Confusion over Adobe Creative Cloud price rises

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The price of Adobe Creative Cloud is going up on March 6, which the company is blaming on "fluctuations in currency exchange rates". But there's confusion over what the new pricing will be.

Updated 6/2/17 with a statement from Adobe and clarification around student pricing.

Adobe CC subscriptions will go up in March, with the US company saying that this is due to "recent changes in exchange rates in your region". While Adobe isn't linking this to the EU referendum directly, it's fair to say that this is another instance of 'Blame Brexit'. Since the UK voted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, sterling has fallen against the US dollar from being worth around $1.44 in June to $1.25 (around a 15% drop). However, the exchange rate been relatively stable since a large sharp drop in early October 2016. This was due to poor UK export results, which were expected to rise due to the already weakened pound from a previous larger drop at the end of June following the referendum result.

Adobe has yet to release details of the new pricing, which has lead to confusion. Its website lists the current pricing, but the price rise isn’t mentioned beyond a vague blog post and the statement below. Current subscribers were informed by email on Thursday – and from copies of those emails forwarded to us by readers, most prices appear to be going up between 11% and 17% – though it has also given the impression that some student subscriptions are going up over 60%. We've asked Adobe to supply us with the new pricing and will update this story when they respond.

Here’s what we know so far:

Subscribers who are on annual plans that are paid monthly won’t see their prices rise until their current term ends – so if you took out a year’s subscription that you’re paying monthly in October 2016, you won’t see price rises until October 2017.

Price rises will seem larger to those who are currently on a discounted 'first year only' deal.

"Select customers saw the same price adjustments but adjustments may have appeared to be larger if they were coming to the end of a specific promotion," says a statement from Adobe in response to this story. "For example, a customer who was part of a promotion that discounted the product by 50% for the first year would receive an email communication indicating that the promotional pricing period was ending and they were shifting to standard pricing while also noting the fluctuation on the foreign exchange rate."

For individuals: the annual Photography Plan paid monthly is going up from £8.57 to £10.10 (a rise of 18%). The full Creative Cloud bundle is going up from £45.73 per month (for an annual subscription) to £50.57 (an 11% rise).

The full Creative Cloud for teams will rise from £53.20 per month to around £59 (again 11%).

Student subscriptions initially appeared will go up by a huge 62% – from £15.49 to £25.28 when paid monthly or from £185.90 to £301.90 for a full year. However, it now seems that we don't know how much they will rise. Students get their first year of a subscription at a discount rate (currently £15.49 per month), which then rises in subsequent years to the 'then-current standard monthly price'. This would be £50.57 per month. The £25.28 per month that's been quoted to students in their first year of a subscription is half that – so it appears students are getting a 50% discount off the full price in their second year. We've asked Adobe about this and will update this story when they respond.

Adobe's lack of clarity around this has provoked anger on Twitter and by email from students who face the largest increase of all – many of whom say that they can’t afford what they perceive as a large price hike. One student I spoke to also noted that their course requires them to subscribe to Creative Cloud using their own money – rather than the institution having its own subscription – so this will hit her hard.

"Adobe applications are required for my course at university and – since you can no longer purchase these on their own – I will have to pay this ridiculous fee to be able to complete my work," said Emily Young, who is studying Popular Music Journalism at Southampton Solent University.

Professionals also aren't happy. Illustrator Aaron Miller emailed us to say that although he’s a “big fan” of Creative Cloud and the “cost has always been reasonable. But this recent price hike is a little high."

He also noted that "In recent months, each new version and update has come with a series of problems. Buggy software and Adobe refusing to listen to customer feedback seems commonplace."

Let us know how the Adobe CC price rise has affected you in comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s an example of the email that subscribers received.

Dear [name],

We hope you are enjoying your subscription to the world-class products and services Adobe provides to help you do your best work. We wanted to share some important information about your renewal price.

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. Learn more

The current price of Adobe Creative Cloud will change to £50.57 per month incl. VAT on 6 March 2017. As an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, the price for your subscription won’t be impacted during your current subscription term. However, at the time of your renewal, which is scheduled for 21 November 2017, your price will change to reflect the then current local currency price. We’ll be sure to send you a reminder email with your new reneewal price as your renewal date gets closer.

Thank you for being a valued customer. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the latest innovations from Adobe as part of your subscription.

Please contact us if you have any questions about this change or your renewal.

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