Attention all Avid users: the software giants are saying goodbye to their current upgrade model, and are giving you until 1st January 2015 to move to the latest version by taking out one of their new annual support plans. Here's what you need to know.
How the new plan works
First off, this isn't a subscription model. When you buy a new licence of Media Composer, Symphony or NewsCutter, it's yours and you own it forever. However, the only way you can get access to updates and new versions is by signing up for Avid Support, which costs £190 ex VAT and needs to be renewed annually. This cost gives you access to any and all updates Avid release for free, plus basic tech support. If you stop paying for Avid Support the licence will still function, but if you want to access any new features you will have to pay for a new licence.
Who needs to buy Avid Support?
If you bought Media Composer 8, Media Composer 7 or NewsCutter 11 between 1st April and 29th April 2014, you'll have been automatically enrolled in Avid Support, and don't have to do anything until next April, when you'll need to pay to renew it for another year. All new licences purchased since then will have been automatically enrolled on Avid Support.
Everyone else will need to buy Avid Support before 1st January 2015, or you'll have to buy new licences. If you're using an earlier version of Media Composer, signing up to Avid Support will give you access to the latest version at no extra cost.
If you buy add-ons like the Symphony option for Media Composer, these will be covered by your initial Avid Support contract.
In case our aggressive hyperlinking hasn't already clued you in, you can purchase Avid Support here on our site.
What if I have an existing support plan?
If you have a current Expert Plus or Elite support contract with Avid, then your Media Composer licences will automatically be enrolled in Avid Support, and you just need to renew then annually from now on.
What if I need to buy new licences?
All licences will include one year's worth of Avid Support, and you'll be prompted to renew in a year.
What if I choose not to sign up for Support before 2015?
You'll still be able to use your existing Media Composer licences, but you won't be able to update them or add Avid Support to them in future. If you wake up on 2nd January 2015 and realise that sweet merciful Zeus, you did need that licence after all, you'll have to pay for a full, new licence. This will set you back far more than £190, so we strongly advise you to purchase Avid Support here, now, so you know you're covered.
Isn't there also a subscription model?
Yep. For those of you who don't need to own your software licences outright (maybe the number of licences you need changes from project to project, maybe you only need Media Composer for a specific period), Avid now offer annual and monthly subscription plans from £429 ex VAT a year. You pay a regular fee to rent your software, and lose access to it if you miss a payment.
It's also worth nothing that a Media Composer subscription comes with a load of extras, including access to Symphony, NewBlue Titler, Sorenson Squeeze Lite, Boris Continuum Complete Lite and a 30 day trial of iZotope Insight.
If you want to move your existing perpetual licences to a subscription model, Avid will let you cross grade for £340 ex VAT, after which you'll have to pay the usual £429 annual fee.
What are the options too convoluted to discuss here, and who should I contact to find out more about them?
There are two other things we think you should consider. First, Avid are now offering networked and floating licences, designed to help artists in a single facility to collaborate more fluidly. Second, if you've been on an elderly version of Media Composer and are about to take out support to get the latest version, it'd be a good idea to check your hardware compatibility. We provide Avid accredited turnkey systems, so it's a good idea to give us a call and discuss your options before switching versions (our contact details are below).
By Liz Sunter