Bitbucket Pricing Hike Increases Cost Per User by 100%

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After GitHub hiked its prices last May, many users who were negatively impacted by the changes took a second look at competitors like Bitbucket and GitLab. GitHub switched from per-repository to per-user pricing, requiring organizations to purchase a seat for each user at $9 per user/month. This was a drastic increase when compared to the legacy plans that started at $25/month for 10 repositories and unlimited members.

This week Bitbucket announced new features to help customers scale in the cloud, including Bitbucket Pipeline (build, test, and deploy from Bitbucket) and Git Large Files Storage (stores large files externally to keep Git repositories lightweight). Atlassian, the company behind Bitbucket, tacked a pricing change on at the end of the post under the heading “Pay only for what you need with per user pricing.”

Bitbucket will still offer unlimited private repositories, but it is changing user pricing from a groups model (i.e. 10 for $10, 25 for $25, etc) to a per-user model based on the number of users with access to the private repository. The announcement puts an odd spin on the pricing change, masking the fact that nearly 100% of its customers will be paying more, and in many cases double what they did before:

Most companies use SaaS so they can scale easily in the cloud and pay only for what they use. In our current model, unless you have exactly 10, 25, 50 or 100 users, you can end up paying for seats you don’t use. In the new pricing model (price-per-user) you only pay for the users who are actually part of your team. The Standard plan includes the Bitbucket you love at $2/user/month. The Premium plan at $5/user/month is for teams that require granular admin controls, security and auditing. Bitbucket Cloud will still be free for small teams of up to 5 users.

Customers replied that they expect pricing increases but don’t appreciate the company making it sound like they will be saving money.

Although Bitbucket’s pricing change amounts to roughly a 100% increase for most customers, it is still significantly more affordable than GitHub’s upcoming pricing structure. Atlassian plans to put the new pricing into effect in early 2017 and promises to give customers at least 30 days notice before rolling out the new model.

8 Comments


  1. I received this confusing email this morning.a

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  2. Totally agree with this Tweet:

    “I expect price increases at times. Compared to JIRA Bb was a steal. Just don’t make it sound like we’ll save money.”

    I totally understand if they want to raise their prices.. but making it sound like they’re doing everyone a favour is just absurd.

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  3. It’s almost like GitHub and Bitbucket _want_ their price-sensitive customers to go to GitLab instead.

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    1. It’s all about price elasticity, if they can make as much or more money with a smaller number of customers, there is nothing logical to stop them, and this is before factoring in the decrease in (server and bandwith) costs and support burden (which leads again to cost decrease) that a reduction of customers brings.

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  4. Hi Sara,
    Thanks for the write-up. When our pricing change goes into effect, some of our customers will see a price decrease, some will see a nominal increase, and others will have a larger increase as you point out. You can see a full calculation of cost per users shared online: https://twitter.com/Pe_D/status/786313076027060224

    In our online FAQ (https://bitbucket.org/product/pricing/upcoming), we tried to provide as much transparency into the change in price as possible. Below is an excerpt from our website. Also, as we mention there, we found that the majority of our paid customers were paying for seats that they were not using. Our new model ensures that customers will only pay for employees using Bitbucket.

    Will I pay more under the new pricing model?

    Yes. Some of you will see a price increase. Using the example above, you will pay $70/month under the Standard plan i.e. $20 more under the new pricing model. Additionally, the Standard plan will include 5 GB file storage for LFS and 500 build minutes for Pipelines per team.

    – Raj Sarkar from the Bitbucket team

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  5. I use gitlab for some years now and I am very happy with it. Even customers can use this tool very easy.

    So host your own solution ;-) Way better than GitHub or Bitbucket.

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  6. We’re in the process of switching from Bitbucket to Gitlab as well, especially after seeing their impressive announcement video last month. Not only does it include Git hosting, issue tracking, and continuous integration/deployment (with build artifacts and Docker runners), but they provide a free private Docker registry.
    There’s still a few things missing, and some features need polish, but they deploy new functionality every month and the development team seems very passionate about what they do.

    We were already planning to switch to Gitlab when the Bitbucket pricing change was announced. It’s not enough to affect us, we only have 14 users (so our cost jumps from $25 to $28/month), but it’s hard to beat free. We can use that money to pay for a couple of DigitalOcean droplets for our Gitlab CI/CD runners if we decide the free ones aren’t fast enough.

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