6 Feb 2017

Adobe whacks prices up by 60%

Adobe have written to their Creative Cloud customers announcing a price hike. This is no ordinary increase based on inflation. Some people say their subscription will go up by 60%. My own licence will increase by 57% which is pretty outrageous. Currently I pay £38.11 per month which, from my renewal date later in the year, will rocket to £59.99.

The explanation from Adobe firmly blames currency fluctuations. The British Pound, however, has not collapsed against the US Dollar by 57% as Adobe think we’re stupid enough to accept. One Pound during 2015 was worth an average of $1.50 which dropped slowly during the first half of 2016 to about $1.45. At the end of June when just over half of British voters decided to leave the EU (Brexit) the Pound dropped and since then has averaged at around $1.25. It should improve once the deals to make Brexit happen have been disclosed and approved.

So the Pound has lost 14% of its value since June 2016 and Adobe believes this can honestly justify a 57% increase in their subscription fee to compensate for the currency fluctuation? That’s what most people would call over-compensating.

Some would say Adobe are taking advantage of loyal customers who have locked their skill set in to Adobe products. That might feel true and Adobe want you to believe it, but there are other good products out there which are similar and it’s only a matter of practice to get used to a different interface. The tools are similar, but most importantly your creativity and understanding of digital content creation is 100% transferrable.

There’s been a lot of noise recently about Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer from Serif. Reviews have been very positive as professional alternatives to Photoshop and Illustrator, but the best news is the cost. Just £48.99 each and – wait for it – NO SUBSCRIPTION! Yes, it’s yours to keep forever. Remember those glorious days when you only had to pay for software once rather than monthly for the rest of your life? It gets better because work has started on Affinity Publisher, an alternative to InDesign.

If you use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign then you might be spending around £720 per year on a Creative Cloud subscription. That’s £2,160 over a 3 year period. Instead the 3 Affinity alternatives will set you back less than £150 for use during those 3 years or the next 300 years. Even if you bought an upgrade after 2 years at full price it would only have cost you £300 at the end of the same 3 year period in this example. Currently updates to Affinity Photo and Designer are free and are available on both Mac and Windows.

Of course there are alternatives to Dreamweaver, Premiere, and Acrobat Pro that operate under the more reasonable “buy once, keep forever” model. I’ll explore those another time, hopefully before my Adobe subscription is catapulted skywards by 57%.

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