Why it is Difficult to Purchase Licenses For Adobe Products in Africa

Since Adobe launched Creative cloud subscription model few years ago, many ‘software crackers’ have been left with little options of exploiting and using the software for free. On the other hand, it has become very difficult for many faithful users to buy the product they want on a need basis.

Many freelance video editors and videographer startups I know in Kenya still use the old outdated Adobe CS6 and CS7 to edit and produce videos in 2020.

“I mean why should I pay for a new software when the one I have can do the same job?” They say.

Videography startups in Kenya

So, does this mean they have the license for the same even if ‘it’s oooldd… as we know?’ well I don’t think so. If the do, then they are using a ‘copy and paste’ license code which does not require any login. For it to work when installing, one has to disable internet.

I remember in the year 2016, I purchased full Adobe creative suite CS6 from a local tech guy for $10. Yes you heard me right, $10. He came and installed the software for me. To my shock, while he did the installation, I noticed he was using a ‘patching tool‘ to activate the products after disabling the internet connection.

When I questioned, he promised it will work. And true to his word, when we tested it did work. At the time, I had little knowledge on software copyright license.

Few days later on using the software, it was really slow and crashing regularly. Out of me being irritated by it, I reached out to the tech guy who installed the software for me. To my surprise, he said I needed to upgrade my memory from 2GB to at least 6GB. Moreover, buy at least 23 inch monitor or higher for video resolution display.

That was the end of my rant on him. I was not ready at time so I had to manage the software as it was or go hungry without food on my table👱‍♂️

Each time the software crashed, I crosschecked Adobe premiere specifications for CS6 which said it required at least 2GB of Ram which I had installed already.

As if this was not enough, the quality of video it rendered was somehow pixelated despite me exporting the videos in HD. I later learnt the huge variation in quality of a video rendered with a torrent premiere pro and a genuine premiere pro.

And that’s a short story of how most Software’s downloaded via torrent work.

Startups in the video production and design industry only install and use Adobe products on demand because of the cost implications in terms of long term sustainability.

In this blog post, I will focus on the top reasons why it is very expensive and difficult to purchase Adobe license in Kenya and most African countries and why Adobe is missing out on ‘individual‘ potential customers.

Why is it difficult to Purchase Adobe Products?

Message that you get when you select Kenya as your country when attempting to purchase Adobe

It comes down to billing address. Where is the billing address of your card? This depends on which country in Africa you live in. If the card billing address is in the US, and you have signed up as US resident you can make the purchase without any problem. But if it’s Kenya, then you can only get the software via resellers.
FYI: I know South Africa alone as the country you can directly purchase Adobe products.

So Who are the resellers? This are companies within a given country licensed to resell the product.
Now this is where startups gets completely turned off.

Resellers price is 2 times what’s on the Adobe site. E.g annual subscription on Adobe site for Adobe premiere pro is $239.49 inclusive tax. Resellers sell it for around $500. You only need few dollars to get annual subscription of Adobe creative suite of about 7 products!

Most of the resellers don’t offer monthly subscriptions owing to its sustainability.

So what do Kenyans and other Africans do when they find themselves in this dilemma?

It’s obvious. They either find an old version of the software or download the software torrents online. This is despite the security risks that comes with installing torrents and patched products.

My story

Before I was capable of purchasing Adobe Premiere pro, I used to install Torrent software’s which slowed and caused my computer to heat all the time. At the end, I was spending more dollars repairing my PC than doing the work. It was not making any economic sense at all.

I did this for close to 5 years because of inability to purchase the license due to my production rates. My case is similar to the one of many fellow design and creatives in Africa who can’t directly acquire any of the Adobe products directly from the website .. and when they go to the recommended resellers, they are slapped with a double price. Phew!

Kenyans are creative. But due to the cost of purchasing genuine Adobe products from resellers, they resort to using either cracked or unlicensed products to do their work coz the profit they get from selling the output is not enough to purchase Adobe products directly from recommended resellers.

My Recommendation to Adobe

See a way of enabling interested Kenyans to buy any Adobe products directly using their credit cards at the site listed price inclusive taxes.

And to my fellow Kenyans, I am a witness. After using a licensed Adobe Premiere for more than 2 years now, I have never regretted. It’s worth it. I have always discouraged people from installing torrent Software’s because at the end, it does not make any economic sense due to misfortunes it comes with.

And that’s it from me. If you need help to edit and produce professional videos, let me know here.

Until next time, take care.

Follow me on twitter @cheptiony

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