FCP-7 to X or Adobe? What Users are Saying:

13 Feb

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The following is an interesting extract “overheard” in the user groups regarding how users feel about possibly switching from FCP-7 to FCP-X or Adobe  (parentheses from SCRI)

Switching from FCP-7 to X or Adobe
I’m feeling more and more comfortable switching to FCPX from 7, but I have some friends in the field who decided from the outset to switch over to Premiere instead – and they don’t look like they’re going to change their minds. I believe Premiere’s half-price promotion only extends until the end of this month (Adobe continues to offer deep discounts). I’m tempted to get Premiere at that price so I can have it in case I need to share projects with Premiere users down the road. I would prefer not doing that (I’m familiar with the software, but there’s still a learning curve I’d rather avoid). I’m curious to hear after the dust has settled a little what others are hearing from colleagues, etc. Has there been a noticeable migration over to X after the initial resistance? Has Adobe published any numbers about increased sales since the promotion started? What have you guys heard?

Not  Switching & Overview
I’m not switching unless someone pays me to. I don’t buy anything unless a client is giving me money for it. Buying stuff just because is very poor business. Purchasing PPro just because you don’t like X, when 7 is still running just fine on your computer shows poor business sense. But, videographers for the most part are not the best business people. Most of the independents I deal with have day jobs, because they can’t make it support itself. Being self employed is difficult.

Now, for the marketing information, we know that as of NAB Show 2011 FCP had 54% of the market, PPro had only 19%, Avid trailed at 17%, and the remaining 10% were other NLEs (based on data from SCRI’s 2011-2012 NLE Broadcast / Pro Video Report, probably taken from the New York Times Article, “Apple’s Final Cut Is Dead. Long Live Final Cut.”)

Adobe recently announced that their PPro sales for the past 12 months have increased by 45%. Bear in mind, that’s 45% of 19%, and is not as huge of an increase as it sounds. They also made it sound like FCP X was responsible for most of that, even though FCP X had only been out for 2 months at the time, and other marketing information didn’t reflect that alluded to claim.

I have very close friends working for Apple, and they have heard a lot of their clients claim they were leaving Apple for Adobe at the launch of FCP X, but to date, the majority hasn’t, and has begun to warm up to FCP X.

There were decisions made by Richard Townhill that really upset folks both inside and outside of Apple. Part of his penance was to do this rare interview to help folks know Apple is committed to making FCP X as professional as possible (he also says Apple is doing things with FCP X that contradict the original decisions he made about it, think about that). He made decisions such as no bulk license deals, no backwards compatibility, etc.

Larry Jordan had an interview with Apple the day the 10.0.1 update was released. They assured him they’re listening, they’re moving as the user base dictates, and have a long way to go with the full development of FCP X.

So, Apple intends to keep it’s market, and is working hard towards that goal. Have they hurt themselves too badly to catch up? Will they win back their old users as FCP X matures and becomes what I foresee as the best NLE on the market? Only time will tell  (SCRI’s newly published 2012-2013 Broadcast/Pro Video NLE Report tracks market share )

I’m using FCP X more and more. In the past month and a half I’ve only opened FCP 7 to replicate problems my students and consulting clients have had, and troubleshoot for them.

I’m planning on moving from Color to Resolve eventually, now that it supports FCP X’s version of XML. I will also be moving from Final Cut Server to CatDV because of their aggressive development to support FCP X and Motion 5. I don’t think either of those companies would make such moves if they didn’t see enough of a market to be profitable.

I’ve spoken with my reps from both AJA and Flanders Scientific about their developments to support FCP X, and both are very tight lipped, dropping hints, but not saying anything publicly at all. I’m led to believe they are working on supporting some broadcast output Apple is working on (and has promised 1st quarter 2012). Not to forget that all the major third-party plugin developers are working hard on FCP X versions of their wares. I would not think these companies would be investing so much time and money to support a product they didn’t believe would have significant market share over time.

Finally, I’d like to point out that Adobe, Sony, Avid, Grass Valley, they are NLE makers and don’t have much leeway in being innovative. Avid released a version with “magic tools” to be more FCP like, and failed at that, with a huge backlash from it’s user base. Apple’s FCP X is a tiny part of their business, and thus can do drastic evolutionary changes without it hurting their bottom line. So, no one but Apple is in a position to evolve the currently outdated NLE paradigms as FCP X has. They’re trying it, they’re putting a good effort into it, we’ll see what happens.

Time will tell, many large houses are admittedly waiting to see how FCP X develops (meaning they’re not ruled out moving to it). A year from now, I’m very confident that we will be discussing how PPro and Avid have developed to be more FCP X like. But that’s just my speculation.

Only time will tell…(SCRI’s newly published 2012-2013 Broadcast/Pro Video NLE Report tracks market share )

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