Adobe is running tests to find whether photographers will pay double for the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, with reports emerging the software rental prices jumped from US$10 to US$20.
Adobe confirmed some customers will be exposed to the new pricing. The response or reaction will determine whether they roll out the price hike for the entire market.
‘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.’
It was bound to happen sooner to later.
Update May 7: An Adobe PR rep contacted Inside Imaging clarifying that this was a temporary test by Adobe and wasn’t carried out in Australia. ‘The US$9.99 CCP 20GB plan is again visible on Adobe.com to 100 percent of visitors’.
In Australia the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan currently costs $14.29 per month, which provides access to Photoshop, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, along with 20GB of cloud storage.
That price may increase to $28.59 per month, with cloud storage bumped up to 1TB.
Petapixel reports that many US photographers noticed the price doubled without notice. There also wasn’t any transparency that the elevated cost is a test. While the normal cheaper pricing won’t appear for select individuals, contacting Adobe sales by phone or online chat is a way to access it. For now.
For Inside Imaging the Adobe sales page shows both the $14 and $28 packages, with cloud storage being the only difference.
Adobe, the undisputed market leader, has been incrementally increasing Creative Cloud subscription prices since 2016.
Prices started at $9.99 for the Photography Plan, with it bumped to $11.99 due to a ‘fluctuating dollar’ in May 2016. It then went to $13.18 due to forced GST charges, and then up to $14.29 in June 2017 again due to a fluctuating dollar.
Minor price increases haven’t sent droves of professional photographers to alternatives like Capture One or Affinity. But it has harboured an unhealthy relationship where one party, the customer, knows the other simply doesn’t care. For Adobe it’s about money and pleasing shareholders.
Inside Imaging‘s last readers’ poll, which ran prior to this latest price rise threat, asked if Adobe’s software rental rental model was either: ‘fine by me’, ‘tolerable but annoying’, ‘a scam’, or ‘absolutely awesome’. Well, 56 percent reckon it’s a scam, and 33 percent say it’s annoying. Eight percent don’t mind renting the software, and a remaining two percent love it.
Photographers appear to be frustrated by Adobe’s rental business, but deal with it anyway.
Doubling prices may be a tipping point.
Petapixel‘s own poll asks if photographers would continue their Photography Plan subscription if prices doubled to US$20. With almost 5000 responses, 85 percent would cancel while 10 percent might pay and four percent would definitely pay.
Unfortunately, Adobe essentially has a monopoly on photography post-processing software, placing it in a better position to play with prices. But the alternatives are getting better. Perhaps Adobe’s corporate hubris may drive customers elsewhere, and allow the competition to flourish.