Company Makes Inroads at Viacom by Ensuring Cross-Compatibility with Adobe Software

Avid has entered an agreement with NHK that will see its MediaCentral platform, Media Composer software and Nexis storage systems drive 4K/UHD production workflow for the Japanese broadcaster.

”NHK, I think, is a precursor, especially with the Tokyo Olympics coming,” said Avid CEO Louis Hernandez in a conference call with investors yesterday. “All the broadcasters are going to have to get ready before then, at least the ones who have [Olympic] licensing rights, because it’s a requirement.”

Overall adoption of the MediaCentral platform continues to grow, Hernandez said, noting that the base has grown 27% over the last year to more than 50,000 licensed enterprise users. And he provided more details on a recently announced deal with Viacom that he said may help reverse a trend away from Avid gear by making more users aware that Adobe software can be used with the MediaCentral platform.

Avid MediaCentral

Avid MediaCentral

At Viacom, Hernandez explained, the decision to adopt MediaCentral was made on a corporate-wide basis, leaving it up to Avid itself to convince individual Viacom brands and facilities to use specific applications. ”They have become a big Adobe shop over time,” Hernandez admitted. “The fact that Adobe can run concurrently with Media Composer on MediaCentral was kind of a stunning shock to them, but it allowed them to not have this religious discussion about which one to use. Now, Media Composer is important to us, but it’s a small percentage of the total suite. If we can get your storage and your archive and your MAM system and everything else, we’re happy to have you continue to use Adobe.”

That capability got Avid in the door at Viacom, Hernandez said, and has actually resulted in wider use of Media Composer inside the company.

Speaking of Media Composer, Hernandez said the company’s free Media Composer First offering has been downloaded more than 100,000 times in less than five months of availability, with “strong” conversion rates to paid subscriptions. Paid cloud-enabled subscriptions passed 84,000 in the quarter, putting them up 69% compared to the same period last year, Avid said.

The market responded positively to Avid’s results, driving the company’s shares up more than 20% on the news.