.I have, for the last four years or so, been enjoying the benefits of my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. There are very few applications in the bundle that I rarely or never use. Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver and Muse act as the core applications of my working life. Other applications such as Animate and Illustrator also get a look in from time to time. Unlike many people I don't begrudge the subscription model. In fact, it's the only way I could afford to use the applications when I signed up. I was, however, shocked when checking my emails this morning to find a notice from Adobe stating that my subscription fee is soon to go up by 60 percent. This is part of a general Adobe Creative Cloud price increase for all UK subscribers taking affect 6 March 2017.
Firstly: I want to clarify that I have nothing against the necessity of the occasional price rise. In fact: When I signed up I was happy to pay the £45 per month to use the service. I'm even happier that, since becoming a student with The Open University, I've been able to reduce the cost by moving to the student subscription and pay just £15.49 a month. It is the effect the Adobe Creative Cloud price increase has on some plans I find shocking.
Reasons Adobe have given for the price increase.
In the email I've received Adobe have stated:
"As part of doing business globally, Adobe monitors currency exchange rates in order to make adjustments to our pricing up or down as needed. You may be aware that currency exchange rates have fluctuated significantly over the last few years. As a result of recent changes in exchange rates in your region, the price of Adobe products and services is increasing starting on 6 March 2017."
If I was the kind of person to paraphrase, which I am, Adobe are blaming the increase on the drop in value of sterling as a result of the European Union referendum outcome. Fine, the pound isn't what it used to be, but a price hike of up to 60% seems excessive. Here's the email in full:
As you can see from the email, if you're on an annual plan (paid annually or monthly) the price wont go up until the year is up. As small mercies go, I'll take what I can get.
The Adobe Creative Cloud price increase: How much will it cost you?
Since receiving the news I've done a quick search to see how much the price of each Adobe Creative Cloud plan has increased. Here's what I've found.
- Individuals subscribed to the annual Photography Plan will see the price rise from £8.57 per month to £10.10. This is an increase of 17%. The full Creative Cloud Plan will rise from £45.73 per month (for an annual subscription) to £50.57. This is an increase of 11%
- Creative Cloud for Teams, which is the business plan, is also going up. Digital Art are stating "from £53.20 per month to around £59." This would be a price increase of 11%
- Students and teachers (the group I fall in to) seem to be the most effected by the figures I've found so far. The price is going up from £15.49 per month (for the annual plan) to £25.28. This is an increase of 62%!
Is there any way around this?
No one likes a nasty sting like this and there are a couple of things you may be able to do in the short term. Unfortunately, getting Adobe to change their mind isn't likely to be one of them. There's no real competition in this market. There are some cheaper or free alternatives to some of the apps. Dreamweaver alternatives are easy to find if you're a coder. A good free and open source alternative to Photoshop is GIMP. I used to use it in years gone by and although I found it fiddly and difficult to get used to, it is very powerful software. A quick glance at the comments section of most articles reporting the Adobe Creative Cloud price increase will alert you to many outraged commenters sighting Affinity as an alternative to Photoshop and Illustrator.
Staying with Adobe and keeping the price down
But, what if you don't want to start divorce proceedings against Adobe? If this is the case, you will have to (eventually) accept the price increase. It's important to note that the prices haven't gone up yet. The website is still advertising the lower prices and the email says price increases for new plans takes effect 6 March 2017. The only real way to beat the price increase for now is by getting yourself locked into a new annual plan. Remember that annual plans are the key to your salvation right now. Besides being cheaper than rolling monthly plans, they are at a fixed rate for the period. Note: Just to be sure about this I have tweeted Adobe Customer Care for clarification.
@AdobeCare Hello. If someone in the UK were to commit to an annual plan now (paying monthly) would they get the current rate all year? Thx!
— Kieran Sampson (@kieransampson) February 2, 2017
@kieransampson Hi Kieran, yes- the price change would be applied at the yearly renewal date. Hope this helps! ^Madison
— Adobe Customer Care (@AdobeCare) February 2, 2017
If you're not yet a subscriber and are considering joining, now is the time to do it. So if you sign up, again, ensure it's for an annual plan. If you're on a rolling monthly plan, then now is the time to shift over. Remember annual plans can still be paid monthly, you're just committing to a year's subscription.
Of course, I'll be staying put. If I was willing to pay around £45 a month before getting a student subscription, of course I'll pay £25 a month when the time comes. The fact is that I NEED some of the software I get with my subscription. At the same time, that seems to be the problem. With a lack of real competition to Adobe in this market, I'm sure I'm not the only one.
It seems very unfair for students to be hit hardest. Many educational establishments such as colleges and universities require students to have Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions and expect them to pay for it themselves.
I'm disappointed with the Adobe Creative Cloud price increase. It feels like the fall in sterling is being used as an excuse by Adobe to hike their prices disproportionately. The whole thing does leave a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth.
What are your thoughts on the Adobe Creative Cloud price increase? Am I being unfair or are Adobe taking the mic! Please let's have a chat about it in the comments or where ever you see me online.