Software price latest Avid edit

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Avid Technology's video division has reduced the price of its flagship editing software and consolidated its product line as part of a new strategy.

The move follows a number of big changes at Avid in recent months. In November, the company pulled out of the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters Show exhibition, with plans to redirect spending to more "customer-focused" efforts. In December, Gary Greenfield was named CEO. The next month, Kirk Arnold was hired to head the video division, which includes the editing systems used by most Hollywood editors.

Chief marketing officer Greg Estes said the latest initiatives are based on customer feedback from a survey conducted in the fall.

"(They told Avid), 'We need you to listen better. ... We can't see you responding as well as we would like you to, to the input we are giving you,' " he said.

"Underneath that umbrella, 'We want you to simplify your editing line, and we want you to get more aggressive on your pricing. We want you to simply and upgrade the value we are getting from service. We want you to participate more in the community. ... The more that you can do to get the knowledge you have as Avid -- and our knowledge as an editing community -- out there to others, it helps everybody, and we want you to do that,' " Estes said. "There was an implicit point that our competition is not doing that."

The message reflects much what many in the community have been feeling for a long time.

Part of Avid's plan involves merging two similar product lines. The Avid Xpress Pro editing software line will be eliminated, while the Media Composer software-only version has a new price of $2,495, a reduction of more than 50%. The move closes the gap between Media Composer and Avid's chief competitor in the editing space, Apple's Final Cut Pro software.

Existing Avid Xpress Pro customers can upgrade to Media Composer software for $495. With an eye toward the future, Avid also set a student price of $295.

A number of efforts to improve communication and support also have been launched, including an online community and enhanced online customer support.

Avid is planning customer meetings and events set to take place at the NAB Show in April.
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