Sadly, Avid has been in a slow decline for years. Although, having said that, I picked up my Avid keyboard late last year and for the first time in 20-years jumped back onto a refresher course.
It was uphill and felt like hard-work, until my one month free subscription ran out, and I had to park finishing the course till later, which is still waiting for “later”. But I kept reminding myself that what Avid is best known for is media/data-base management. Which kind of often got in the way of me working the way I wanted to work with it.
Sorry, not really important, except it is – Avid is offering free software to students, but not to industry professionals that want to return to it. No, I am not going to enrol into “higher education institutions”, when they could watermark the output of the full MC and disable exports of AAF, OMF and other data.
And therein is the problem for Avid, the company are putting up obstructions for customers, old and new, whilst PPro, FCPX and Resolve are eating into their lunch of core markets, such as Broadcast News and scripted drama (serials and feature films).
IMHO Avid already took a wrong-turn when they purchased and “killed” Softimage 3D – if only they had hold on to that part, and developed it further. Maestro is not even on my radar, before I just now did a search Avid and Graphics – which demonstrates how far behind they’ve let themselves fall.
The danger right now is that Avid might follow in the footsteps of Lightworks, which went through a number of owners with no idea of NLE, nor knew how to make money out of it (Tektronix deserves a “honourable” mention in breaking something that worked perfectly well). Some of my best editing experience, ever, was on Lightworks, back in the days of DOS – and the Steenbeck like controller was just an amazing experience back then. Have not been inclined to return.
I don’t think that Avid should be broken up, as both Adobe, Apple and Blackmagic has shown that a good NLE comes with a good work-flow, including Audio – and on that point a Media Composer and Pro Tools set-up, is arguably still the Rolls Royce of Post Production. Although Avid as a company, based on visiting the website, seems to think that Media Composer is secondary (menu placement) to Pro Tools, which might be half of the problem…?
Adding that there are no obvious takers – unless, the value of the Patents that Avid should be holding (unless they sold them off too!?), could be worth more than the combined set of products. In which case Apple, Adobe, Amazon (AWS/Prime-video), Microsoft and Google/Alphabet will soon be queuing up to buy the burned-out-ashes of what used to be the synonym for “Non-Linear editing” – I still remember a time, “when a facility manager never got fired for buying an Avid, no matter how inflated the cost was”… – me, I went for discreet edit* at the time of starting out, and that is another warning from history of NLEs, courtesy of Autodesk.
Bottom line: It is only Avid’s management and owners that stops Avid from being excessively profitable in today’s marketplace.