When Adobe switched from a flat price for its software products and updates to a subscription model a few years ago, many worried it could be used to discreetly introduce dramatic price increases down the road. Adobe claimed this wouldn’t be the case, but this week some users discovered that the cheapest Creative Cloud subscription plan had suddenly doubled in price.
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Not everyone is seeing the changes on the Creative Cloud Plans & Pricing page on the Adobe website (myself included) but others have found that the $9.99/month Photography option—which includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and 20GB of cloud storage space—has been replaced with a $20.99/month alternative that bumps the included storage to 1TB.
Adobe’s subscription model includes cloud storage with all of its software options (you can’t opt out of it, but you can simply not use it) so some users might benefit from that extra 980GB of space. But for those who only use the apps, this amounts to more than a 100 percent price increase for the software. Years ago, if Adobe had announced that the next version of Photoshop would now cost $1,000 instead of the $500 it cost in previous years, the photography community would have been livid and potential new users wouldn’t have even considered it an option. But the jump from $9.99 to $20.99 sounds much less dramatic.
In a statement issued to photography site PetaPixel, Adobe claims that the price increase is nothing more than the company just testing the waters to see how consumers would react to pricing adjustments. “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.” There’s no confirmation that Adobe will make the price increase permanent, but there’s also no confirmation that it won’t.
The $9.99/month option still appears for many users visiting the site, and if it doesn’t, PetaPixel has confirmed that it can still be purchased by contacting Adobe’s sales team by phone, using the website’s online chat to talk to a salesperson, or by contacting an official Adobe reseller. The $9.99/month option can also be purchased as a 12-month plan for $119.88, which can be further locked down for an additional three years. But by hiding that option on the website, it means that new Creative Cloud subscribers who aren’t familiar with the current pricing structure will simply assume the $20.99/month option is the cheapest way to get Photoshop, and that’s a scummy way to take advantage of them.