Canvas Affinity Acquisition Puts Pressure on Adobe

CanvasAffinity Acquisition Puts Pressure on Adobe

Canva’s recent acquisition of Serif’s Affinity suite has positioned the online design platform as a serious competitor to Adobe’s Creative Cloud dominance. The purchase of Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Designer 2, and Affinity Publisher 2 provides Canva with subscription-free alternatives to Adobe’s main programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, making them more affordable in the long run. With Canva’s rapidly expanding user base and advanced AI features, the addition of Affinity’s fully-featured creative apps to its portfolio indicates a significant challenge to Adobe’s market standing. This development has the potential to disrupt the design software industry as we know it.

Comparison with Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud Affinity Suite
Offers a broad range of apps Focuses on alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
Subscription-based model One-time purchase model
Large user base Over three million users

One-Off Purchase Model versus Subscription

If Canva’s acquisition of Affinity means anything for the design software industry, it’s the shift from traditional subscription models to the more cost-effective one-off purchase model. While Adobe Creative Cloud requires users to pay monthly subscriptions for access to its suite of apps, Affinity Suite’s one-time purchase option makes it much more affordable in the long term. This move not only challenges Adobe’s dominance but also meets the demands of users looking for budget-friendly alternatives with professional-grade features.

Canva’s Affinity acquisition means serious competition for Adobe

The online design platform just bought one of the best alternatives to Creative Cloud.

If it already seemed that Canva was out to challenge Adobe’s dominance over design software, today’s news leaves no doubt. The company is buying Serif’s Affinity suite, a major subscription-free competitor to some of the main Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

The Affinity suite is by no means as broad as Creative Cloud, but it comprises alternatives to three of Adobe’s main programs: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Unlike Adobe’s software, Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Designer 2 and Affinity Publisher 2 are available as one-off purchases rather than subscriptions, making them much more affordable in the long term.

As a web-based design platform, Australia-based Canva has been growing rapidly in recent years. It’s been adding a host of generative AI features and expanding its tools way beyond its core logo maker and original focus on social media. It’s also been trying to broaden its appeal beyond amateur designers and small businesses to include creative professionals, a move that’s cemented by today’s announcement.

Buying Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher from Serif means it now adds more fully-featured non-web creative apps to its portfolio. The three programs are available for Windows, Mac and iPad and offer many similar features to Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Canva, whose own platform had around 170 million users at the start of this year, says that Affinity’s three apps are used by over three million people. That’s a small user base compared to Adobe’s, but the application of Canva’s considerable marketing resources could help promote Affinity among Adobe users who want out of the subscription-based system.

Canva said in a press release announcing the deal: “While our last decade at Canva has focused heavily on the 99 percent of knowledge workers without design training, truly empowering the world to design includes empowering professional designers too.”

The strength of Adobe’s Creative Cloud continues to be the breadth of its apps. Creatives who also need access to video editing tools like PremierePro and After Effects have no alternative in Affinity, which means an Adobe subscription is likely to continue to be the best deal for those work across many forms of media.

Neither Canva nor Affinity’s developer Serif has commented officially on the value of the deal, but Bloomberg has estimated it to be worth “several hundred million pounds.”

UPDATE: Canva has said that it will continue to offer perpetual licenses for Affinity products, and that it will “always price Affinity fairly and affordably”. It added that it will soon offer Affinity for free to schools and registered non-profits.

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