Kadi, publisher of Clear Magazine, said that using DPS was just pure innovation, and a natural extension of the printed magazine. “For me, it was a conscious decision to embrace the future.”
Dave E Smith, vice president of publishing systems technology for National Geographic Magazine, doesn’t think there’s any going back once a publisher truly explores the digital edition. “There’s a delta between a magazine experience and the digital one…it took a little time to play with the tools and realize this is a completely different medium.”
Despite the fact that DPS is a cool tool and Single Edition can undoubtedly reach a different consumer than the original suite, Hickernell said that the messaging has to change.
“They let out in the last couple of sessions that no, what they really mean is small to medium business, who doesn’t want the permanent relationship with Adobe or any publishing platform but wants to get something out quickly and that this would also enable third parties as well, agencies or consultancies, to be able to develop on the fly, one or two things at a time for smaller companies as well, and invest in the same platform,” Hickernell said.
He thinks they still have time to come around, seeing as this was just the announcement and they have yet to hear from the Adobe community. “There’s the trap of having some blinders on. They’re not looking fully at what it is they’ve produced.” At least not yet. “I think that they’ve got an opportunity with DPS to go after additional markets for sure,” he said.