Notes on Adobe video market share

In April 2010 Adobe shipped new, 64-bit, Cocoa-based versions of Premiere Pro & After Effects (along with, of course, 64-bit Photoshop). Premiere Pro notably included the new Mercury Engine, offering breakthrough performance by tapping into customers’ graphics hardware (GPUs).

How has the market–especially the Mac market–responded? Here’s what I gleaned from a presentation by Adobe VP Jim Guerard:


  • Adobe’s Professional Video business grew 22% year-over-year (compared to Apple’s stated 15% growth in pro video). The video industry on the whole grew on average of 7% year over year.
  • 30% growth of overall unit volume.
  • 45% growth on Mac unit volume; 44% revenue growth on the Mac.
  • Premiere Pro
    • Growth Premiere Pro of over 1.5 million seats to 2.3 million in 2010 (compared to Apple’s stated “just over 2 million” seats of Final Cut Pro).
    • This does not include legacy seats and is not based on upgrades. It’s completely new software seats of Premiere Pro.


If you’re interested in making the switch, check out these videos.

New After Effects PM Steve Forde is candid in writing about how he didn’t like Premiere & ignored it before coming to Adobe. Adobe’s commitment shown in the CS5 rewrite, however, and the results it yielded were part of what drew him to join the company.

“To all those asking me for comment on the launch of [Final Cut Pro X],” Steve writes, “I have none. What right do I have to publicly comment on the hard work any vendor does in creating software and bringing it to market?” I’d simply add that moving a large, powerful application to a completely different foundation is a major challenge. While moving Photoshop from Carbon to Cocoa, we always figured that if anyone could empathize, it was the Final Cut team.  Hats off to anyone who scales that mountain, wherever they happen to work.

13 thoughts on “Notes on Adobe video market share

  1. Can you tell us the difference in price? (Premiere vs. Final cut X) Because not all of us need all of the features.

  2. Premiere Pro CS5.5 is $799 stand alone or $85/month rental
    Premiere Elements 9 is $79
    Final Cut Pro X is $299
    [For the time period in question (and up until last week, FCP was $999. You’d have to ask Apple why they felt compelled to drop the price. –J.]

  3. @Fritz But you forgot to put in Final Cut Pro X’s lack of functionality and features that Premiere still provides its customers; unlike APPLE.

  4. I feel Apple is (as a matter of policy) gradually pulling out of the pro market. FCPX has created considerable consternation, not for what’s in it, but for what it lacks in professional necessities. Apple’s revenues and by far the majority of their profits come from the consumer market. From a business perspective, it makes sense they’d pour their resources into that arena.
    (Say hi to Steve for me. We had endless fun on the Flow v1.0 beta.)

  5. Are these numbers for people actually using Premiere or simply installed? We have it install on several machines (as part of the master collection) but we’ve never actually opened it. Where as I would think if someone has FCS installed then they probably use FCP.
    I’ve got nothing against Premiere, just interested in where these numbers are truly reflective?

  6. Just out of curiosity, how are these numbers computed? My studio, for example, would amount to 3 Premiere “seats”, as we have 2 Production and one Master collection. However, we got those as it was a more cost effective way to get AfterEffects + Photoshop + Illustrator. We’re not even doing editing, and if we did, we might or might not do it with Premiere. And we buy an Avid seat for example, we will still count in Adobe’s statistics as 3 Premiere seats.

  7. @Edgar – I believe at Adobe PM stands for Product Manager – though it is Project Manager most of the time you see it.
    @Dragos and @Rob Claisse:
    I agree with your point – that any of these kinds of numbers are automatically skewed because people purchase and don’t use. But, to Adobe’s credit, they have no way of knowing if a person is actually using the software, only that they purchased/installed it. And also to Adobe’s credit, they aren’t re-counting upgrades – something that many companies often do to bolster these types of numbers.
    Overall – it appears as though Adobe’s video market is growing quite significantly. And that happened before Apple seemingly decided to pull out of the professional video marked with FCPX.

  8. PM = Program Manager
    (You’re welcome)
    [Product Manager here, actually, though Program Mgr. elsewhere (e.g. Microsoft, where it more or less means what we mean by Product Mgr.–just to keep things confusing). –J.]

  9. It’s doubtful that Appleis pull g out of the pro market, no matter how misguided it was to release this with missing features. They’ve explained that this is the beginning of the road for FCP, and not the end. I used Premier when it first came out, and for several versions after. It certainly was not a pro product, and I couldn’t use it for that. It didn’t become one, on a low level, until leaving the Mac market. Now, it’s much better.
    We can see from that experience over a number of years that a product that was so derided has become one of the best products out there. I’m sure that despite those disliking the present 1.0 version of the new FCP X, it will improve quickly, as Apple has promised, and did with the original FCP.
    I’m not trying to compare the current Premier with it, but as FCP seems to be of such a great concern with the posters here, I feel as though some correctness about the issue needed to be posted as well.
    Competition is nothing but a good thing, and even though FCS has over 50% of the pro editing market, as given by surveys, another good program is needed to keep everyone honest.

  10. Finished looking through features, reports, news, etc on this; a thought or 2~
    This latest version of FCP was deceptively over-hyped (it was marketed as the new FCP, now in 64-bit…no hints about throwing out the baby with the bathwater). But it’s also a fresh new beginning for Apple and for FCP.
    They are most certainly going to win over some prosumer market share on the mac with a much more powerful $300 editor. And the pros will almost certainly avoid an upgrade at this time (no 2nd video monitor support? Unless you have drivers from 1 manufacturer that are still in Beta?).
    But on the other hand, are pro editors going to throw out their current licenses of FCP and buy, install, and learn Premiere in protest? Probably not. When it comes time for production houses to update, they will have to make that choice, and that’s going to give Apple a good chunk of time to fix the bugs and re-integrate desperately needed pro features (which they are vowing to do).
    To that end…Premiere just did it’s own “reboot” a couple years back, going full 64-bit and appearing on the Mac OS. And to me, it seems that the race is still *very* much on. Many of the new features added to FCPX are features that were added to Premiere Pro CS4, but several are unique and new. I hope that Adobe will continue innovate, and will pay close attention to the value of some of the additions to FCP in order to stay ahead of the game.
    Annd, sorry, John, for dumping my thoughts on your blog–you’re not the Premiere Pro guy, but you’re the blog I read daily 🙂
    [Always happy to have thoughtful feedback, Jim–thanks. –J.]

  11. Apple didn’t put their effort into Final Cut X to leave the pro market. But they do operate differently than some people understand, Here’s a good overview by Zac at
    But I do think it’s a good opportunity for Adobe to pounce and try to pick up some new users from the segment of disenfranchised FCP users who seem resistant to change [John MUST be all too familiar with this]. Some users are seemingly unaware that the advent of Final Cut X hasn’t abolished their copies of FCP7). Oh well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *