As the big dogs of video editing battle for market share, the editors stand to win.
Recent years have seen growing competition for the hearts of professional video editors. This competition has resulted in dramatic price reductions and aggressive evolution of features sets. More and more effects and features are becoming "realtime" avoiding long render wait times, making editing faster and more efficient. Video editing pros now expect editing software to assist with collaboration, integrating with other software along the creative workflow. In other words, all this competition has been a great thing for video pros.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC has made serious strides in recent years, emerging from "prosumer" status and winning editors' hearts as professional video editing software, available for as little as $20/mo on Creative Cloud. Adobe's launch of Anywhere, a platform that allows full frame collaborative editing from any location, has added to Premiere's "pro" mantle. CNN, a well known early adopter of production technologies, have launched Premiere and Anywhere across their production facilities. Adobe has recognized the importance of integration and collaboration, tying Premiere in with their other Creative Cloud tools such as Prelude and After Effects. They have also been aggressively seeking media asset management, collaboration and plugin partners to build panels to expand the capabilities of the platform. Many say this is a wise move, creating a community of cooperative partners that will help boost Premiere's rise.
Meanwhile, Final Cut X has been struggling to keep up to speed with editors' demands, and in many cases have stepped backwards from capabilities available in Final Cut 7. While Final Cut still appears to be the market leader in terms of sales, most professional editors have either held on to their Final Cut 7 install, or have made the shift over to Premiere. Companies who previously invested in an a Final Cut based editing infrastructure are hurting from a lack of support for enterprise-level functionality, and an unpredictable approach to announcing and retracting products from the market. Indeed, many companies who built a professional services ecosystem around Final Cut Server have been deserted by Apple and left to fend for themselves. However, it is almost always a mistake to count Apple out. Who knows what they will announce next? One thing is for sure that many video pros will be first on the list to buy the ultra powerful new Mac Pro affectionately known as the "trash can" as their new editing machine.
Where is Avid in all of this? Well their Media Composer editing software paired with their Nitris hardware is still held up by many as the only platform for editing high quality film and episodic content. Indeed, a lot of a high end production facilities still have an Isis with Interplay running at their core. But for the younger generation of up and coming film makers and producers, Avid seems to have been left in the dust by its formerly prosumer competition. Lets see what Avid has up its sleeve to battle the young ingenues.