excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Avid Trending Downward or Upward

If you run your shops on’s time to start thinking about a transition strategy.

I’d like to be wrong…but encourage my fellow pros to start thinking critically if they run their businesses based on Avid workflows.
— Richard Harrington

So how serious is this? Well if one is strictly looking at the numbers then it does seem like Avid is trending downward pretty quickly. One can sight Avid's recent fourth quarter earnings release postponement, its CEO Gary Greenfield being replaced with Louis Hernandez, Avid selling off of its consumer software division, its "streamlining of operations" also known as firing staff, or its 6 straight years of net loss.

However, if you talk to most people in high end broadcast and film post-production you would think there isn't another NLE on the market. That space is overwhelming dominated by Avid. It seems that the question is can Avid maintain its business catering to only a niche of users. This is in complete contrast to Apple's (and to a lesser extent Adobe's) model of offering the software at commodity pricing for anyone in any industry provided they run it on Apple hardware.

Avid tried to purchase their way into the consumer editing space in 2005 and 2006 when they picked up Pinnacle Studio and M-Audio. That attempt ended last year as they sold it for substantially less than they paid. Seems it's a hard market to tap into. So it seems that Avid is now carving out its image as the "high-end" NLE vs. Apple and Adobe being the value brand NLE and the suite-of-apps NLE, respectively. If you're familiar with MC or Symphony then you'll probably back Avid and continue riding that horse. If you don't come from the Avid background or weren't taught Avid in school and you started on FCP or Premiere then you'll probably steer clear of Avid as MC's interface hasn't really been overhauled since the 90's. As a new class of editor begins to crop up I suspect it'll be harder and harder for Avid to hang onto their coveted high-end professional.

I certainly won't count Avid out yet, but it seems there are far more chips on Apple/Adobe's side than on Avid's. From my recliner I'd prefer the side with the most chips...