At a press briefing designed to explain Avid’s marketing plan for the year (and why the company isn’t attending IBC), the company also let on some of its future plans for its Xpress DV editing product. With the bottom falling out of Avid’s traditional £50,000 editing system market, the company’s going after high-end broadcasters and what it describes as the ‘emerging’ corporate and new media markets (which Xpress DV is aimed at).
Avid has only just started shipping version 3 of Xpress DV for Windows, with the Mac version (the first release on that platform) due in June. At the briefing, Avid VP of European Sales, Graham Sharp, said that this will be followed up over the summer with a range of breakout boxes designed to move Xpress DV beyond pure DV and allow it to work with other analog and digital I/Os. He acknowledges that some of the success of Xpress DV’s main competitors, Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro, is due to their ability to work with hardware components from other manufacturers and said it was possible that Avid would even work with traditions competitors such as Matrox or Pinnacle to provide the hardware being Avid’s software.
Avid’s strategy in the sub £20,000 market is to move more towards producing software that runs on generic hardware. It will produce a wider range of software-only products, including a cross-platform multimedia editing package that it will release later this year. The as-yet unnamed tool will be given out to consumers via mainstream computer manufacturers and magazine cover CDs. This will be used to push out the Avid brand name, as well as familiarizing potential buyers with the Avid interface (which can be tricky for traditional Premiere users to get to grips with) in the same way as the company is trying with the Softimage|XSI Experience demo and training CD. The company also announced that it will be aggressively pushing Softimage|XSI this year, to try to claw back the users lost to Alias|Wavefront through the extremely long development of the product (when, under the codename Sumatra, it was widely regarded as vapourware).
The company will also be providing a series of event around Europe aimed at potential buyers for Xpress DV. More details on these events, which are grouped under the name of Avid|naked, can be found on the Avid Web site.