Last week Avid revealed its results for the first quarter of 2021, reporting a 9.2 per cent increase in total revenue year-on-year and a 78.2 per cent growth in subscription revenues compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Avid CEO Jeff Rosica spoke to TVBEurope about the results, stating the company’s success is down to its customers and partners.
“Our confidence is rising for sure. I think we’ve seen a real good trajectory over the last three quarters. The first half of last year was a really tough thing for humankind in general but also just for any business, but since about Q3 2020 all the way through to Q1 2021 we’ve seen a steady improvement in the market conditions. They’ve gotten better and better each quarter and Q1 was another example where it really turned out well,” Rosica.
While the market is starting to recover, Rosica says it’s also undergoing fundamental changes. “I think that people are getting a lot more strategic about their investments, they’re thinking really carefully about how they’re going to leverage technology in probably more strategic ways,” he adds. “I think the benefit of that is people are looking more at how subscription can help to get more flexibility with what they’re doing. I think they’re looking at cloud and SaaS deployments. Obviously the whole concept of how people are going to work in the future is changing. We call it work from anywhere because you can anywhere with any content, on any device.”
Rosica pays tribute to the team at Avid for changing business practices during the pandemic – particularly launching a free license programme which issued over one hundred thousand licences. “That was not my idea, it was our team that came up with that concept very quickly in the heat of the pandemic,” he concedes. “I think what I’m proud about from a company and a performance point of view is we understood this move to subscription. Obviously Adobe was the first one to do it for creative tools, but I think we really understood it from not just creative people but also from a business to business perspective and so I think that having more flexible commercial models where people have flexibility inherently built an on-demand SaaS offering, people were surprised that Avid would bring a complete on-demand cloud offering to the table so quickly. I’m really proud of us doing that because I think it was the right thing to do.”
Looking forward, Rosica says he thinks it will be 2022 before the global broadcast technology market really fully recovers. He believes 2021 will likely be a year of recovery and improvement. “I think the second half of 2021 will probably be a pretty robust period for the industry for technology suppliers and for all of our companies and individuals in the industry, but I think it’ll be 2022 by the time we really see whatever that new normal is.”
Returning to in-person events
The second half of 2021 will see the return of our industry’s two key trade shows: IBC in September and NAB in October. Rosica sounds a note of caution about the return of in-person events while the pandemic is still so prevalent in certain countries.
“Let me say this, we at Avid really support the shows. We absolutely without a doubt want to say we absolutely support the shows and we support these organisations,” he stresses. “That said, I do think that when the world returns to normal it is going to be different and we’re going to have to find our way together as an industry. There are questions around how big will the shows be, will we expect a different experience at the shows? I think the industry has learned some things. From our own standpoint, I think our marketing mix is going to change, I think we will be involved in these organisations and these shows, but we also have learned that there’s a lot of value in a lot of the digital marketing and virtual events because you can reach a lot further on a global scale.
“This year, to be honest, I think there are two issues: one is that we are concerned to make sure that all of our employees, all of our partners, and all of our customers are safe, and I think that talking about big tens of thousands of person gatherings in 2021 when the pandemic is still raging in Europe, and it’s a mess in India, I think talking about shows this year is a little premature, I really do,” he continues.
“So from our standpoint we’re going to be very careful this year, and we’re going to return to physical face to face events when we feel like it is really the right time to do it. We’re also looking at the return on investment. I don’t know if the attendance is going to be real strong at the shows, we still wonder how big they’ll be. So I think in 2021 we’re trying to navigate our way through carefully and in 2022 obviously everything’s back on the table and we’ll look at everything very carefully. But what’s important is we absolutely support these events and these shows that we’re going to take very careful decisions this year.
“I also have to say publicly, I don’t like two major international shows a month apart. I just don’t think that’s a good idea.”