Corel to hit screens with new VideoStudio

Corel Corp. will try to take another step to diversifying its portfolio in North America with the launch today of Ulead VideoStudio 11.

It’s the first version of the digital video editing suite the company has released since buying InterVideo Inc last year, a developer of digital media authoring and playback applications, for US$198.6 million in cash, and the second InterVideo upgrade to be put out.

Long-known for its CorelDraw suite, the company has been trying to spread out in different ways with limited success, including the well-known failure to fight Microsoft Office with WordPerfect.

Now it’s trying to elbow its way into the consumer digital editing arena. Buying InterVideo – which in 2005 bought Ulead – netted it titles such as WinDVD, WinDVD Creator, Ulead PhotoImpact, and Ulead DVD MovieFactory.

These and Paint Shop Pro and Paint Shop Photo Album have been combined in a new digital media division.

Blaine Mathieu, its general manager and vice-president of products and strategy, said the Windows-based VideoStudio 11 is “a very important product” to Corel’s North American strategy. While big in Europe and Japan, the application is not well-known in Canada and the U.S. “That’s one of the reasons why Corel was interested in purchasing InterVideo,” he said in an interview, “because we knew that with our channel presence in North America we’d have a great opportunity to bring a really high quality product like VideoStudio here.”

The software is mainly sold in retail chains and online.

However, even Mathieu acknowledges it will be a steep climb. He said VideoStudio only “has “single digit” market share, which is born out by figures from the NPD Group, a market research firm.

Among video editing software suites sold in physical stores in Canada, Pinnacle Systems’ Pinnacle Studio accounts for 54 per cent of the market, followed by Magix AG’s Movie Edit Pro with 20 per cent, Adobe, with Premier /Premier Elements with 13 per cent and Apple’s Final Cut with nine per cent.

In the last 12 months, according to NPD analyst Darrel Ryce, Magix leap from six per cent of the market and Apple gain five and a half per cent.NPD does not track online or photo store sales.

But Mathieu believes Corel can push its way higher. InterVideo had only one person handling the channel in North America, he said, whereas now the brand can pull in Corel’s bigger staff.

“You’re going to hear in the next few months that we’re doing a major channel push of our digital media products,” he said, particularly on VideoStudio and DVD Factory. “A big part of that will be reseller education on what these products are about and their key value propositions.”

VideoStudio market share, he predicted, “will be double-digit by the end of the year.”

Video Studio comes in two versions:

–The $89.99 regular edition, aimed at general digital video camera users, includes tools for downloading video and capturing it onto DVD or video tape in standard definition, with the ability to add titles, effects and music.

New in version 11.0 are tools for automatic white balance and colour tone, an MPEG optimizer encoder tool, combine masks or chroma-key with transparencies for overlays, a de-snow filter, the ability to rotate titles and multi-language title support.

–The $129.99 Plus edition has the ability to author and burn in high definition DVD as well as handle to to six image overlays and up to seven audio tracks, including Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, among other new features.

Both versions include 26 royalty-free music styles for adding to the videos.

Corel needs a hit. Earlier this month the publicly-traded company reported that in the first quarter of 2007 ending Feb. 28 it pulled in US$56.2 million, an increase of 19 per cent over the same period a year ago. However, it posted a net loss of $11.9 million (all figures U.S.), compared to a net loss of $1.6 million in the same period in 2006.

For the second quarter the company expects revenue of between $62 million and $64 million, with losses tightened to between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

Still, for the year ending Nov. 30 it expects a loss of between $6 million and $ 9million on sales of about $250 million.

Corel’s largest shareholder is San Francisco investment firm Vector Capital.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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