The internet has been abuzz with the news that Adobe will be increasing the pricing for their Creative Cloud subscriptions. Fortunately, the photography plan seems to be staying put at $9.99 a month, but how long will it be before this goes up as well.
Pricing will vary by plan — for example, for the annual pay monthly plans:
- Creative Cloud for individuals Single App plans will increase to US$20.99 per month from US$19.99 per month, a $1 per month increase.
- Creative Cloud for individuals All Apps plans will increase to US$52.99 per month from US$49.99 per month, a $3 per month increase.
- Creative Cloud for teams All Apps plans will increase to US$79.99 per month from US$69.99 per month, a $10 per month increase.
Existing customers will receive specific information about their membership pricing directly from Adobe.
As it stands the increase has only taken affect in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) and hasn’t hit South Africa yet, but it is only a matter of time in my opinion. Also, as mentioned above, it strategically doesn’t include the photography plan which is the option that most photographers find themselves on. Again, I think it is only a matter of time before this goes up. In fact, it seems they are already trialing a price increase on certain customers has highlighted by Laura Shoe here:
Here’s the scoop: Right now some customers are seeing the $9.99 plan and others are seeing only the $19.99 plan on Adobe.com because Adobe Marketing is doing A/B testing – presenting different minimum prices to different customers to the impact on sales of available options, presumably to determine what pricing policy to adapt in the future.
Laura Shoe reached out to Adobe and I have highlighted one of their responses below:
Q: I see Creative Cloud Photography Plan (20GB) is not available on Adobe.com. What is happening?
From time to time, we run tests on Adobe.com which cover a range of items, including plan options that may or may not be presented to all visitors to Adobe.com. We are currently running a number of tests on Adobe.com.
We can already see from the above that Adobe is toying with the idea of hiking their prices for the photography plan with their initial trial being for $19.99. Whether or not this will be the price when it does go up remains to be seen, but suspect it will be.
For many years Adobe had a near monopoly on image editing. First with Photoshop, a name that has become as synonymous with editing as Hoover is with vacuuming, and then with Lightroom. But, over the last several years some really good competition has cropped up in the Lightroom space and a lot of photographers have already made the switch to other programs.
I too have found myself playing with Lightroom replacements like Capture One and have been extremely impressed with the results. Whilst Phase One, the makers of Capture One, run on a similar subscription model to Adobe, you still do have the option to purchase the software outright which is something that Adobe seized to offer some time ago.
There is also software like Afinity Photo, Darktable, Luminar, Iridient Developer, and many others that offer some or all of what Lightroom does, but I suspect photographers are drawn to the photography plan because of Photoshop and not because of Lightroom. Whilst the replacements for Lightroom are ever growing in number it is Photoshop where we have probably seen the least amount of competition. Because of this for some photographers Adobe could hike the price to $29.99 and they would still have to grin and bear it. Perhaps subscription models, for some anyway, were not such a good idea!
So, what will I be doing? recently I purchased the Pro version of Capture One for FujiFilm cameras. As I mentioned earlier I have been extremely impressed with the software but haven’t attempted to make the switch as it comes with quite a big learning curve. What I have noticed with Capture One is that the software offers layered editing which is a nice touch. Because of this much of what I needed Photoshop for I will be able to do directly in Capture One.
If pricing stays as it is I will continue to use Lightroom and Photoshop, but I will be honing my skills on Capture One. If/when there is an increase I will probably move away from Adobe all together and any specific Photoshop work I might have will either be outsourced or I will try one of the alternatives.
What do you think of the price increase? Happy to pay the extra R140+ a month (R1700+ a year) or will you also look elsewhere? Let me know in the comments below.