Consolidating So Many Software

Consolidating So Many Software

Wanted to spend a few days going over the recent announcement of Canva acquiring Affinity by Serif, the developers of Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher. This announcement was something that I think, many of us never saw coming. The Affinity products were the triumphs of large commercial software that didn't fall into the trap of monthly subscriptions. You would pay one price for the life of the version you purchased, and even recently with the release of their latest version, you would receive a great discount to upgrade.

Canva to many is the web-based creative image creation suite that is also bringing in more AI integration that allows people to have a lower-cost subscription without long-term contracts. The counter to what's available for customers is a decent amount of features that serves a very large population of users. Many customers could be labeled as regular people, beginner creatives, and small businesses. There is a very small minority of professionals who use Canva, opting to work on offline software as a more dedicated feature set that caters to the professional artist, Canva is not able to serve those types. With this new acquisition, they can.

I've been around long enough that I've used pirated versions of Photoshop as I was a broke, up-and-coming creative. I couldn't plunk down hundreds of dollars to use Photoshop. When open-source software came around, like Inkscape, I shifted over to using that software. Eventually, I was able to move over to using Affinity Designer as I found their software easier to use for my workflow. This isn't to say that open source software is less than paid, commercial, more that I found the process of creating my work was easier for me, requiring fewer workarounds to do certain things, so I opted to move back to commercial. Giving my hard-earned money to a company I believed in that had the creatives' best interest at heart.

When the news broke about Canva acquiring Affinity, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. We've seen countless times of one company stating nothing will change, only a few years later that promise is shredded and everything changed. The release of their 4 pledges is only worth the paper it is printed on (or in this case, digitally)

I don't want to be that person on the soapbox, shouting to the passerby that the end is coming. I want to be proven wrong that in a few years, Affinity software will remain subscription-free, but the influence of the monthly sustainable income is too powerful for these companies. Time will tell in how all of this will shake out but, the examples from other companies have jaded many of us in what is coming down the line.