Adobe Creative Cloud: four years later, huge price increases

Back in 2013 we blogged about Adobe's switch to a rental model for their original Creative Suite design product, resulting in the re-branded Creative Cloud line. As noted in our original post:

  • "By forcing customers dependent on the traditionally-licensed Adobe Creative Suite into a rental scheme, Adobe has released software that for many businesses turns out to be more expensive than the outgoing product."
  • "It's hard to view Adobe's rental scheme as anything less than a cynical exercise to extract a predictable revenue stream from customers under the guise of a true cloud product."

Four years later in 2017, it's clear that this concern has become a reality for many businesses who chose to move to Creative Cloud. As reported in Gizmodo, Creative Cloud is now an astonishing 250% more expensive in Australia compared to 2014:

  • "Steve . . . has watched his yearly [Creative Cloud] subscription cost rise from $359.88 in 2014 to $599.88 in 2015, then to $695.88 in 2016 . . . to $871.07 [in 2017]. That's a 242 per cent jump over the four years he's used the service."
  • "In December [2016], Adobe started charging GST on its Creative Cloud subscriptions, raising prices by 10 per cent, and this latest jump is a 25 per cent price increase [over 2016]."
  • "In 2013, we calculated that buying a copy of Adobe's Creative Suite Master Collection in Australia would cost more than flying to the US, buying it there, and flying home—a move that would also save you $600 spending money extra for a holiday at the same time."

It's not just Australian customers facing exorbitant price increases. As reported by the Independent, Digital Arts, and blogger Gary Fenton, Adobe's UK customers are also targeted—with costs increasing by up to 60 percent.

Creative Cloud customers looking for alternatives in the face of such drastic changes need only look at the possibilities enabled by open source design software. Switching to open source is entirely practical for design professionals; two real-world examples are provided below:

On a final note, other examples abound of vendors railroading customers into rental schemes only to then increase prices, of which perhaps the most notable is Microsoft Office 365 (see Microsoft to increase Office 365 prices for New Zealand customers). In the same way that LibreOffice is the perfect countermeasure to Office 365, a range of open source design software can supplant Creative Cloud—from GIMP, Krita, and Scribus, to Blender, Inkscape, and WordPress.