In a move that should be a surprise to no one, Avid announced July 2nd that they’re selling off the Pinnacle and M-Audio divisions to Corel and inMusic respectively. They’ll still keep the M-Audio I/O tech they appropriated for Pro Tools (like the MBox), but everything else is out the door. What this mostly means is that Avid no longer has consumer-specific divisions for audio and video production products.
What does this mean? Not much. Avid’s been working on re-focusing their business for the past 5 years, and this is just the next logical step. Pinnacle and M-Audio were purchased in 2004-2005, when Avid was desperately trying to figure out how to compete with Final Cut for the new prosumer market. Obviously, that didn’t go so well.
In late 2007, Gary Greenfield took over as CEO of Avid. Since then, these things have happened:
- Avid pulled out of NAB 2008
- March 2008 – Xpress Pro was discontinued, the last “consumer-level” product to carry the Avid brand
- March 2008 – Media Composer price cut in half with launch of v3.0 ($2,495 down from $4,995)
- October 2008 – SoftImage was sold to Autodesk
- October 2008 – Pinnacle PCTV hardware line was sold to Hauppauge
- March 2009 – Media Composer 3.5 , Avid Media Access for directly working with video files (ala FCP)
- June 2010 – Media Composer 5.0, first-ever supported 3rd party hardware output via the Matrox MX02 Mini, full Quicktime AMA support
- March 2011 – Media Composer 5.5.1, first-ever supported 3rd party hardware input/output via the AJA Io Express
- July 2012 – Pinnacle and M-Audio divisions sold off
Now, Avid is a company that essentially sells 2 products: Media Composer and Pro Tools. Almost every other product they offer is really an add-on to these two. Avid offers what Apple used to: the ability to scale from one-man basement to the Olympics using the same core technology.
Avid is clearly and deliberately turning itself into a company that can compete in an industry where the line between consumer and professional continues to blur. The last step is pricing: Media Composer still costs $2,500, while Premiere Pro is $799. And with Creative Cloud lowering the barrier to entry even further with $50/month access to the full Master Collection, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for Avid to be truly competitive without also turning the scalpel on its prices.
Pinnacle/M-Audio Press Release: Avid |News Room