While it may seem strange to think your next video editor might be open source, there are a number of factors conspiring to make it not only a possibility but a likely one.
Professional Software In a Quandary
The field of professional software is entering a period of upheaval and that’s especially true when it comes to video editing software. The upheaval is being driven by declining PC sales as more people discover they don’t need a full size PC or laptop. The computer world is moving to connected devices which results in a declining market for PC software.
It’s All In The Numbers
Software companies have tried various strategies to make up the declining revenue. Apple tried making one of the mainstays of their professional software line, Final Cut Pro, easier to use for novice video editors. The result was FCP X, perhaps one of the biggest turds ever laid in professional software. Users jumped ship in droves, many switching to Adobe Premiere Pro.
But Adobe was already working another way to raise revenue and that was by turning their software into cloud-based subscription software. That’s another idea that’s not sitting well with video editors, who now are looking a Vegas Video 12 from Sony as the last big NLE standing that can be installed on a PC without requiring a subscription…yet. Absent Sony then the video world will be turning back to Avid where many got their start, but their future is anything but predictable either. Avid’s stock price has been on a steady decline the last 10 years, from the $60 range to just under $7 today. What I call the “Kodak trajectory” or what the FAA calls controlled flight into terrain.
Open Source Gaining Credibility
Ironically, most of the big software systems running cloud based software systems are running on an open source platform, the missing link is the front end productivity software. With the declining market in professional software, the best option for video editors and companies dependent on video for a living may be getting behind the development of an open source product. It’s the only sure way to have a product that will remain stable and focused on the needs of users for the indefinite future.
So OpenShot may not be the application that the video world rallies around, but it may be time for the editing world to start thinking about it or an application like it. An open source, extensible video editing product would solve a lot of problems in the production pipeline.