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Old November 14th, 2007, 09:56 PM   #16
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I wouldn't go so far as to say Apple will become the leader.

If Avid slips, it's more likely that we'll end up in a situation similar to the camcorder market: there will be four or five big brands each with there own following and market niche.

Avid's problem, as I see it, is that they are an elite (not implying that Avid users are elitists) and expensive brand in a market that is becoming more democratic and affordable each year.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #17
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I wouldn't go so far as to say Apple will become the leader.
If you carefully read what I wrote, you'll see I was saying that Apple will become the leader... of the low to mid range niche. I never implied that FCP would overtake Avid on the high end. That's Avid's niche, and I believe they can hold that piece of the pie for years to come unless they mess it up somehow.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #18
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I'd venture a guess and say that FCP is 'already' the leader in the midrange boutique market.

And Avids problems stem from having to compete with themselves, NOT FCP. Avid has a long entrenched high end market to protect. They COULD unlock all the power of Media Composer, or Symphony in a software ony package, paired with third party cards like AJA, but then they'd 'piss off' the high end market and lose the lucrative 'service contract' business. (Before you say "Tough Shite", think about how pissed you get when you buy software, and it goes on sale, or gets bundled or upgraded and other people get a great deal a month later... now think in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of pissed.)

Is that a smart business plan??? No. I think we're all on board with that, but turning AVID around is like turning around a battleship.

Before they started offering discount upgrades from AXP to Media Composer, I suggested they simply ellimiate Xpress Pro, and offer a straight, low cost one time upgrade to Media Composer. Price MC just slightly higher than FCP, and let us upgrade for the difference. But what about the people who already bought a copy at the much higher price? Easy... give them a second copy for the same upgrade price difference. Now you've got people happily editing away with shops full of Media Composers... only ONE version of the Software out there... make it run with a third party card like AJA, and you're good to go head to head in the small shops against FCP, and you can STILL buy the adrenaline, for bigger faster power.

But do they listen to me??? Hell, my wife and kid don't listen to me.

Sigh. I'm buying a MacBook Pro this week, and I'll load my Avid onto it, but I'll also get a copy of FCP. Gotta keep all the bases covered, all my options open.

As to why they are a no show at NAB - Hard to say. It's radical enough that they COULD be trying to turn the battle ship a little sharper... but I don't think so.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #19
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I still remember when Ampex went to a small booth in Amsterdam and then no booth at NAB. The message received was "we give up. we're dead."

I think missing NAB is a big mistake. Without NAB you lose mindshare.

Then again... maybe this is a temporary reset. They want a smaller booth, but that sends a "dying" message. So, in 2008 they announce a big strategy with no booth. In 2009 they announce that they are back. The booth is small, but bigger than zero. And the excuse is that the bigger space was no longer available.

Kinda like a corporation taking a big loss all in one quarter.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #20
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It could be that in this age of the internet and immediate information dissemination that Avid feels the trade shows like NAB are arcane and a waste of money. You can roll your products out through press releases and fancy websites. Get some posts going on industry discussion boards and there you have it... instant, cheap(ish) product roll-out.
BUT, even if that's what they have in mind, I'm not sure I'd want my company being the first to buck the trend of NAB. It's just such a huge event in the industry, and being a high profile no show... it just doesn't look good. Throw in an ambiguously worded press release about your decision on the heels of a major company shakeup and it seems like an even worse idea.
Who knows, maybe we'll look back on this one day as the beginning of the end for NAB type show... but I'm not so sure.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #21
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It could be that in this age of the internet and immediate information dissemination that Avid feels the trade shows like NAB are arcane and a waste of money.
Agreed, in my opinion this is most likely the real underlying motive here.

As for myself, there's only one reason I still attend NAB: the social aspect -- it's a chance to see friends. I don't care very much about the exhibits.

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I'm not sure I'd want my company being the first to buck the trend of NAB... it just doesn't look good.
Right. It definitely takes guts to do this, but I'll bet now that Avid's done it, more will follow.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #22
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Ethan,

How much longer do you expect Avid will be able to "defend the high ground" on existing deep-pocket customers w/o going after new blood before it finds itself knee deep in the eroding waters of cheaper/faster hardware and software? I've seen a number of posts by "Avid guy's" saying Avid needs to get out there and compete more and think the company will die if they take a more defensive position.

On the other hand, how much of Avid's business really is w/"Hollywood"? I was speaking w/a rep from a very large LA rental house a year or so ago and he said while TV shows and movies were high profile customers for Avid, they didn't make up a similarly sized chunk of Avid's revenue. Maybe Avid can afford to serve only the top end of Hollywood because other parts of the company will keep the company afloat? Kind of like how other parts of Apple generate enough revenue for Apple to sell FCP at a loss.

It's interesting to say the least. I don't want to see any major player go under though 'cause competition is always the consumers' best friend.

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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #23
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Andrew,

If I can chime in. While Avid is losing in lot of areas including small medium post houses, they still dominate feature film and broadcast editing. But, even Hollywood isn't their most profitable market.

However, the company is a little more diverse than we realize. Pinnacle is #1 in consumer PC editing software.

That being said, the company's most profitable areas aren't just film/video production. Avid's Digidesign group is considered the standard in digital audio recording and the Forensics products are selling very well to govt. agencies and command a premium price.

The other aspect to Avid's business is that they offer a total enterprise solution for editing, large media databases, graphics, media playout for very large TV networks worldwide. This is mission critical stuff. They just installed a large turnkey solution for France 24. They're in CNN, NBC, CBS, BBC,etc. etc.

The broadcast market is what they will defend Apple mightly because one sale could be in the millions.

Apologies to Ethan, didn't mean to speak for you for I know Andrews question was for you.

Cheers..
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Old November 15th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #24
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Apologies to Ethan, didn't mean to speak for you for I know Andrews question was for you.
Yes David, bow before me... cower in fear, for I AM ETHAN!!!!!

Actually you answered much better than I could have with little facts and tidbits that I didn't know. And I agree with everything you said.
... and you're good looking.
... you smell nice too.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #25
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Off topic but maybe not.. those people in Aus worried about Avid, but are hoping to go to Digital Media Festival to see the Sony EX1 will also be disappointed as Sony (Hardware and Software divisions) have said no to this as well, simply because the DMF is more of an educational hub than anything else.

So yeah, if you were going to DMF and hoping to get your grubby mitts on an EX1 for a play, you might come across one from a 3rd party distributor, but there will be no official stands in any case (for Sony Pro or For Sony Media Software)
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Old November 19th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #26
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I was pretty disappointed with DMF this year - No Sony, No Apple, No Videocraft. Was that because they were all at SMPTE earlier in the year? Pity I hadn't decided on what I wanted then and was hoping to have a final play with what I needed before I purchased.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #27
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Here's a short article where Avid's VP Graham Sharp explains (or spins?) the NAB no go...

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6503817.html

BTW - Ethan, I did read your post carefully. To put it another way: I think I that Apple's market is a lot more competitive than Avid's was. And if they have a lead in innovation it's very narrow. So I don't think FCS will ever be as comfy in their lead as AVID was. That's all.

Let record show, I too bow before Ethan. :)
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Old November 20th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #28
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Yup, I'd say that article is a fair job of 'spinning' rather than explaining. "We're not going to show up, because we're not interested in the small, or mid level sales growth. We already have the top broadcasting execs' numbers in our rolidex, why should we try to reach out to anyone else?" Yup, sounds like smart marketing to me... (snark)
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:28 AM   #29
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Hey Richard,

You think Mr. Sharp would take us to a 4 star restaurant and order a 40 year old bottle of wine and a 10 oz. steak with lobster? I guess you have to have call letters for that meal.

They did say however that they would set up at a Vegas hotel during NAB to meet with "key" customers.

It is "retrenchment" marketing, but it is probably their best marketing move at this point.

Regardless of whether they go to NAB or not, they have to innovate with better products. Otherwise it is moot.

I'll admit that I haven't been to NAB in a long time. But I hear the Avid party last year in vegas was very lame. Maybe they're moving dollars to the party. Also, I would rather to go an Avid User Forum any day of the week than NAB. I agree with him about the "noise" and trying to talk to a sales rep.

I mean usually the sales rep doesn't have the answers that you need anyway. Back in the day of the user forums you got to talk to the software engineers who really knew the answers to your questions. Very cool events.
And the we, the users, paid our own way!! Still worth every penny. In 1995 at the Avid Users forum in Florida, a girl won a 9 gigabyte Avid hard drive worth $3,000 in a giveaway. We were all trying to convince her to play us in poker for that drive. She lost but wouldn't give it up.

In the meantime, I think I'll call Mr. Sharp and see if he would at least take me to Burger King for a kid's meal.

Wanna come along??

Cheers.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #30
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Hey, I do a lot of freelance for MCTV here on the Penninusla,... I got a T-Shirt with call letters and the words "CREW" on it.... somewhere. Maybe even a baseball cap with a logo on it... I must be SOMEBODY... Please AVID, answer my calls.
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