Pro Apps - Authorized Training Dead?

The next upgrade to Final Cut Pro X and the other pro apps are long overdue. Version 10.4 was released December 14, 2017. That’s two and a half years ago. And it has been leaked that the authorized training will be EOL’d as of June 26, 2020. So what’s going on with this training thing? And is it significant to the future of FCPX penetrating more of the pro market? I’ll put some pieces together, and let you make your own educated guess.
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* I firmly believe we will see pro app updates and upgrades for years to come. This editorial only focuses on training and how that effects the market.


Update History
10.0 - June 2011
10.1 - December 2013
10.2 - April 2015
10.3 - October 2016
10.4 - December 2017

Of course there have been minor updates between these, and some have brought significant new features. And we’ve waited two years before, but never two and a half years. So what about FCPX 10.5? That leads us to…


NAB Show 2020 Canceled
Everyone expected (as is traditional) that 10.5 would at least be announced and previewed during NAB Show 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe it will be released or announced during WWDC 2020? Either way, we’re still hanging in there and waiting, and most of us are sure we’ll see FCPX 10.5 this year at some point in time. In the mean time there are rumblings of something significant about to happen. That leads us to…


Pro App Training EOL?
We have leaks that Apple is in fact going to stop its pro app Authorized Training program. This was posted by Apple at a sales and trainer web site, that many of us trainers are now unable to log into.

RetiringCourses



There never was a Compressor training (which always baffled me) and Motion 5 authorized training was canceled some time ago (it was never really good quality training, nor popular). What is significant about this, is that there’s no training for new versions announced at this time. Historically Apple has ALWAYS keep older version training around for a long time, until the new training came out, before retiring them. The new trainings always lagged months behind the release of significant new app version upgrades. So the argument that this only hints at a major upgrade coming out, maybe. Could it be that 10.5 is a huge update and will be released June 24th, just with no training program?

Plus I got this and similar messages from folks I know at more than one AATC, sent to them by their Apple reps, so this is leaked, not a publicly confirmed, and paraphrased combining three statements into one:
"...we are discontinuing the Pro Apps certification courses and exams. We are also shutting down the Program globally..."

Thus, I firmly believe that Apple’s pro app training program is being EOL’d. But why is Apple be so secretive about it? We’ve seen the devastation caused by unexpectedly pulling the plug on something without warning. Will Apple not learn from its own history? I sure miss Steve Jobs right now.
And let’s remember that…


Apple Pro App Training Has Been Dying For Years
I’ve been an authorized trainer since 2006 if memory serves. There was a time when individuals and corporations flocked to the authorized training classes. But it seems Apple began slacking off on supporting trainers and the program significantly in the later years of FCP 7. Was a time they supplied us the training manual and a free licensed copy of the apps. That was stopped. We had to purchase our own books, and they’re not cheap books. The demand for authorized training tanked immediately when Final Cut Pro X 10.0 was released. We lost a lot of fans due to that horrific pre-mature and ill-advised release. And the scape-goat is not realistic…


We Can Not Blame YouTube
Blackmagic and Adobe have very successful, very active training programs. Run in part by former Apple training program folks, BTW. So the argument that YouTube has killed authorized training simply isn’t true. Ripple Training
probably owns critical mass of the Apple pro app training market, and YouTube has not killed them off yet. Others like macProVideo and Linda.com and Udemy and the like combined have tons of self-proclaimed experts making video training for Final Cut and Motion and Logic, but from what I’ve gathered, they’re not selling nearly as well as Ripple Training. Nor do they have the product quality and marketing of Ripple. My feeling is Apple is just handing the reins over to Ripple Training and not wanting to deal with it any longer. I also suspect Apple helps Ripple stay on top of the game in some manner, and good for them, I love the guys at Ripple. Best quality training on the market today! Which does not negate in any way my personal findings over the past year and a half that…


Most Jobs Demand Premiere Pro And Some Media Composer
Here is where my fellow trainers and Final Cut fan-boys are going to blow a gasket. But let me state my case fairly. About a year and a half ago I had a family to support, and the company I worked with cut back hours, and I needed solid work, with health insurance and the works. I began registering on every job site I could, speaking with every contact I had, it was an exhaustive job search. I look all over the US for a post-production or production job that required, or even allowed me to work with Final Cut Pro X. I literally looked at thousands of job postings from major corporations to small, indie production facilities. I can count on one hand how many of them asked for, or simply allowed FCPX to be used. You can argue an editor should know all the tools and be flexible, and I’d agree. That’s not the point here. The point is that my personal research and combing through thousands and thousands of jobs over the past year and a half shows that FCPX has very little professional market demand or acceptance. I’ve found on realistic, solid evidence to contradict this. And it makes me very sad. But why is this the case? I place part of the blame in the fact that…


Apple Refused To Promote The Pro Apps
Back in the legacy pro app days, we Apple Authorized Trainers and Apple Authorized Training Centers were THE marketing tool for Final Cut Pro and the other pro apps (Logic, Motion, Compressor, SoundTrack Pro, Color, DVD Studio Pro). Not only was it free marketing, they got paid for it. We paid to become trainers and stay trainers with every major update. Training centers paid annually to be authorized training centers. So Apple has amazing marketing and got paid for it. But as previously state, they let this program fizzle over the past many years, and are now killing it off. They do not promote the pro apps at all in any realistic way. Adobe and Avid are all over this, and have made great strides. But Apple I guess is happy with license sales to YouTubers, not broadcasters or film studios or advertising/marketing firms. Which is their choice. But geez guys, be honest with us! We still remember the financial devastation many of us suffered when you pulled the legacy apps without warning, especially Final Cut Server! That was basically my bread-and-butter at the time, then in the blink of an eye, dropped, and all my clients dropped me, and went to other solutions (and other NLEs). All that is history now, and we need to look toward the future, and thus the…


Conclusion
I am sure we will see a Final Cut Pro X 10.5 sometime in 2020. I do not want to sound like I’m saying I think they are going to drop the pro apps completely, they’re just dropping the training, and thus losing great marketing, and that’s going to hurt on so many levels. Avid and Adobe have more ammo to sell with;
“Final Cut is so lame they stopped professional training for it.” I can see that hitting the forums and web ads very soon. But, so be it. We will have to wait and see what Apple has up its sleeve for the pro apps over the next several months, and hope for the best. We FCPX folks are a small niche market now, and there’s no real evidence to the contrary. And I’m good with that, for now…