Digital Is Better: Adobe Gives the Goods on Digital-Only CS4 Release

by Irma Arkus

On my bookshelf I have a few magazine holder, but I also happen to have a few boxes pretending to be magazine holders. Nice, shiny, quite large enough for paperwork, and they have Adobe logo all over their covers.

These, my friends, are remnants of previous purchases of software releases by Adobe. Complex packaging, retail distribution, manifold of CD’s in their hard jewel-cases…those are things of the past. The truth is, while the music industry is lamenting the death of CD sales (those were some good times, 20+ years of selling plastic for high dollar) companies such as Adobe have dropped it all for the joys of digital-only releases.

CMO Ann Lewnes explains that the switch from physical distribution of software releases to a sleeker, humbler, digital-only release, has its benefits. In her recent interview with Advertising Age, Lewnes says that the cutting of tedious traditional release saved some 3 million dollars, and also expanded the reach of CS4.

While Adobe is relying on product launches to an already steady buyer market. Lewnes is very much aware of that, but points to the actual Launch Party, a costly event that would have a limited reach, that when done online only, managed to attract millions of interested people.

The response to this is that the launch event when done digitally, attracts specific social node marketers, who influence in turn, other millions of people and their purchasing habits. But Adobe is a well-oiled machine existing in a rather narrow market, and CS4 is a line of products that one can say, has little or no competition, and the techo-babble-wizards that love Adobe will continue to endorse this product line regardless of whether they taste the foie-gras this year.

Adobe is moving forward, but it may be one of rare companies to be able to do so. Regardless, the article and the video short are interesting to view, and they do indicate a smart way of cutting down on unnecessary costs related to product packaging, offering, releases and launches. [AdAge]