Avid Sells Pinnacle Products and Avid Studio To Corel


A little over a year ago I did a review of new video editing software offered by Avid, called Avid Studio (here’s a link to the video review).

It was software that I instantly liked.  It was powerful.  It was intuitive to use.  And for the price, it was hard to beat.

But like all software it had some warts too.  It was sometimes sluggish, sometimes froze and didn’t support all of the video codecs that it’s competitors did.  But as brand new, first version software those things were understandable and Avid promised that fixes would come soon.

In a nutshell, the future looked bright with Avid Studio.

But after my video review (and recommendation), I started hearing complaints from people.  And almost all of the complaints were about Avid’s customer support…or lack thereof.  A lot of these people were pretty angry and some were even wanting me to contact Avid on their behalf (since they were being ignored by Avid).

Next there were issues with updates…or lack thereof.  In the first year+ of Avid Studio’s life, there was only one update issued.  By comparison, Avid Studio’s competitors typically release several updates during a year, including a complete version upgrade.  The feedback I got from users was that they were giving up on Avid Studio due to the lack of updates and poor customer support.

And that leads us to the title of this post.  It was announced this week that Avid has sold both it’s consumer audio and video businesses.  On the video side,  Avid has sold their Pinnacle brand of products and Avid Studio to Corel Corp (too bad, I was hoping Sony Creative Software would have snatched Avid Studio up).

Avid also slashed their workforce by 20%.

Avid claims they regrettably did this because the consumer divisions had revenues and margins lower than the rest of their businesses (similar to what Cisco stated when they killed the Flip camera).  But if you look at the reported numbers, it sure seems like Avid couldn’t get rid of these businesses fast enough.

In 2005, Avid purchased the Pinnacle line of products for $462 million.  They sold the Pinnacle line of products, Avid Studio and their consumer line of audio products…combined…for $17 million (yes, you read that right).

So what’s the bottom line with Avid Studio?  What’s going to happen to it?  Will Corel continue to sell it or ravage it’s parts for it’s own video editing software?  No one knows.

What is known is that some very promising software was developed, neglected and then abandoned by it’s owner.

Let’s hope whatever Corel does, they do it better than Avid.

1 comment

  • I think that Corel could actually turn the Pinnacle line around. It’s probably in their best interests to do so given that despite being a bit of a clunker the software still holds significant market share.

    I don’t really think that Avid had any clue as to what they were getting themselves into when they went from way high-end fully pro products into consumer level software.

    Although I understand your point regarding Corel stripping Pinnacle and Avid Studio down to use in VideoStudio as being somewhat valid, at the end of the day neither of those products have anything in particular that VideoStudio doesn’t already have.

    What has been notable over the past two years is that since Corel was bought back under private ownership with a stock buyout, they have gotten much better at all aspects of their business.

    In particular they have established a solid line of communication with the senior members of their user forums for the video editing products and have used them extensively for beta testing and new ideas.

    Doing the same with the existing Avid/Pinnacle customer base will no doubt pay off in the end but I can’t help but think the conversation will begin with some tears before we all become friends!