Market Overview

Inside Avid Everywhere With Avid Technology, Inc. CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr.

Inside Avid Everywhere With Avid Technology, Inc. CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr.

“We're trying to solve a bigger problem. It's not just an editor, audio, storage or marketing. It's actually the whole thing that's the business problem,” Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. explained to Benzinga in part two of a two-part series.

Previously in part one, Hernandez talked about his plan to turn the former video and audio production technology giant around as it rejoined the NASDAQ following its delisting in February 2014.

In part two, Hernandez discusses Avid Everywhere, the company's vision for the future of the media industry.

BZ: How is media production changing in the industry?

LH: The creative side of the workflow is now fusing with the monetization side. The unintended consequence is that content creation demand is going up, but budgets are only going up slightly.

Budgets for technology are going up three times as much as budgets on content creation side. Budgets are shifting from creative professionals over to monetizing.

Related Link: Avid Congratulates Its Customers On Their Achievements

BZ: What solutions to this problem does Avid propose?

LH: Many of the steps to monetizing can be done during creation. We're trying to put all of those activities onto what we call the Avid Media Central Platform.

We put together all the shared services you would have – anything you'd like to do. This is like iOS on the iPhone. It is the underlying operating system upon which you can put applications.

BZ: How does the Avid Media Central Platform work?

LH: "Search across your entire network" means if you connect Media Composer, Adobe and Apple, this shared application service will allow you to search all your editorial suites for a piece of media regardless if it's our application or somebody else's.

For specific tasks, like resolution independence, instead of having each application solve that problem for you, any application that sits on top – whether it is Adobe's or ours – can use that capability.

Instead of forcing clients to connect all the pieces, we allow application providers to connect directly to the operating system so their plug-ins always work.

When they upgrade – or we upgrade – we'll know whether the connection works ahead of time.

Related Link: Zebra Technologies Tops Q1 Expectations

BZ: How are applications organized on the platform?

LH: Applications are broken down into suites, which share that common OS.

Adobe, for example, fits into the Artists Suite. Any application certified, using the Connectivity Toolkit can sit on top of the Avid Media Central Platform (OS).

The Media Suite consists of all the things you should do concurrently, but most people do after they create the asset. That includes metadata tagging, protecting the asset, asset management and so forth.

Other suites include Storage and Marketplace. Using the Marketplace, for example, you can invite people from there – using Collaboration Services – to work on a common section.

BZ: What about pricing?

LH: In the past, we didn't price our package in a way for the individual user to use easily. Now we do.

You can now get the best (Avid) priced and packaged in a way that is affordable. If you can get the same product for the same price as Adobe or an equivalent package but that won every major Oscar and ACE award, why wouldn't you?

BZ: More specifically, does pricing now include a subscription package?

LH: We recently launched subscription for Media Composer and came back and launched it for Pro Tools.

Then we kind of shocked everyone. Under Artist Suite – First Entry – these are going to be the first free versions of our Artist Suite.

Related Link: The 2015 Benzinga Fintech Award Winners

BZ: So, users can now get entry-level versions of Avid applications free?

LH: Correct. The first one we announced was Pro Tools. It's an entry point product, but the same platform with some limitations.

Eventually, users can migrate up to $29.95/month or outright ownership as needed.

BZ: How will the new Avid platform address the educational community?

LH: Avid is very strong in many of the traditional educational institutions because that's what is expected out in the real world. Anybody aspiring to be a professional is going to be taught on Avid.

What we didn't have (in the past) was individual pricing for K-12 or an individual school that may want to use it.

We just entered into partnership with 45 different universities around the First product. School systems will join because they can incorporate the most broadly used software in the world free.

Related Link: Avid Enters Into a Definitive Agreement to Acquire Orad Hi-Tec Systems for EUR5.67 Per Share

BZ: So, in a way, Avid Everywhere is also Avid for Everyone – at least in media production?

LH: We've started to recognize that there are three basic kinds of users. There's the individual, which we want to connect to the entire ecosystem; there are creative teams; and there are large media enterprises.

Avid Media Central Platform is designed to allow all three kinds of users to interact and collaborate.

That's where we're going to capture the imagination of the next generation.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Image Credit: "2015 NAMM Show - DSC00594 (16183306800)" by Pete Brown from Gambrills, MD, USA - DSC00594. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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