Is Adobe Paying Too Much?
Has video project collaboration been over-hyped? Let’s take an in-depth look into Frame IO, and what it can do for your next project.
There’s no doubt that Frame IO constructed a fierce argument as the coolest technology around in the last couple of years, mostly during the pandemic.
Remote working has seen a meteoric growth of interest and Frame IO was and is at the center of it. The end game seemed to be exactly what has happened, a buy-out by a huge media creator company at a billion dollar-plus price.
At the moment, due diligence is underway as both parties wait regulatory approval. We’ve been asked not to write anything about the purchase while the lawyers peruse and sign off on the details.
But, our audience is vast, knowledgeable, and wants to know how a Frame IO account might benefit them. In fact, they might want to know about the alternatives, as well. Let’s familiarize ourselves with some of these choices.
First, let’s look at some scenarios. If you’re an online creator on any platform, then the journey of your footage might be from a locked-off camera to an editing platform in the same room.
But, if you’re part of a team—a short film crew, for instance—then your footage should be on drives, SSDs, or original camera cards transcoded and downloaded to an NLE.
But, let’s talk about Frame IO’s number one selling point—collaboration.
Only you can answer this, but where is the collaboration for your video projects? What do you do when someone—a producer, director, or even one of the actors—wants to see a scene maybe in 4K?
That’s easy. You Dropbox it, WeTransfer it, Apple iCloud it, Gmail storage it, etc. There’s no shortage of choice for cloud storage transfer, or you can even courier a drive of some kind.
Why Frame IO?
But, here’s where Frame IO and other high-end collaboration services like Pix and Sohonet has moved the process on. They’ve provided bespoke solutions to handling your video the moment it’s shot.
Frame IO calls it “Camera to Cloud” and it follows the original camera footage to post from the set, revolutionizing the way it’s always been done. But, it sounds expensive.
At the moment, before Adobe ownership, Frame IO offers a subscription choice. There’s a free basic plan that will give you up to two users, one team, two projects, and 2GB of active storage with unlimited free reviewers with HD playback. Admittedly, 2GB isn’t a lot, but this plan is currently indefinitely free.
For $15 a month, you become a pro with up to ten users, one team, unlimited projects, 250GB, or active storage with 500GB or archival storage. Plus, 4K UHD playback.
For $25 a month, team status ramps it up even further with up to twenty users, 500GB of active storage, 1TB of archival storage, and custom-branded emails.
There’s also an Enterprise level where, supposedly, you can customize what you want. You ring their sales department for that option.
The Frame IO UI is slick and quick. Uploads are incredibly fast. And, you’ll be up and running in no time at all. If you’re only dealing in sub-2GB file sizes, then sign up right now and enjoy what’s coming.
Creative Cloud App
Frame IO claims around one million users so far, but we don’t know how many of those are on the basic zero-money subscription. Adobe is no doubt finding out as we speak. When Adobe does finally control the company, Frame IO will become part of the Creative Cloud app list, another subscription model.
There’s no doubt that this new collaboration tool will be deeply integrated with the creative apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects, with possible development for non-video-based apps likely.
But, where does that leave you if you don’t use those apps?
The official line at the moment is: “We are committed to the on-going development and improvement of our integration with Apple Final Cut Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, and Avid Media Composer.”
You can bet, however, that the Premiere Pro incarnation of Frame IO will be better than the Apple Final Cut Pro one. But, let’s see what happens.
Who’s Using Frame IO?
We think it’s mainly the movie business and perhaps high-end TV and commercials. It doesn’t seem to be broadcasters, yet.
Frame IO’s marketing includes some case studies like The Green Knight, David Lowery’s Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and a mystical knight who challenges him.
Part of the film’s post process was the back and forth of the edit via Frame IO. Director/editor Lowery hardly ever worked in the same room as his assistant editor, who was based in Dallas. If he wanted to mock something up, his assistant would place it on the platform and they’d collaborate using comments and markers. It was the perfect pandemic scenario for Lowery.
The film was cut in Premiere Pro, the audio in ProTools. It was graded in Resolve, and Frame IO was used to host and manage it all. Check Frame IO’s site for a full list of case studies.
Frame IO’s Future
Adobe’s interest in Frame IO is obviously their entry to remote services, to place Premiere Pro as the number one editor, and to increase subscription to Creative Cloud. They’re buying a clever team and their technology, which will evolve more quickly when 5G services mature.
Other ways of doing the same thing will inevitably grow, or new ones will appear and will be more transparent to existing editing platforms.
Historically, you couldn’t put a price on collaboration and teamwork, but now it looks like it’s worth around a billion dollars. Without further development with the other NLE platforms, however, we could question where the growth is for Frame IO. But, inevitably, the market will decide.
What Do Other Cloud Storage Platforms Offer?
In a respectful nod to Dropbox, there’s a “Publish to Dropbox” option in Frame IO from the video clip interface. But, to resemble Frame IO, you should look to the Dropbox Business plans.
For instance, their Teams Standard plan will cost around $10 a month per user. For this, you’ll get 5TB of storage and a whole lot of extras—legally binding eSignatures, advanced sharing (viewing permissions and expiring shared links), granular sharing with sub-folder abilities. Again, check it out for yourself.
They don’t have any kind of video transfer service, but their Pro choice offers 1TB of storage per team member, the ability to send 200GB at a time, a real-time collaboration tool called Paste (which looks geared toward presentation slides), and collect (which is like a mood board of all your content for an idea). All for $12 a month.
Google One Storage
If you have a Gmail address, then you may already know that each Google account includes 15GB of storage, which is shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.
Video happily sits on Google Drive, but you can’t increase your 15GB unless you subscribe to a Google One account. Their plans go from 100GB at around $2 a month to 2TB at around $10 a month. There are annual rates for both.
Sign up for iCloud and you’ll get 5GB of storage straightaway. But, you’ll need more. The iCloud+ 2TB service is only $9.99, and you’ll get some email benefits but no collaboration tools. However, you can share with up to five other members.
One you probably haven’t heard of is pCloud. They have an incredible offer at the moment. Their basic plan is 10GB for FREE, but their special offer is a lifetime pledge of 500GB for a one-off price of $175, or you can go higher with 2TB for a one-off price of $350. There are also monthly rates starting at $4.99 for 500GB.
This is not a small company, as they already have a nine million user base. Their core features allow you to share links and file requests, invite users to shared folders, password protected shared links, and automatic upload of your camera roll (there doesn’t seem to be any information on what type of camera interface is needed for this).
Their business plans start at around $9.99 a month with a 1TB storage plan per users with unlimited users. You have teams, access levels, and comments to files and folders.
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Cover image via Gorodenkoff.
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