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Avid investors prepped for Apple surprises at NAB

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Investment research firm PiperJaffray on Thursday cautioned shareholders of video production firm Avid Technology, Inc. that shares could experience some short-term volatility should Apple Inc. pull something from its sleeve at next month's NAB conference.

Sr. Analyst Gene Munster, who maintains an outperform rating on shares of Avid, told investors that the "talk on the Street" is that Apple is planning an event for April 15th at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas, Nevd.

"At last year's NAB, expectations were that Apple would announce a high end version of Final Cut, but this did not materialize," he said." We believe that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that if Apple holds a special event at NAB, it will be the venue for this announcement."

Munster in a note to investors acknowledged that there is likely to be concern over what Apple may be holding, but said he does not believe a higher end version of Apple's Final Cut would end up significantly impacting Avid's pro post production business.

"Don't expect Avid Pro users to flock to Apple if a high-end version of Final Cut is announced," the analyst wrote. Although higher-end version of the Apple video editing software would likely offer a 15 to 20 percent price advantage over similar Avid software, surveys have shown that Avid Pro customers are less sensitive to price and more sensitive to brand and familiarity.

A recent study conducted by PiperJaffray of 161 post production professionals found that of those using an Avid system, only 6 percent were willing to consider switching to Apple in the next 12 months. Many others said they were not interested in switching to Apple, as Avid systems are what they've known for years. Several Avid Pro users also noted that "Avid is what professionals use, while Apple is what consumers and 'prosumers' use."

In his note to investors, Munster concluded that the Avid story is far from "squeaky clean," but said he believes it is getting closer to becoming a stable growing business again.

"While a high end version of Apple's Final Cut could be on par with Avid in many respects as far as functionality, Apple would be fighting a perception issue that pro editors have, as well as a loyalty to what they and the industry have been using for over a decade," he wrote.
post #2 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

" We believe that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that if Apple holds a special event at NAB, it will be the venue for this announcement."

I believe that there is a greater than 50% chance he may be right if what he says is true.
Now where do I sign up to get the big bucks for my analyzing skills?
post #3 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

I believe that there is a greater than 50% chance he may be right if what he says is true.
Now where do I sign up to get the big bucks for my analyzing skills?

That joke never gets old.
post #4 of 54
What he says is true though. However newcomers to the business are usually more likely to consider other solutions than the accepted one than those already using it. Otherwise, the first solutions to any problem would be the only solutions, and none of the newer ones would ever have survived.

If Apple does come out with competition, they have a chance, though it might take years.
post #5 of 54
Brand loyalty? Well they are not called "Avid" users for nothing.

In other news, here is the latest screen shot from the new leopard!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/...louded_leopard
post #6 of 54
I agree with melgross.

But ultimately Avid will have to lower prices and will lose alot of business. I doubt Avid Express and the mojo would even exist if FCP wasn't around. They'd still be making people buy their $25,000 starter system.

As an editor that has used Avid and FCP for years, there is a perception that Avid is the king, but that will change. I personally like FCP way more after using them both. Avid requires remembering hundreds of key strokes and keyboard commands and is thus less-user friendy, (which FCP can mimick perfectly), is more expensive, and is overall just too finicky. Avid & Digidesign have owned the entertainment world for the last 20-30 years and I've always used their products, but better and cheaper things have and will come out and they'll loose some business. It will take time, but many people will eventually switch, and new ones that aren't 'stuck' in the Avid world will avoid them.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

That joke never gets old.

It certainly doesn't have the legs that "Zune is brown like poo!!!!!1!!" did.
post #8 of 54
This is a parallel situation to what happened with the music industry. When the tools of the trade went digital, every major studio on earth invested in Pro Tools, because it was the most powerful system at the time. Of course, that required a huge investment in special hardware, because the computers of the day weren't powerful enough to handle the processing in software.

Now that computers have caught up, and most of that extra hardware is no longer needed, cheaper and better solutions (Logic, Cubase, etc.) have come along. But the studio is slow to make the switch, because it's already invested so much money in Pro Tools. And the people working in the studios don't want to swich, either. When all of your experience and training is on one system, you're not going to push to make a switch, thus making all of your knowledge and experience irrelevant.

What's happening now, finally, is that musicians are recording their own works at home, on cheaper systems, saving themselves the high cost of studio time. Thus, the cheaper software solutions gain popularity through the independent movement. I suspect the same will happen for Final Cut, if they release a higher-end version that's significantly cheaper than Avid.
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Investment research firm PiperJaffray on Thursday cautioned shareholders of video production firm Avid Technology, Inc. that shares could experience some short-term volatility should Apple Inc. pull something from its sleeve at next month's NAB conference.

Sr. Analyst Gene Munster, who maintains an outperform rating on shares of Avid, told investors that the "talk on the Street" is that Apple is planning an event for April 15th at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas, Nevd.

"At last year's NAB, expectations were that Apple would announce a high end version of Final Cut, but this did not materialize," he said." We believe that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that if Apple holds a special event at NAB, it will be the venue for this announcement."

Munster in a note to investors acknowledged that there is likely to be concern over what Apple may be holding, but said he does not believe a higher end version of Apple's Final Cut would end up significantly impacting Avid's pro post production business.

"Don't expect Avid Pro users to flock to Apple if a high-end version of Final Cut is announced," the analyst wrote. Although higher-end version of the Apple video editing software would likely offer a 15 to 20 percent price advantage over similar Avid software, surveys have shown that Avid Pro customers are less sensitive to price and more sensitive to brand and familiarity.

A recent study conducted by PiperJaffray of 161 post production professionals found that of those using an Avid system, only 6 percent were willing to consider switching to Apple in the next 12 months. Many others said they were not interested in switching to Apple, as Avid systems what they've known for years. Several Avid Pro users also noted that "Avid is what professionals use, while Apple is what consumers and 'prosumers' use."

In his note to investors, Munster concluded that the Avid story is far from "squeaky clean," but said he believes it is getting closer to becoming a stable growing business again.

"While a high end version of Apple's Final Cut could be on par with Avid in many respects as far as functionality, Apple would be fighting a perception issue that pro editors have, as well as a loyalty to what they and the industry have been using for over a decade," he wrote.

Use some of that cash and buy Avid
post #10 of 54
After spending $100,000's over the years nobody is going tell these people that they can get the same thing for $10,000. No siree. That's not how you cover your ass in a business.

FCP outsells Avid by a margin. Its only the larger houses that can afford and appreciate the higher performance and integration that Avid systems can give them. Apple are not specifically targeting these people; rather they are creating the sort of integrated solutions that their present customers are growing into, thereby not losing them to the evil Avid.
post #11 of 54
As someone mentioned above about music, Avid is part of an old paradigm where professional quality equipment cost tens of thousands of dollars. Editors ARE very faithful to programs that they've used for years, but as someone who in my 12 years in the business has worked across editing on film, A/B, Avid, M100, Premier, and now FCP; that FCP is definitely the easiest and most flexible system out there, and has come a long way in it's relatively short period of time. And is only getting better...

People who say Avid is for Pro's and FCP is for "prosumers" is just silly... Tell that to David Fincher who just edited ZODIAC on FCP.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

As someone mentioned above about music, Avid is part of an old paradigm where professional quality equipment cost tens of thousands of dollars. Editors ARE very faithful to programs that they've used for years, but as someone who in my 12 years in the business has worked across editing on film, A/B, Avid, M100, Premier, and now FCP; that FCP is definitely the easiest and most flexible system out there, and has come a long way in it's relatively short period of time. And is only getting better...

People who say Avid is for Pro's and FCP is for "prosumers" is just silly... Tell that to David Fincher who just edited ZODIAC on FCP.

One of the excuses for this expensive equipement such as the Flames, Avids, etc, was that a personal computer simply couldn't keep up with requirements in a commercial editing enviornment. Realtime being the main reason.

With new machines coming out with dual 4 core chips, 32 GB of RAM and endless high speed RAIDs, that will no longer be a viable excuse.
post #13 of 54
I've been working with various networks and design houses in both the US and UK over the last 15 years, and have noticed a clear shift towards FCP. Companies that once outsourced to post houses can now buy 3 or 4 FCP systems for the price of 1 Avid and hire good freelancers to operate, as well as training up staff. The UK is slower to move, but in the US I haven't seen an Avid since 2004.

Time was 15 years ago the only way to train up as an editor was after hours at a post house, or pay big money for a course - and Avid was the only option. As Frankie said, when you've spent 15 years working on one system why would you want to learn something new. But the kids coming out of college now are far more likely to have access to FCP than Avid - either at college or on their home machine - so it's only a matter of time before the balance shiftsand the old school makes way.
post #14 of 54
I don't get it though... I had a client of mine ask me to come into her office and work on Premier Pro. I had never touched premier before that, and was currently working on FCP. I was able to pick up the basics in around 10 minutes, and more advanced functionality in half a day. The truth is there is very little separating the various apps from purely cutting perspective, they all work the same way, just with different keys!

FCP has more functionality at a lower price!
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

I don't get it though... I had a client of mine ask me to come into her office and work on Premier Pro. I had never touched premier before that, and was currently working on FCP. I was able to pick up the basics in around 10 minutes, and more advanced functionality in half a day. The truth is there is very little separating the various apps from purely cutting perspective, they all work the same way, just with different keys!

FCP has more functionality at a lower price!

There are probably several people that worked on both FCP and Premiere software, that's probably part of why it was so easy to adapt. Not only did both programs originate from Macromedia, the lead software architect worked on Premiere at Adobe, and later, on FCP at Apple.
post #16 of 54
'Real' Avid doesn't run on a laptop, right? I realize we won't have 8-core Xeon performance on laptops for 2-3 years, but that's not too far away.
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

People who say Avid is for Pro's and FCP is for "prosumers" is just silly... Tell that to David Fincher who just edited ZODIAC on FCP.

There are quite a few movies cut on FCP now. It's becoming very popular in the TV broadcast arena as well, I think the BBC has committed to switching all their systems.

Last I recall, there are advantages to using Avid products, but it's getting harder to justify as time goes on.

I know one person that works at a TV station and has Avid that's already paid for, but on occasion, he still takes the work to his own small business office to use his own copy of FCP.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

It certainly doesn't have the legs that "Zune is brown like poo!!!!!1!!" did.

I miss that..... hey, wilco..... c'mon...
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

There are probably several people that worked on both FCP and Premiere software, that's probably part of why it was so easy to adapt. Not only did both programs originate from Macromedia, the lead software architect worked on Premiere at Adobe, and later, on FCP at Apple.

Randy Ubilos. Now a Distinguished Engineer. Here's a good article on the birth of FCP

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM...842A41BD1.html

Avid/Digidesign certainly has room for fear. There are a lot of religious Avid fans but Final Cut Pro is keeping many people happy. The suite really hasn't had a significant feature upgrade in two years as Apple had to work hard to get in Universal.

I'm expecting HUGE advances at NAB this year. I think the features in Leopard will enable so many new features or improvements in the Final Cut Suite I'm just excited that we're less than a month away. Finally. Avid certainly has to be worried in the last year Apple has aquired GPU accelerated Final Touch and Artbox asset managment.

I suspect that XSAN will be heavily updated and bundled in a higher end version.

I'm just a newbie though but hopefully in 2008 I can start working on a Level 1 certification for Final Cut Pro. I'm thrilled that Apple has worked so hard to make Macintosh the platform for affordable audio and video production.

Kind of OT but here's hoping that Musikmesse gives us a Logic Pro 8 with a new spanking UI ..lots of updates (Delay Compensation everwhere and sample accurate editing) and finally peer level status in a Final Cut Studio workflow with proper roundtripping. Soundtrack Pro is nice for Video people who want to add easy audio but Logic Pro 8 is the beast that people need when it's time to make the score count.
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post #20 of 54
I have been using FCP since film school back in 2000, and recently had to learn AVID for a job. Not only was it a huge pain to even find a place that taught AVID, but it was VERY expensive. I have been using AVID systems for the last couple years, and I must say that from a creative cutting standpoint, AVID has nothing on FCP, and ultimatly, it's not about the program, but the Editor's ability to tell a story. FCP seems so much more organic than AVID, as well as its superior integration with other software. AVID users have this arrogance about their systems, but when are they going to learn that it's strictly business, not personal. Walter Murch has edited 3 films on FCP and is not turning back. The reality is that most of the new generation will be learing FCP, not AVID.
post #21 of 54
hey guys,

i bought my fcp studio 5.1 a couple months ago - now, how much you think ill have to pay for a regular fcp 6 update? (not the rumoured extreme version)

i hope ill get away with 200 euros/dollars or so? naive?
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alolkoy View Post

I have been using FCP since film school back in 2000, and recently had to learn AVID for a job. Not only was it a huge pain to even find a place that taught AVID, but it was VERY expensive. I have been using AVID systems for the last couple years, and I must say that from a creative cutting standpoint, AVID has nothing on FCP, and ultimatly, it's not about the program, but the Editor's ability to tell a story. FCP seems so much more organic than AVID, as well as its superior integration with other software. AVID users have this arrogance about their systems, but when are they going to learn that it's strictly business, not personal. Walter Murch has edited 3 films on FCP and is not turning back. The reality is that most of the new generation will be learing FCP, not AVID.

Wow I love that many of you guys are registering and responding to this thread. Cool. I think Apple should be reaching out to schools (and they probably have) and making FCP the program that students are learning on. As for Avid I have no experience but the two things that seem to come out in favor of Avid is their implementation of Multicam and their better media management. I think I'm fine with the current FCP Multicam. I've seen it demo'd and it looks fine. Media Management is another story. I think Apple's working with that and we'll have something solid in the next version or so. Avid does have that arrogance. Even Digidesign users seem to have the same scoffing attitude towards other DAW. Wake up and smell the coffee. Pro Tools sucks with midi and

http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/symphony.php

1.6ms latency without the need for expensive DSP rackmount and more expensive plugins. These old school Avid/Digi editors will be replaced in the next decade with talented youngsters running Final Cut Pro/Logic/Nuendo. Just sit back and watch the old guard fall.
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcphers View Post

Brand loyalty? Well they are not called "Avid" users for nothing.

In other news, here is the latest screen shot from the new leopard!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070315/...louded_leopard

funny.... i posted something similar and got a post violation warning, might be an idea not to do that
post #24 of 54
Quote:
"At last year's NAB, expectations were that Apple would announce a high end version of Final Cut, but this did not materialize," he said

Of course not. For one, FCP is not updated every year, it is every other year. In 2005 it was last updated, and last year, it was released as a Universal, which was probably not a trivial task for an app of that size and potentially having a lot of legacy code.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

It certainly doesn't have the legs that "Zune is brown like poo!!!!!1!!" did.

Re: the Zune, my favorite is, "Brown is the new failure."

.
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

People who say Avid is for Pro's and FCP is for "prosumers" is just silly... Tell that to David Fincher who just edited ZODIAC on FCP.

Yep. And I believe a lot of the editing on '300' was done using FCP, though they used Avid as well.


I said half decaf, NO FOAM latte !!!

.
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post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Re: the Zune, my favorite is, "Brown is the new failure."

At least that's fairly interesting and funny. Wilco beat the "poo" joke far too much, I think he ended up getting moderated out for doing it too often.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

After spending $100,000's over the years nobody is going tell these people that they can get the same thing for $10,000. No siree. That's not how you cover your ass in a business.

True. And yet, when it becomes crushingly obvious, people switch anyway. Look at expensive, proprietary Sun servers back in the day vs cheap Intel boxes running Linux server software. In the end, Sun just couldn't win, and had to adapt to survive.

Inertia, loyalty, internal misinformation, etc. only lasts so long against crushingly better price-to-performance ratios.

.
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post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

At least that's fairly interesting and funny. Wilco beat the "poo" joke far too much, I think he ended up getting moderated out for doing it too often.

I agree, a little bit of 'poo metaphor' goes a long, long way.

(omg, did I just say 'poo metaphor'?)

.
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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

At least that's fairly interesting and funny. Wilco beat the "poo" joke far too much, I think he ended up getting moderated out for doing it too often.

Wilco takes a while to figure out. He beat that comment into the ground to make a point.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

As an editor that has used Avid and FCP for years, there is a perception that Avid is the king, but that will change. I personally like FCP way more after using them both.

Same here. I used to edit on Avid and then take the rough edit over to the post house to finish it. Now I do the whole thing myself with FC Studio. When I drive to work in the morning I go right by the Post House and their parking lot is becoming very empty these days. There used to be dozens of cars there. Now it sort of looks like "fade to black".

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

True. And yet, when it becomes crushingly obvious, people switch anyway. Look at expensive, proprietary Sun servers back in the day vs cheap Intel boxes running Linux server software. In the end, Sun just couldn't win, and had to adapt to survive.

Inertia, loyalty, internal misinformation, etc. only lasts so long against crushingly better price-to-performance ratios.

.

Plus learning the new tool (FCP) should be cheaper and less of a drain while they become proficient. They can learn in in their off time.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by icedtea1996 View Post

hey guys,

i bought my fcp studio 5.1 a couple months ago - now, how much you think ill have to pay for a regular fcp 6 update? (not the rumoured extreme version)

i hope ill get away with 200 euros/dollars or so? naive?

I think an upgrade from 5 and above will be a couple hundred bucks, but not crazy... In fact, I wouldn't put it past Apple to make the cost of upgrading exceedingly attractive for FCP users, to continue to solidify their user base and get those people talking about new feature sets when companies look to make their next equipment switch.

I'm reallly hoping to make it down to NAB this year... It seems there's something Apple in the air.

Can anyone clarify the confusing entrance fees for getting in? I'm planning on flying down on the Saturday evening, doing the Apple presentation on Sunday, then spend Monday on the floor. Can I buy day passes for the event? And if so, how much are they?
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alolkoy View Post

AVID has nothing on FCP...

Although I prefer FCP, that's simply not true.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

I agree, a little bit of 'poo metaphor' goes a long, long way.

(omg, did I just say 'poo metaphor'?)

.

Careful with the "Poo", you may get sued by Disney.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

When all of your experience and training is on one system, you're not going to push to make a switch, thus making all of your knowledge and experience irrelevant.

That's something people who trivialize the idea of "Photoshop, Office, et.al. killers" seem to ignore or forget. And why Windows will be around for a lot longer than some of us would like it to be. But eventually that'll all be legacy/history, maybe even some in my remaining lifetime.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

That's something people who trivialize the idea of "Photoshop, Office, et.al. killers" seem to ignore or forget. And why Windows will be around for a lot longer than some of us would like it to be. But eventually that'll all be legacy/history, maybe even some in my remaining lifetime.

Some of these OS's and programs are now so entrenched that it will be almost impossible to dislodge them.

I think that of all of them, Office is the easiest, because, even though it is on 95% of the desktops, it's the file format that keeps it where it is. With MS being scared into submitting their XML version for acceptence as a standard, they, for the first time, have to publish it in its entirety. Even though it is several thousand pages in length (which it has to be so that it can take advantage of all the features in Office), other companies will now be able to use it in its entirety.

The fact that they had to publish the entire spec, means that companies will even be able to reverse engineer Office from it, though that will take years.

Photoshop will be more difficult to replace.
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Photoshop will be more difficult to replace.

Apple's gotta be working on it now as I write this. Just a hunch.
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post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alolkoy View Post

I have been using FCP since film school back in 2000, and recently had to learn AVID for a job. Not only was it a huge pain to even find a place that taught AVID, but it was VERY expensive. I have been using AVID systems for the last couple years, and I must say that from a creative cutting standpoint, AVID has nothing on FCP, and ultimatly, it's not about the program, but the Editor's ability to tell a story. FCP seems so much more organic than AVID, as well as its superior integration with other software. AVID users have this arrogance about their systems, but when are they going to learn that it's strictly business, not personal. Walter Murch has edited 3 films on FCP and is not turning back. The reality is that most of the new generation will be learing FCP, not AVID.

you bring up an interesting point. i was just talking to some friends about this last night over dinner. a lot of the first successful digital apps were successful because they mimiced analog processes so well. thus, people who used to cut film physically were comfortable with avids because they did a good job of using their paradigms and turning them digital. photoshop was very similar in that way. the original tools were all tools that were used in darkrooms.

but with the younger generation like yourself and the people coming behind you, your paradigm of what is possible in the digital realm is unlimited. even for someone like me who came into the professional world right on the cusp of the digital revolution i still think we'll see some amazing things from people who grew up with a retouching app on their first computer. i think the same thing will happen in editing and post production as well. watching films like 300 and sin city you can see how the approach is changing.

older editors love avid for many reasons. but one of the big ones is that it still uses the same paradigms of editing that they've always used, but they're just doing it more efficiently. i'm really excited to see the technology that's going to develop from this next generation of programmers who have grown up with unlimited potential.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple's gotta be working on it now as I write this. Just a hunch.

that one is going to be really really really hard to replace. unless adobe massively drops the ball somewhere down the line, nobody will have a good reason to move. quark and avid are/have both suffered from hubris. adobe seems to be pretty good at keeping the fire lit.
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