Thursday, PetaPixel pointed out Adobe's incredibly popular $10 per month Photography plan was missing from its website. What's really going on is a bit more complicated, but it could mean big changes are coming for photographers that rely on one of Adobe's best deals.
Adobe's current lineup of photography-related plans includes the Photography plan and the Lightroom plan, where the Photography plan comes with Lightroom, Photoshop, and options for 20 GB of cloud storage ($9.99/mo.) or 1 TB of cloud storage ($19.99/mo.). The Lightroom plan is Lightroom-only for $9.99. But it's that first Photography plan that many, many photographers (myself included) are huge fans of. When Adobe switched to a subscription-only model, many creatives felt it was asking too much. But for photographers, plans like the Photography plan seemed reasonable enough to go along with it. But what if that price were to double?
Recently, some users have noticed Adobe is not displaying all of the available Photography plans, which means if you want both Photoshop and Lightroom, you're going to have to pay $19.99/mo. for the 1 TB plan, since the 20 GB cloud storage plan is gone. This is incredibly unfortunate, especially considering many users simply do not need or want any cloud storage space to begin with. And now, $10 only gets you Lightroom with 1 TB of storage, but leaves out Photoshop entirely.
Some users can apparently still see the original plan, and Adobe has now commented about the more affordable Photography plan:
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. The plan can be purchased at http://www.adobe.com/go/photo18sptst, via phone at 1-800-585-0774 or via major retailers."
While it may be the case that it's still available, unsuspecting users (i.e. new customers) would almost certainly not know about the original Photography plan for $9.99 when it's not presented on the page. They would have to either shop elsewhere or specifically call in and ask if there just happens to be a more affordable plan available for purchase. Even then, who is to say Adobe may not be running tests through their phone sales as well, where they would tell some people and potentially not others. After all, this is what's currently happening on Adobe's website.
It is understandable that a company might want to run tests for various design, interface, and marketing elements and how this is all displayed on a website. But it might not feel right to some who would unknowingly purchase more than they needed to. Rarely do companies actually remove more affordable, better plans from many customers' views while leaving it up for others as a test.
Of course, this could mean the worst could be coming, as someone has to ask why someone would run such a test. If these tests are successful in that more than half of the percentage of people that only see the $19.99 Photography plan still end up going through with that purchase compared to the percentage of people that see both plans, Adobe will have good reason to get rid of the more affordable plan altogether. While Adobe may grandfather in current subscribers as many companies do when there are subscription price increases and changing plans, anyone new to photography would face paying twice as much as we all did when we started. Those that rely on being able to stop a subscription and restart it during varying work cycles would also be hurt by not being able to keep a more affordable plan.
This is all a big what-if scenario, granted. But actually changing pricing by hiding a plan for a vast number of customers is a pretty drastic way to run market tests. But what do you think?
For now, everyone can still find the standard Photography plan for the original pricing at B&H.