Adobe is giving users of its Digital Publishing Suite more for their money. The Suite turns interactive publications created in InDesign CS5.5 into apps for the iPad and iPhone, Android and Blackberry tablets and phones.
The company offers two versions of the Digital Publishing Suite, the Professional Edition for $495 / €355 (around £312) per month and the Enterprise Edition from $3,995 / €2,875 (£2,525) per month. Previously you then had to pay for technical support and an annual fee based on the number of issues downloaded that started at $5,500/€4,000 (£3,500) per year.
Adobe says that based on "market feedback" -- ie complaints from potential customers that it's too expensive -- the company is including Gold Technical Support and up to 5,000 issue downloads (over the course of the first year) in with the standard per month fee. After the first year, you don't get those downloads for free.
Gold Technical Support covers "technical issues related to the Folio Producer Service, Distribution Service, Viewer Builder Service, Analytics Service and Adobe Content Viewer. Adobe Gold Support includes phone, email and web-based support on a 24x7 basis with response time from one business day to one hour depending on priority. Professional and Enterprise Edition customers can name up to four authorized contacts who can access support. Additional support contracts can be purchased separately. Please note that technical support for InDesign or the Creative Suite will require a separate technical support plan which will also cover the Folio Producer tools. Support for InDesign and the Creative Suite is separate from support included with Digital Publishing Suite."
Annual pricing beyond 5,000 folios remains at $5,500/€4,000 (£3,500) for up to 25,000 issues downloaded, $37,500/€27,500 (£24,000) for up for 250,000 issues, $60,000/€45,000 (£40,000) for up to 500,000 issues, $80,000/€60,000 (£52,700) for up to 1,000,000 issues, and $300,000/€200,000 (£176,000) for up to 5,000,00 issues. For issue downloads above 500,000, you need to have the Enterprise Edition. Adobe now says you can 'upgrade' from pricing band as you go, something it hasn't mentioned before.
The cost of the programme is something I raised in my review of InDesign CS5.5. While a way to release your first project to see if it takes off without having to stump up £3,500 -- and the addition of free technical support -- are welcome additions, they're still focussed on magazine publishers and others who charge for their digital editions. It still doesn't help those who want to create free publications, or interactive brochures and other free marketing materials -- as while the pricing is easily affordable when Adobe's essentially taking a cut of a magazines sales of between 3.5p and 14p per issue, bolting the pricing onto what you charge a client could easily prove tricky -- especially for smaller design studios.