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Baselight for FCP?

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Robert Brown
Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:12:02 pm

Wow! http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/products/baselight/plugins/bl_fcp_plugin.php

That's cool but I find it amazing people are still developing stuff for the soon to be deceased FCP legacy. I guess people don't want it to go. I'm not exactly enthusiastic about re-learning all new hot keys myself. Apple should sell the old one but they'll never do it.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:32:38 pm

It seems the consensus is that FCP7 will kick around for another year or two, so there may still be a good market for Baselight for FCP in the short term.

Given the small high-end uptake of FCPX, even if Baselight could develop their plugin for FCPX today (and that may not be possible until Apple addresses some of the issues holding up third-party development), would it sell enough licenses to offset its development cost?

I joked about FCPX pricing yesterday [link], but by setting the base price of the application so low, Apple may have also established very low pricing expectations for third-party plugins and possibly damaged the viability of the market.

Third-party developers need a more comprehensive plugin API from Apple, and they need FCPX to pick up high-end users who would be willing to pay higher prices for tools they need.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Mitch Ives
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:39:26 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It seems the consensus is that FCP7 will kick around for another year or two, so there may still be a good market for Baselight for FCP in the short term."

To use a literary quote, perhaps "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"...
--- signed FCS

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com
http://www.insightproductions.com

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 4:01:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I joked about FCPX pricing yesterday, but by setting the base price of the application so low, Apple may have also established very low pricing expectations for third-party plugins and possibly damaged the viability of the market. "

This was a problem with Final Cut Server as well. $999 for the software but $20K+ to make it do anything. That still beat $100K software that took $20K to make it do anything (artbox), but few people had that frame of reference.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 4:42:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Third-party developers need a more comprehensive plugin API from Apple, and they need FCPX to pick up high-end users who would be willing to pay higher prices for tools they need.
"


Here, here! That we are now half a year past the release, and I see no evidence yet of that more comprehensive API, is one of the many reasons that I'm dubious about Apple's intentions for FCPX.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:11:43 pm

To keep things in perspective, this was announced preNAB before anyone knew the end-of-fcs-as-we-know-it was neigh.

That's why it was developed, who knows if they'll keep developing as they were blindsided like the rest of the plugin industry.

It's probably why you can only "pre-register your interest" which is a fantastically written piece of copy.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:12:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's probably why you can only "pre-register your interest" which is a fantastically written piece of copy."

Yes! Truly graceful!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:18:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "To keep things in perspective, this was announced preNAB before anyone knew the end-of-fcs-as-we-know-it was neigh. That's why it was developed, who knows if they'll keep developing as they were blindsided like the rest of the plugin industry."

Look at the new ads on this forum -- Baselight has apparently just spent some money on an ad buy promoting Baselight for FCP. Sure, it's not a shipping product, but they are saying it's "Coming Soon."

Why should we take it any less seriously than coming-soon broadcast monitoring in FCPX?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:29:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Why should we take it any less seriously than coming-soon broadcast monitoring in FCPX?"

Who said not to take it seriously and how new are those ads? I have no idea of their vintage.

I'm sure they'd like to get a little money out of it instead of killing the whole thing, or at least allow me to register to garner interest to see if it's worth pursuing for themselves.

My points is, the announcement of this plugin has been around longer than the announcement of fcpx, so it's not exactly new news.

When announced, it was said to be available in fall 2011. Fall ended a couple of days ago, so they are on time!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:45:15 pm

All good points!

I apologize for misreading your post.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 6:26:43 pm

Y'know, Walter & Jeremy, earlier in this thread someone mentioned something like, "Apple won't sell FCP 7".

Well, what if they did? What if they let some other software developer make the long-anticipated, 64-bit FCP 8? Are there any overpowering reasons not to do so?

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is all blue-sky stuff. But I still see Avid & Premiere Pro out there, both 64-bit, both with a more traditional user interface, and both presumably doing fairly well.

At the moment, I can only see Apple preventing such a thing from occurring to either boost FCPX sales by denying FCP 8's development, an incredibly speculative -- verging on a conspiracy theory -- plan on Apple's part to release FCP 8 itself... or out of spite.

I wouldn't put the possibility of spite past Apple any more. What's with those people? Did they all decide to take weird pills or something?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:19:53 pm

What is there to buy? The Final Cut Pro brand carries on, such as it is, so that isn't going anywhere. The legacy FCP codebase has no future since it is all based upon legacy QuickTime.

There is nothing stopping any third party from developing a Mac-only NLE that had 99.9% of the look and feel and mechanics of legacy FCP upon the 64-bit APIs in Lion that FCPX is built upon. They'd have to roll their own riff on the UI for copyright compliance, but aside from that, there is nothing stopping anyone.

Except, why would anyone do that?

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:40:29 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Except, why would anyone do that?"

You'd have to ask the people who are keeping Lightworks alive. I DO know that I would be a volunteer supporter of any volunteer fringe group that tried to do the same for FCS. It would be quite the hobby.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:57:21 pm

[Chris Harlan] "You'd have to ask the people who are keeping Lightworks alive. I DO know that I would be a volunteer supporter of any volunteer fringe group that tried to do the same for FCS. It would be quite the hobby."

Lightworks is being kept alive by a well-established company in the business of selling expensive hardware (EditShare), it won't stay free once it gets out of beta, it comes from a very well established codebase, and it is cross-platform. I don't see how that is similar to the idea of someone spinning up a spiritual successor to FCP from scratch.

How much would you PAY for the FCP8 Apple never made?

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:12:33 pm

Dude--who are you today--Mr. Contrarian? You ask "who would do such a ting?" Maybe some other company would have a similar interest? Who knows. Is it gonna happen? Doubt it. But you posed the scenario.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:37:03 pm

[Chris Harlan] "You ask "who would do such a ting?" Maybe some other company would have a similar interest? Who knows. Is it gonna happen? Doubt it. But you posed the scenario."

I posed a technical scenario. Tech isn't nearly the hurdle that the economics is. I can't think of a company that could both execute such a product and also stand to benefit from it without selling it for way more money than we are used to for NLEs.

I almost argued for AJA doing it (heavy investment in ProRes, development talent, hardware to sell), but they can now sell Konas and Ios to every major NLE on the market, so there is no business case for building an NLE to help sell their hardware.

Best,
Andy


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Herb Sevush
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:41:16 pm

$2500. Today. Possibly more, but I'd have to believe in it's viability.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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David Lawrence
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:57:50 pm

[Herb Sevush] "$2500. Today. Possibly more, but I'd have to believe in it's viability."

Yep, me too.

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:19:13 am

[David Lawrence] "[Herb Sevush] "$2500. Today. Possibly more, but I'd have to believe in it's viability."

Yep, me too.
"


There's two maybe's.

There's no way Apple would sell. Hate to be a humbug, but Aindreas is correct. FCP as we know it is dead.

Someone would have to untangle KGCore which is now what, 15 years old? 20? And what would the new engine be? Can't be QuickTime, so you'd have to build/borrow/license another one.

I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but who'd want to?

If you're looking to keep an FCP Legacy workflow, PPro is for you as has been mentioned. Plus you get many modern benefits on top of that.

It'd probably be at least a few years before it was operational.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:39:45 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "And what would the new engine be? Can't be QuickTime, so you'd have to build/borrow/license another one. "

If you are reviving the ghost of legacy FCP, you only need to put it on Macs. Apple put their playback engine in every copy of Lion.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:52:31 am

So how come their own software is so slow to uptake?

And why build another NLE around another proprietary engine?

Why limit yiurself to Mac? Hasn't the past 6 months been a huge clue to not put all your junk in one sock?

I don't buy it. Pun absolutely intended.

No one would make that mistake.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 2:16:30 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "So how come their own software is so slow to uptake?"

Slow on what uptake? FCPX is using the new APIs (public in Lion, private in 10.6.7+).

[Jeremy Garchow] "And why build another NLE around another proprietary engine?

Why limit yiurself to Mac? Hasn't the past 6 months been a huge clue to not put all your junk in one sock?"


The premise I was responding to was the idea that some third party could build the FCP8 everyone wanted if only Apple would hand over the legacy IP (Robert's opening post and Dave's subsequent post). FCP was always Mac-only, so why not this imaginary progeny? It isn't like the legacy code would be all that portable after all this time.

But outside that narrow rhetorical perspective, you're right. The reality is there is a reason no one is doing this. There is a reason Adobe and Avid have their own playback engines. There is a reason we don't have the Pixelmator of NLEs.

Bottom line: if you really think about it, building an indie FCP8 is totally impractical, regardless of whether or not Apple handed over any IP.

Best,
Andy


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Robert Brown
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 2:53:15 am

[Andrew Richards] " FCP was always Mac-only, so why not this imaginary progeny? It isn't like the legacy code would be all that portable after all this time."

Wasn't the original FCP Windows and Mac? I believe it became a Mac only platform after Apple bought it. But in any case I don't think it will ever happen. I think Lightworks is a good example. Some will be enthusiastic about bringing an old favorite back from the past but it seems to take a pretty serious software team to tackle all the technical issues and iron out all of the bugs. And I guess in a way when you choose the editor you want to work with you are also choosing the software provider you want to work with and the one that's going to be around a while and make decisions that make sense.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 4:59:21 am

When it was a Macromedia project it was for Windows NT. Then Apple acquired it and spent ten years developing it for the Mac. I just doubt much of that development at all would port nicely back to Windows in the impossible scenario in which Apple relinquishes the code. And even then, it would still be a 32 bit QuickTime app. Apple had to abandon that code (albeit due to their own actions related to 64 bit Carbon), and anyone else would have to as well.

It doesn't matter. There isn't room in the market for another general purpose NLE.

Best,
Andy


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Herb Sevush
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 6:31:01 am

[Andrew Richards] "There isn't room in the market for another general purpose NLE."

With 6 other general purpose NLE's already on the market, aside from Legacy, there wasn't room for FCPX either. A product makes it's own room.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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tony west
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 4:22:01 pm

[Herb Sevush] " there wasn't room for FCPX either"

Herb, didn't X make it's own room by simply making the timeline so much more different than the other NLEs?

It seems they set themselves apart by doing that. Avid or PPr for the old school timeline and X if you like this new way.


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Robert Brown
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:49:12 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Except, why would anyone do that?
"


There would probably be millions of reasons -$$$$$$- to. It's what a lot of editors wanted, a better FCP.
It's all I wanted. But I would guess there would have to be some legal hurdles to make a clone of FCP but if not maybe somebody should. It would take somebody with serious resources to pull it off though.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:18:47 pm

[Robert Brown] "There would probably be millions of reasons -$$$$$$- to. It's what a lot of editors wanted, a better FCP.
It's all I wanted. But I would guess there would have to be some legal hurdles to make a clone of FCP but if not maybe somebody should. It would take somebody with serious resources to pull it off though."


That's the key- how much would you pay for it? The business model du jour seems to be "software for cheap, hardware required". This is and was true for FCP and the Mac, is probably the case for Da Vinci and DeckLink cards, and is arguably true for Avid as well (most of their money is made in their big systems like ISIS). Adobe doesn't sell PPro outside of Creative Suite, and they recently announced they are tightening their upgrade pricing policy (to much gnashing of teeth).

A lot of editors wanted FCP8, but without Apple subsidizing development with Mac sales, how much would it cost? $5,000? $10,000? Your point about serious resources being required is the key- who would do it, and why would they do it? It would still be such a costly undertaking aimed at such a small and demanding market that it just seems like the economics don't wash for me.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:42:28 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Adobe doesn't sell PPro outside of Creative Suite, and they recently announced they are tightening their upgrade pricing policy (to much gnashing of teeth)."

Adobe does sell Premiere Pro a la carte; you could also get it via subscription licensing instead of perpetual licensing, either alone or in a suite, if you so choose.

Adobe is proof that you can succeed in the industry as a software-only developer, if your offering is compelling enough. Autodesk is another (looking at their 3D and CAD apps moreso than turnkey Smoke/Flame systems).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:55:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Adobe does sell Premiere Pro a la carte; you could also get it via subscription licensing instead of perpetual licensing, either alone or in a suite, if you so choose."

I stand corrected, was that part of their recent licensing change? I could swear PPro was only in the bundle the last time I shopped it.

[Walter Soyka] "Adobe is proof that you can succeed in the industry as a software-only developer, if your offering is compelling enough. Autodesk is another (looking at their 3D and CAD apps moreso than turnkey Smoke/Flame systems)."

That still aligns with my main point. Both Autodesk and Adobe make most of their money away from NLEs. Then to be economically viable, Smoke costs $15,000 and Adobe has had to tighten their upgrade pricing (while laying off 750 employees). For an indie Mac-only NLE to float, it would almost certainly have to cost many FCPXes to be economically viable.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:12:44 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I stand corrected, was that part of their recent licensing change? I could swear PPro was only in the bundle the last time I shopped it."

I'm not sure -- I think it's always been available on its own, but its value prop isn't nearly as compelling as a standalone product as it is bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, After Effects, and Encore for about double the price of just Premiere.


[Andrew Richards] "That still aligns with my main point. Both Autodesk and Adobe make most of their money away from NLEs. Then to be economically viable, Smoke costs $15,000 and Adobe has had to tighten their upgrade pricing (while laying off 750 employees). For an indie Mac-only NLE to float, it would almost certainly have to cost many FCPXes to be economically viable."

I do agree with you. There are some who are willing to pay what it costs for their niche-within-a-niche products, but they need to have a really compelling reason to do so. I think you're right on that trying to build a low-cost, general-purpose NLE from the ground-up is a fool's game.

I also think that FCPX's price is artificially low. If we pick up the monetary jokes from yesterday, Apple are currency manipulators, keeping the price artificially low to make their product more appealing.

For anyone looking for FCP7's spiritual successor, Premiere Pro is really close.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:22:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I also think that FCPX's price is artificially low. If we pick up the monetary jokes from yesterday, Apple are currency manipulators, keeping the price artificially low to make their product more appealing."

FCP's price has always been artificially low in that sense. The joke has long been that FCP is cheap, but you need a really expensive dongle to run it (a Mac).

[Walter Soyka] "For anyone looking for FCP7's spiritual successor, Premiere Pro is really close."

Exactly. It is as close as anyone is ever going to get to FCP8, but it runs a heck of a lot faster on Windows (or more accurately, on the commodity PC hardware Windows lives on). I really wish Adobe had a reason to port it to Linux. Maybe Windows 8 and Metro will give them a reason, but I doubt it.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 7:33:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] "For anyone looking for FCP7's spiritual successor, Premiere Pro is really close.
"


If Adobe could convince a couple of the larger LA independents to go along, I'd happily join in.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:52:24 pm

[Andrew Richards] "A lot of editors wanted FCP8, but without Apple subsidizing development with Mac sales, how much would it cost? $5,000? $10,000?"

I might put up the 10K if it was an investment in a co-operative company making the software, and not just a license.

At the demise of *edit a number of edit*ors started putting together just such a co-operative and approached Autodesk about buying *edit. After stringing us along for a few months they refused to sell, to us or anyone else, not even to Pinnacle who was apparently interested at the time. All of which explains my abiding love for Discreet Autodesk.

With a few million Legacy seats in play, I'd guess a fairly large co-operative group could be put together to license UI and other property rights. I'm quite sure Apple would never sell.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:38:03 am

[Herb Sevush] "With a few million Legacy seats in play, I'd guess a fairly large co-operative group could be put together to license UI and other property rights. I'm quite sure Apple would never sell."

Sounds like a job for Kickstarter. You don't need Apple's IP. They are giving away the playback engine and FCP needed a UI freshening anyway.

How much to fund development on such a project? I'd say $750K minimum. Double that to be safe, $1.5M. You need a five thousand editors to pony up a few hundred dollars each to make it happen.

Best,
Andy


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Bill Davis
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:34:54 am

[Andrew Richards] "That's the key- how much would you pay for it? The business model du jour seems to be "software for cheap, hardware required"."

This is interesting to me.

Hardware was something that the more you made, the cheaper it was to make it - but only up to a point. It functioned via classic economies of scale. Buy 10 motors they're relatively expensive. Buy 100,000 - you get a huge break on the price per unit.

Software, on the other hand, has hefty fixed development costs. But after those are met - the costs profile drops to maintenance and re-development plus distribution costs.

Apple (via the iTunes store) pretty much slashed distribution costs in orders of magnitude.

And even without that,, - selling more software will potentially leverag much more pure profit than hardware models could hope to - since the costs of sales scale virtually rather than by having to buy assemble, and ship more stuff.

I wonder if, like modern computer printer manufactures - the (hardware) computers will be someday be kept artificially cheap - simply to drive the sales of the high-profit (software) ink.

Interesting to think about.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:57:44 am

[Bill Davis] "Apple (via the iTunes store) pretty much slashed distribution costs in orders of magnitude."

Adobe has had all digital download before the app store, I think CS3 was the first time I took part in the download offering. They do sell boxed versions of all their software as well, parts and suites alike.

Their rental model is pretty awesome, too.

It allows extremely cheap "facility" scaling for shorter periods if you already have the computing hardware.


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Bill Davis
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:56:24 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I joked about FCPX pricing yesterday [link], but by setting the base price of the application so low, Apple may have also established very low pricing expectations for third-party plugins and possibly damaged the viability of the market.
"


I dunno, Walter.

When I worked in advertising early in my career, one of my clients was a local Cadillac dealer.

I learned not to be surprised at the people who were adding "premium" features such as very expensive solid-gold-plated hood ornaments to what was essentially a upper-mid priced stock automobile purchase. (These weren't Rolls Royce or Ferarri customers, after all.)

It was merchandise aimed for the customer who wasn't particularly price sensitive but wanted a way to "trick out" their mid line purchases to the nth degree.

There will always be customers like that, in every purchase class, IMO.

And Cadillac's "premium gold package" market was perfectly viable for many decades.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Walter Soyka
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:37:43 pm

[Bill Davis] "I learned not to be surprised at the people who were adding "premium" features such as very expensive solid-gold-plated hood ornaments to what was essentially a upper-mid priced stock automobile purchase. (These weren't Rolls Royce or Ferarri customers, after all.) "

Fair point! But we are talking about tools, not status symbols doubling as personal transportation. I'd think there'd be at least a little more emphasis on rationality over emotion for these purchases. I wonder how many Smoke for Mac customers have bought it because they wanted the power and feature set, and how many have bought it because they wanted the name to impress their clients with.

My concern is that we could have a chicken-and-egg problem: developers like Baselight may not want to develop high-end tools for FCPX until a high-end editorial market arrives to purchase them, and the high-end editorial market might be waiting for more high-end tools from third-party developers like Baselight before they commit to FCPX.

Coupled with Apple's how-low-can-you-go pricing, I can understand why someone might want to think twice before funding development.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bill Davis
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:21:06 am

[Walter Soyka] "Coupled with Apple's how-low-can-you-go pricing, I can understand why someone might want to think twice before funding development."

Walter,

If Apple is anything like all the other large companies I've worked with — including a few who went through formal "efficient assortment" and similar pricing initiatives that are commonly used by large firms to develop price points) — I don't think the $299 price for FCP-X is a "how low can they go" deal at all.

I imagine that they looked at all the typical pricing metrics before they set that price. They looked at how much development, sales and maintenance overhead they needed to cover - calculated likely sales verses profit metrics - and settled on a price that met their goals.

The big driver was their ownership of the "end to end" supply chain represented by the iTunes store. THAT is the huge Apple competitive advantage that makes a modern price like $299 for a sophisticated piece of software like X possible.

Believe me, I've done enough "supply chain" videos to understand something about how large scale pricing works. Apple can make PLENTY of margin on $299 if they come in at the point on their proposed demand curve where features and price present a compelling "buy" decision for the largest group of customers.

No product - at the high or low end of any line - can escape this. As price falls, costs and demand must BOTH be balanced. The companies that do this best, are those that establish a superior value proposition - and win in the long run. Part of that is definitely the ephemeral "product superiority perception" that is causing pro editors so much grief - and that clearly is something Apple has long used to maintain margin.

But over time the bigger game is actually a lot simpler. If they don't present that value proposition constantly, the demand will fall off. The massive question with X is will there be enough users who's features it matches to replace (and even exceed) those who it loses at the (special ist) end. (sorry, i've finally learned to split that word since it always trips the "spam" filtering by containing an evil string of interior letters!)

Apple feels that $299 is the right price point for X. I suspect they've got that right. It's a LOT less than they used to have to charge - but enough in an all electronic distribution "end to end" revolutionary system that quashes most of the cost of sales - that leaves plenty of room for generating profits.

Win-win, IMO. But definitely not a "how low can we go" strategy at all, IMO.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:54:02 am

[Bill Davis] "The big driver was their ownership of the "end to end" supply chain represented by the iTunes store. THAT is the huge Apple competitive advantage that makes a modern price like $299 for a sophisticated piece of software like X possible."

There's also the shift of low-level development work away from Pro Apps to Core OS. In the past, the FCP team would need to code their own optimizations for multi-core processors, GPU acceleration, etc. Now all of that is wrapped into the OS, and the Pro Apps team can work more efficiently by staying higher in the stack. So the App Store exclusivity cuts distribution costs, and FCPX is still subsidized by the platform effect of Lion and the Mac.

Best,
Andy


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Andrew Richards
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:41:05 pm

[Bill Davis] "It was merchandise aimed for the customer who wasn't particularly price sensitive but wanted a way to "trick out" their mid line purchases to the nth degree."

Aye, there's the rub. Who in the Post business isn't particularly price sensitive?

Best,
Andy


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Bill Davis
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:22:56 am

[Andrew Richards] "Aye, there's the rub. Who in the Post business isn't particularly price sensitive?"

Plenty of folks. for someone who's just signed a deal for 26 episodes of a TV show - I suspect the problem isn't "how much is each seat." but much more - how fast can you get me up and running and can you assure me it will work perfectly right out of the gate.

Horses for courses.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris Harlan
Re: Baselight for FCP?
on Dec 24, 2011 at 7:38:07 pm

[Bill Davis] "[Andrew Richards] "Aye, there's the rub. Who in the Post business isn't particularly price sensitive?"

Plenty of folks. for someone who's just signed a deal for 26 episodes of a TV show - I suspect the problem isn't "how much is each seat." but much more - how fast can you get me up and running and can you assure me it will work perfectly right out of the gate.

Horses for courses.
"


Agreed.


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