fcp.co logo transparent
fcp clapperboard

More bad news from Avid, is their NLE ship slowly sinking?

avid sinking

Today brought more news from Avid that things are not too rosy in Burlington Massachusetts for the one time pioneer of NLEs. They are selling off the consumer M-Audio brand and more incredibly their consumer editing apps including Avid Studio for the iPad.

We were quite staggered in a few conversations during NAB when editing colleagues didn't realise that Avid wasn't in a great financial state. The heavilly promoted FCP switcher campaign that was offered in the run up to the FCPX launch and beyond might have given the impression that Avid were growing and were going to grow more in the future.

The actual picture is somewhat different.

Avid have been in poor financial health for a while, the company has been shedding jobs on a regular basis to try and keep costs down. In October 2011 Avid laid off 10% of their workforce and today Avid announced that they intend to reduce the headcount further by another 20%.

The announcement is of course wrapped in corporate speak:

“The changes we are announcing today make Avid a more focused and agile company,” said Gary Greenfield, CEO of Avid. “By streamlining and simplifying operations, we expect to deliver improved financial performance and partner more closely with our enterprise and professional customers. Our objective remains to provide these customers with the innovative solutions that allow them to create the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world. I’m excited about our future prospects.”

They have also decided to sell off two product lines from their bloated range that they gathered from their agressive acquisition operations. It seems only like yesterday that they bought Euphonix from Yello's Dieter Meier.

Avid has agreed to sell its consumer audio and video product lines. The company’s consumer audio products are being sold to inMusic, the parent company of Akai Professional, Alesis and Numark, among others. Headquartered in Cumberland, Rhode Island, inMusic's brands are best known for producing innovative products for music production, performance and DJing. The products involved in this transaction include M-Audio brand keyboards, controllers, interfaces, speakers and digital DJ equipment and other product lines. Avid will continue to develop and sell its industry-leading Pro Tools® line of software and hardware, as well as associated I/O devices including Mbox and Fast Track.

Here comes the amazing bit...

Separately, the company’s consumer video editing line is being sold to Corel Corporation, a consumer software company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. The products involved in this transaction include Avid Studio, Pinnacle Studio, and the Avid Studio App for the Apple iPad®, as well as other legacy video capture products.

Yeup that Avid Studio iPad app that we reported on back in February has been sold. We can understand that they want to concentrate on professional customers, but the market has moved on from the time when Avid was the undisputed king of NLEs. Contrast this to Apple's position that offers a vertically integrated range of video editing and music creation applications.

Rather than slicing off the lower end of the market, Avid should have reduced the cost of Media Composer down to the same price point as Final Cut Pro X and met its nemesis face to face. Or taken a leaf out of Adobe's book and offered MC for monthly rent and therefore dodged the Sarbanes Oxley feature update problem.

So what will happen to Avid from now on? We know things are tough financially worldwide, but take a look at the share price which has dropped 60% in the last year. They have also lost a lot cash, a whopping $150 million in 2008, getting better year on year to just over a $20 million loss for the year ending December 31st.

So will Avid go bust? It seems that without their successful ProTools audio software propping them up it might have happened a while ago. Will the Avid product disappear? Of course not, take a look at the re-emerging Lightworks (At one point in time the only competitor to Avid) or the Boris maintained Media 100 as examples of NLE software longevity. That familiar interface will be around for a long time. Who owns it and how much money will be pumped into R&D of the products is a different matter.

Don't get us wrong, we don't want Avid to die, competition is good and this will further push the development of FCPX. We would just be considering a plan B if we ran an Avid post house. 

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

Log in to comment