Avid announced to day that it’s shedding it’s consumer divisions, to focus solely on the enterprise and professional markets. It’s selling off all of the apps that it acquired from Pinnacle (Avid Studio, Pinnacle Studio, and the Avid Studio App for the Apple iPad), to Corel, and all of its M-Audio software and hardware to inMusic. This leaves them selling the Media Composer family, and ProTools, as well as their media storage systems.
It’s no secret that Avid’s been in tough financial times for the last couple of years, and frankly this is a cost cutting measure. However the consumer strategy never worked out for Avid all that well. The products they had were simply bought and re-branded, but they never integrated in to Avid’s mainstream products. Though to be fair, Avid and ProTools still aren’t exactly chummy together. The market for consumer video was trounced by cheap and integrated software that came with the operating systems, and most consumers weren’t looking to upgrade their video editing capability, if indeed they edit at all.
This is being spun by Avid as a chance to re-focus their energy and resources on the pro market, and I think it will ultimately be a positive thing. Pro Video Editing is a niche market, and there’s nothing wrong with it being served by a small niche company. While Apple seems to be getting too large to bother catering to this niche, it’s a perfect opportunity for Avid to solidify it’s hold on it. Avid has never really lost the high-end feature film market, but FCP trounced it in the lower end cable, corporate/event and independent segments. Apple’s misstep with FCP X gives Avid the chance it needs to get those people back, but only if they have the focus and compelling products to do it.
All in all, I look forward to seeing what the results of this new focus on the professional will bring in the coming year.