Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Adobe Finally Brings its Video Editing Expertise Online

Adobe announced today the availability of its web-based video remix and editing technology to online photo and video hosting site Photobucket. The company expects to announce more partnerships with Internet companies and media properties over the coming months.

This announcement reminds me of an interesting dialogue I had with an Adobe executive at last year’s PMA show (Feb 06) where Adobe had a small analyst meeting and reception. When he approached me and asked about what new trends could benefit Adobe, I told him that since the company had such a stronghold in the imaging professional and “serious amateur” market, the next step was to make the expertise available to online consumers by partnering with successful digital imaging websites and offering web-based editing tools. I remembered that he gave me a quick “are-you-out-of-mind” look before regaining his posture.

But today’s news indicates how quickly Adobe as a company has reacted to the changing market dynamics and adjusted corporate strategy accordingly. Perhaps it realizes that its current business model, which depends heavily on iterate software upgrades on the desktop computers, will inevitably grow slower over time. Or perhaps it shares the same pain with Microsoft in that each upgrade of the software will cost it more time and money to develop, maintain, and run resource-efficiently on a desktop platform. But the most likely reason is that it has witnessed the explosive growth of the online video market and consumers’ enthusiasm in this new online experience over the past year. Parks Associates published a report on online video services in 2006 and will continue to deliver in-depth analysis on the UGC (user-generated content) phenomenon in 2007.

The move is timely, and the approach (using a lightweight version embedded in a web browser, according to the press) is appropriate, and the quick mindset change at the headquarters is particularly encouraging. The key is user experience. Too many times we have seen software developers got tripped when they try to move their desktop versions to the Web. The common pitfall is that the company becomes too proud of its expertise that it delivers an overkill solution to ordinary consumers. Whether or not Adobe can successfully deliver on the Web a “trim-down” version that offers video up-loaders an easy use experience remains to be seen.

Public disclosure: I personally own Adobe stock


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home