Adobe cuts prices to fight piracy and push sales

Adobe cuts prices to fight piracy and push sales

Mumbai: In a bid to fight software piracy and increase its sales in India, the Indian arm of word and graphics processing software maker Adobe Systems Inc. has introduced student licences at steeply discounted prices.

The new price offering is aimed at increasing its penetration into the education business, which currently contributes nearly one-fifth of Adobe’s sales in the country. The company has a policy of not disclosing India-specific revenue.

Globally, Adobe has seen sales slump from $887.3 million (Rs4,276 crore) in the quarter ended 28 August in 2008 to $697.5 million in the latest reported quarter.

The basic Adobe software suite, commercially available at Rs76,000 for a single user licence, will be available for students at Rs3,999, Sandeep Mehrotra, head of India sales, told Mint on Tuesday.

The basic suite will include the latest versions of Adobe’s design software InDesign, image-processing software Photoshop, graphics editor Illustrator and publishing software Acrobat Pro.

With robust government expenditure expected on education, Adobe hopes to increase revenue from the sector to 25% of its overall India revenue, in the next two years, Mehrotra said.

By reducing prices, Adobe is hoping that those who currently use pirated versions would have an incentive to go legitimate.

To be sure, the company is also stepping up its efforts to expose large institutions that are using illegal or pirated versions of its software.

“We are aggressively pursuing software legalization initiatives to migrate those using pirated versions to legal ones," Mehrotra said. “While such efforts will act as a disincentive to those using pirated software, the lowered cost of ownership should be an incentive to purchase legal versions."

According to data compiled by the India chapter of anti-piracy industry body business software alliance, and technology research firm IDC, as much as 68% of packaged software used in India was pirated in 2008, a fall of 1% from 2007 levels.

This was leading to a loss of revenue for software vendors to the tune of $2.7 billion in 2008, says IDC. The piracy levels were 69% in 2007 and the comparative revenue loss stood at $2 billion in 2007.

The IDC study also said that reducing software piracy in India by at least 10% over a four-year period could generate nearly 43,000 new jobs, $3.1 billion in economic growth and $200 million in tax revenues.