In this strange world of music tech, there's more mergers and acquisition news:
Avid Acquires Sibelius, Expands Reach into Global Education Market
Company to offer exclusive product bundles that combine award-winning Sibelius and Pro Tools Academic software and range of M-Audio products
Tewksbury, Mass. August 2, 2006 Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that it has acquired Sibelius Software Ltd., for approximately $23 million in cash. Sibelius – which is based in London – is a leading music applications software company with products for professionals, educators, and students who want to use computers to write, teach or learn music.
The deal further expands Avid’s broad portfolio of digital content creation tools with leading software for music notation and composition, coursework, testing, playback, publishing, authoring, and e-commerce. As a business unit of Avid’s audio division, Digidesign, Sibelius will continue to develop and market its own line of software, and going forward, customers can expect to see exclusive and targeted product offerings that combine a range of powerful tools, including Sibelius software, Digidesign® Pro Tools® Academic software, and M-Audio® keyboards, microphones, and other audio peripherals.
“For years, Avid Technology and its businesses have focused on fostering an environment where educators and students can learn how to create digital media content with the same industry-standard tools that are used by Grammy and Academy award-winning professionals,” said David Krall, president and chief executive officer at Avid Technology. “In the short term, this acquisition will allow Sibelius and Digidesign to combine the strengths of their respective sales and education channels and reach a wider audience with offerings that cover the entire spectrum of computer-based music creation – including composing, notating, arranging, recording, editing, mixing and finishing, publishing, and distribution. Over time, our Pinnacle Consumer and Avid Video divisions will also benefit from Sibelius’ channel expertise, as we explore new ways to expand distribution of any educational product developed by Avid Technology or one of its companies.”
Digidesign general manager and Avid vice president Dave Lebolt said, “Over the past decade, Sibelius has garnered an enviable reputation as one of the world’s leading providers of professional notation software. With 180,000 users in 100 countries – and a diverse product line that provides professional composers, educators, students, consumers, and young children with easy-to-use scoring applications – Sibelius is well positioned for future growth across all of its key markets. The company’s connections with educational institutions worldwide will allow us to reach educators and students more directly with all of the pieces of technology we make – including Digidesign Pro Tools software and audio hardware, as well as M-Audio keyboards, microphones, speakers, and audio interfaces. Over time, we’ll also explore ways to integrate and optimize our respective toolsets so that customers can take advantage of powerful Sibelius features directly within Pro Tools. Working together, Sibelius and Digidesign can deliver an even wider variety of integrated products that will give our customers a cutting edge advantage when creating or learning about music.”
Sibelius’ core product line comprises software tools for editing and arranging music notation in both electronic and printed form. A wide range of customers use the company’s products, including professional musicians for composing and creating scores for film and TV, orchestral performances and recordings; educational institutions for teaching music at all levels; and individuals who need to provide musical notation as a means to publish their work. Entrenched in music education programs around the world, the Sibelius product line also includes applications for teaching and testing music in elementary institutions up through the university level.
“This alliance is an excellent cultural and technological fit for Sibelius. Both Avid and Digidesign are forward-thinking organizations that take great pride in producing innovative, high quality products, and we’re excited to be working closely with them,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of Sibelius. “By combining our software with Digidesign and M-Audio products, we can provide valuable solutions that enhance music learning by putting the industry’s best music production tools in the hands of educators, students, and children. We also look forward to expanding our worldwide reach by distributing and selling Sibelius products through the Digidesign and M-Audio channels. Our customers will reap the benefits of this acquisition as we work to bring new and innovative products to market in the future.”
As I mentioned on the Sample Library forum thread on this topic - I don't like this. I don't think it is a good thing for anyone except perhaps the owners of Sibelius, and even that is questionable in the long term.
On the plus side, Avid can provide tremendous resources in terms of marketing muscle, financial support for development, etc.
BUT, just how likely is it that Avid will allow the folks at Sibelius to continue with their potentially arcane research? The only way that happens is if the parent company sees a real payoff at the end, and sometimes research is just that, research.
Of course I was suspect of the Avid/M-Audio merger, and thus far that seems to have turned out well. So maybe I'm just being pessimistic?
Hey, this might make that "impossible" dream a reality: We might eventually have that notation-sequencer or sequencer-notation hybrid which performs exceptionally in both areas
Or, digidesign might attempt to limit Sibelius to a 'pro tools' environment, with integration limited to PT software and hardware, to the exclusion of most everything else.
Might start looking at another notation package i think. I'd like to think you're on the right track Reegs, but given Digidesign's past performance, and various attempts to make their technology inclusive, excluding others, i'm not going to hold my breath.
I'm still fairly new to the audio field. So these names come new to me. Yet, if it is the way you guys are describing it, then I don't think this will end up well for me since I'm a Sibelius user. Now I have to relearn Finale if your worst fears come true apparently.
Colton J. Provias
Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
Full-stack Web Developer
I think this move adds more uncertainty in the field of music notation software than the press release portends to remove. Due to my fundamental distrust of the Digidesign business model, I tend toward any alternative. That said, I know some folks that operate at least part of their business under the Avid/Digidesign/M-Audio umbrella and have been allowed to persist with their original autonomy. So, in the end, I guess we'll have to wait and see what Avid does with Sibelius before making belicose prognostications.
One positive thing you can say for this deal - at least Sibelius didn't get Borg'd into Apple.