Proper Final Cut Pro X competition - Snap?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Adobe and Avid are very unlikely to come up with any product or service that competes with Final Cut Pro X. Apple certainly don't act as if they have any competition. Avid is stuck at the high end, and Adobe squandered their chance to be the main supplier of video literacy products and services to the wider public.

That isn't great news for Final Cut users. There is no-one to put the ProApps team’ under pressure. Apple act as if their plan is fine and they are doggedly sticking to it. Because there is no serious competition. This isn't because of ‘iPhone money.’ With almost 2 million copies of Final Cut sold so far, there is no reason why it hasn't returned a good profit for the first five and a half years of its life. 

If Final Cut Pro X had had serious competition since 2011, they would have a built in compelling collaboration solution today.

As millions have free access to iMovie on macOS and iOS, Apple are spreading the gift of video literacy by default. Imagine if Apple had had some serious competition on that front over the last few years. Adobe’s Premiere Clip for iOS wasn't it.

Now Snap Inc. - providers of the Snapchat service and Snap spectacles - are going public. The good news for Apple fans is that Snap are telling potential investors that they plan to implement Apple’s strategy. Not explicitly, the similarity has been pointed out by Ben Thompson on his Stratechery weekly post:

To summarize, Snap’s strategy is to:

  • Deliver innovative and differentiated products that…
  • Cost a lot to deliver but…
  • Capture the best customers…and PROFIT!

That’s definitely not Twitter; indeed, the real analogy for Snap is from another part of technology entirely: it’s Apple.

Snap plan to use their insight into users and give them what they need - and providing access to the best customers to advertisers.

Luckily for iMovie and Final Cut Pro X users, Snap have no baggage holding them back: They are in a position to invest in tools for creativity for all sorts of users - without the precondition of using a 20th century metaphor or of needing to sell storage and service contracts.

Ben quotes Snap:

We believe it’s always worth trying to build something that will empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together — even when it’s not clear that what we build will be successful or make money.

That’s the kind of competitor Final Cut Pro X users need around! I hope they do step up and try to change the world. Luckily there are a few others out there who might also take on the same role. I hope they all wake up soon!

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