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? I’ll put some pieces together, and let you make your own educated guess.
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1 - 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.


2 - NAB 2020 Canceled
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. Everyone expected (as is traditional) that 10.5 would be announced and previewed at least during NAB Show 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So we’re still hanging on waiting.


3 - Pro App Training EOL’d
We have leaks that Apple is in fact going to stop it’s 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 suddenly.

RetiringCourses

There never was a Compressor training (which always baffled me) and Motion 5 authorized training was canceled some time ago. What is significant about this, is that there’s no training for new versions announced yet. Apple has ALWAYS keep older version training around for a long time, until the new training came out, before retiring them. And the new trainings always lagged months behind the release of significant new app versions. So the argument that this only hints at a major upgrade coming out, I simply don’t buy that, it is not how Apple has worked to date with authorized trainings.

Plus I got this from more than one AATC, this is leaked and not a publicly confirmed confirmation:
"...we are discontinuing the Pro Apps certification course and exams. Our HQ is also shutting down the AATCE Program globally..."
(Your institution) "... still has the full ability to run courses related to Logic, you just cannot brand it as an AATCE Offering / Certification Course."

Thus, I firmly believe that Apple’s pro app training program is being EOL’d. By why be so secretive about it?


4 - 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.

5 - Can Not Blame YouTube
Blackmagic and Adobe have very successful, very active training programs. Run by former Apple training programs folks now, also. 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 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 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.


6 - Most Jobs Demand Premiere Pro and 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. 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, FCPX from my personal research and combing through jobs, shows that FCPX has very little professional market share.

7 - 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).


8 - 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 magazine 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…