Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced Thursday that demand for its video editing software "has exploded ... with 45 percent growth on the Mac." That, Adobe says, was caused by the "large number of Apple Final Cut Pro customers switching to Adobe Premiere Pro."

Perhaps this wouldn't be such news but for Adobe's good fortune being caused by Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) totally botching the rollout of its much anticipated upgrade to Final Cut Pro, that being – ta-da -- Final Cut Pro X.

To say that FCPX was met with jaw-dropping derision from many professional video editors would be understating it. A couple of the reactions:

  • "Apple did not just blow this launch, they went out of their way to alienate their key customer base." -- Larry Jordan, Final Cut Pro trainer
  • "Apocalyptically bad ... maliciously designed." -- Jeffrey Harrell, video editor

Even David Pogue of The New York Times wrote, "In 10 years of writing Times columns, I've never encountered anything quite like this."

Opportunity knocked
Adobe hoped its Premiere Pro software, never in the forefront of mainstream professional video editing programs, would get a boost from the negative reaction to FCPX. So the company helped that along by offering huge discounts to Final Cut Pro users who switch to Premiere Pro.

Avid Technology (Nasdaq: AVID), once the main player in professional video editing, also saw Apple's misstep as a way of getting back some of the market share that it lost to Final Cut Pro over the last 10 years. It also started offering discounts to those FCP editors switching to its Media Composer editing software.

Upshot of all this
A feature-film editor said that if Apple doesn't bring FCPX up to professional standards, then "I imagine all of us will end up aborting and finding a new platform to work on."

If that does turn out to be the case, we may see either Adobe Premiere's sales really shooting up or Avid regaining its throne. Apple's loss then would be one of those companies' gain. That said, though, Apple's loss would be much less than either of their gains.

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