AVID Media Composer vs Premiere Pro: Comparison Guide for 2021

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

8 min read time

The battle of AVID Media Composer vs. Adobe’s Premiere Pro has been raging since both editing programs first broke onto the scene. 


They are both the darlings of professionals in the digital editing world, found in production studios from Hollywood to Bollywood, but users of each tend to have strong opinions on why theirs is the best. Both of these platforms boast a head-spinning array of features and effects that are designed to give your video footage a professional polish and help you edit your projects faster and with more precision than ever before. 


So which one reigns supreme? Which platform will make you the editing god you’ve always dreamed you were and eat 6k footage for breakfast? There are many overlapping features between the two, which can make deciding on which program to use a challenge, especially for editors and filmmakers who are just starting out.


But never fear, we’re here to put these programs to the test against each other and reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of each platform. 


Which one will reign supreme? Keep reading to find out. 


What Do Media Composer and Premiere Pro Do?


Media Composer and Premiere Pro are both non-linear video editing programs designed for professional video editing. This means they allow you to arrange and re-arrange video clips in any order to create your final product. They also include visual effects, color correction, and audio editing tools so you can polish your project to perfection.  


The Main Differences Between AVID Media Composer and Premiere Pro

Media Composer and Premiere Pro share more similarities than differences. They both work on Windows and Mac OS (AVID was originally a PC-only platform but has since upgraded to work on mac). 


The main differences lie in how their workspaces are laid out, and their pricing structure, which we’ll dive into later on in our comparison. The differences we found were very much in the details. 


Head to Head Comparison

Ok, here’s what you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to put these programs up against each other and see which ones excel in each of our key categories: 

Ease of Use

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: While both programs are designed to be relatively user-friendly, Premiere Pro edges out Media Composer here due to its wide variety of workspace presets and its incredibly user-friendly tutorials that allow even first-time editors to dive in and learn the basics of editing on the platform. 

Quality of Support

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: Adobe’s customer support is top-notch. Adobe.com has hundreds of tutorials for all its software to help guide you through the different features that are available before you ever have to pick up a phone and talk to support or go digging around online. 

If you get stuck on how to solve a particular editing problem, you can use the Adobe community to ask questions or browse previous questions and answers to help you get un-stuck. If all else fails, Adobe’s support team is available by chat, email or phone 24/7 to help you through whatever issue you may be facing. 

This isn’t to say that AVID doesn’t have high-quality support, but Adobe’s wide array of resources and robust community edge it out in this category.

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Basic Effects

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: One of the biggest selling points of Premiere Pro is its wealth of built-in effects. It includes surprisingly powerful tools like Warp Stabilizer that you’d never guess were included effects in a non-linear editing program. You can also create titles, quickly correct color, and remove video and color noise. For basic effects, Premiere Pro more than has you covered and is one of the reasons that many people choose Premiere Pro as their one-stop editing platform. 

Advanced Visual Effects

  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: When it comes to more advanced visual effects, neither platform handles those natively. However, both allow you to add plugins and seamlessly share files with more advanced visual effects programs like After Effects. So, on this category, we’re calling a tie.   

Animation

  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: Animation is not native to either platform, and they both sync beautifully with external animation platforms like Maestro and Adobe Animate. Both platforms will allow you to import and export animation projects so you can fine-tune your edits as well as animate with ease. So we’re also calling this category a tie. 

G2 Rating

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: G2, one of the most trusted sources for software reviews, rated both Adobe Premiere as a solid 4.5/5 stars, while AVID Media Composer only scored 4/5. While this number is incredibly respectable, it shows how G2 recognizes Premiere Pro as having a slight edge over AVID Media Composer in areas such as ease of use, ease of setup, and ease of admin. Users also weighed in, scoring both programs highly overall.   


Who is AVID Media Composer Best Suited For?

  • Editors: Media Composer is a platform that was designed to handle the needs of professional editors who were transitioning to digital editing platforms. It has continued to evolve and add features to keep ahead of the demands of professional and amateur editors alike.  
  • Filmmakers: AVID is a great all-in-one editing platform that will allow filmmakers to realize their creative vision unhindered. It allows for end-to-end editing, from the first cut to the final credit roll, and can be utilized even by solo filmmakers who are shooting and editing their work all on their own. 


Who is Premiere Pro Best Suited For?

  • Editors: Premiere Pro is first and foremost a video editor’s platform. From DIY filmmakers looking to quickly and seamlessly edit their footage, to professional editing houses, Premiere Pro has proven itself capable of tackling any challenge when it comes to perfectly assembling footage with professional precision.
  • Content Creators: For content creators who entertain their audiences on YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, TikTok, or any other video-based platforms, Premiere Pro is the perfect workhorse to help creators churn out high-quality content at a pace their fans demand. Not only is it available for your primary editing desktop or laptop, a subscription to Premiere Pro also includes access to Premiere Rush, their iOS-based editing app that allows you to edit videos on-the-go right from your smartphone.
  • Filmmakers: Like Media Composer, many filmmakers will gravitate towards Premiere Pro because for most, it has all the tools they need under one roof. It’s the perfect place to build a narrative project from start to finish, even including the end credits. It’s a simple workflow that is perfect for storytellers who want to focus on the bigger picture without getting caught up in too many technical hurdles if they don’t want to. 


So, Which One Should You Choose?

With both programs sharing a heavy amount of overlap with each other, choosing which one you’d like to work with will likely come down to two factors: personal editing style preference and price. 

Each program has unique workspace and timeline layouts that may work better for different editors depending on how you like to organize your workflow. 

Price is a big factor that may draw the line in the sand for many editors. 

Adobe Premiere Pro offers a subscription-based model, with Premiere Pro subscriptions alone starting at $20.99 per month when you subscribe annually. 

And if you’re someone who wants additional software for animation or audio editing, Adobe offers Premiere Pro bundled with all their other editing programs in their Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, giving you the flexibility of working with multiple Adobe software programs, like Photoshop and After Effects, for one price of $52.99 per month. 

AVID Media Composer also offers a subscription-based model starting at $23.99 per month with a 12 month commitment. Like Adobe, they also offer a bundle deal which includes additional programs like PhraseFind, ScriptSync, and Symphony to further enhance your editing toolkit. This bundle clocks in at $49.99 with an annual commitment. 

Hopefully this head-to-head comparison will make choosing the right software for your next project a breeze, allowing you to unleash your creative energy and focus on telling the stories that matter the most to you through stunning images. 


Additional Resources on These Tools:

AVID Media Composer vs Premiere Pro: Comparison Guide for 2021

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

7/12/21

The battle of AVID Media Composer vs. Adobe’s Premiere Pro has been raging since both editing programs first broke onto the scene. 


They are both the darlings of professionals in the digital editing world, found in production studios from Hollywood to Bollywood, but users of each tend to have strong opinions on why theirs is the best. Both of these platforms boast a head-spinning array of features and effects that are designed to give your video footage a professional polish and help you edit your projects faster and with more precision than ever before. 


So which one reigns supreme? Which platform will make you the editing god you’ve always dreamed you were and eat 6k footage for breakfast? There are many overlapping features between the two, which can make deciding on which program to use a challenge, especially for editors and filmmakers who are just starting out.


But never fear, we’re here to put these programs to the test against each other and reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of each platform. 


Which one will reign supreme? Keep reading to find out. 


What Do Media Composer and Premiere Pro Do?


Media Composer and Premiere Pro are both non-linear video editing programs designed for professional video editing. This means they allow you to arrange and re-arrange video clips in any order to create your final product. They also include visual effects, color correction, and audio editing tools so you can polish your project to perfection.  


The Main Differences Between AVID Media Composer and Premiere Pro

Media Composer and Premiere Pro share more similarities than differences. They both work on Windows and Mac OS (AVID was originally a PC-only platform but has since upgraded to work on mac). 


The main differences lie in how their workspaces are laid out, and their pricing structure, which we’ll dive into later on in our comparison. The differences we found were very much in the details. 


Head to Head Comparison

Ok, here’s what you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to put these programs up against each other and see which ones excel in each of our key categories: 

Ease of Use

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: While both programs are designed to be relatively user-friendly, Premiere Pro edges out Media Composer here due to its wide variety of workspace presets and its incredibly user-friendly tutorials that allow even first-time editors to dive in and learn the basics of editing on the platform. 

Quality of Support

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: Adobe’s customer support is top-notch. Adobe.com has hundreds of tutorials for all its software to help guide you through the different features that are available before you ever have to pick up a phone and talk to support or go digging around online. 

If you get stuck on how to solve a particular editing problem, you can use the Adobe community to ask questions or browse previous questions and answers to help you get un-stuck. If all else fails, Adobe’s support team is available by chat, email or phone 24/7 to help you through whatever issue you may be facing. 

This isn’t to say that AVID doesn’t have high-quality support, but Adobe’s wide array of resources and robust community edge it out in this category.

Basic Effects

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: One of the biggest selling points of Premiere Pro is its wealth of built-in effects. It includes surprisingly powerful tools like Warp Stabilizer that you’d never guess were included effects in a non-linear editing program. You can also create titles, quickly correct color, and remove video and color noise. For basic effects, Premiere Pro more than has you covered and is one of the reasons that many people choose Premiere Pro as their one-stop editing platform. 

Advanced Visual Effects

  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: When it comes to more advanced visual effects, neither platform handles those natively. However, both allow you to add plugins and seamlessly share files with more advanced visual effects programs like After Effects. So, on this category, we’re calling a tie.   

Animation

  • Winner: Tie
  • Why: Animation is not native to either platform, and they both sync beautifully with external animation platforms like Maestro and Adobe Animate. Both platforms will allow you to import and export animation projects so you can fine-tune your edits as well as animate with ease. So we’re also calling this category a tie. 

G2 Rating

  • Winner: Premiere Pro
  • Why: G2, one of the most trusted sources for software reviews, rated both Adobe Premiere as a solid 4.5/5 stars, while AVID Media Composer only scored 4/5. While this number is incredibly respectable, it shows how G2 recognizes Premiere Pro as having a slight edge over AVID Media Composer in areas such as ease of use, ease of setup, and ease of admin. Users also weighed in, scoring both programs highly overall.   


Who is AVID Media Composer Best Suited For?

  • Editors: Media Composer is a platform that was designed to handle the needs of professional editors who were transitioning to digital editing platforms. It has continued to evolve and add features to keep ahead of the demands of professional and amateur editors alike.  
  • Filmmakers: AVID is a great all-in-one editing platform that will allow filmmakers to realize their creative vision unhindered. It allows for end-to-end editing, from the first cut to the final credit roll, and can be utilized even by solo filmmakers who are shooting and editing their work all on their own. 


Who is Premiere Pro Best Suited For?

  • Editors: Premiere Pro is first and foremost a video editor’s platform. From DIY filmmakers looking to quickly and seamlessly edit their footage, to professional editing houses, Premiere Pro has proven itself capable of tackling any challenge when it comes to perfectly assembling footage with professional precision.
  • Content Creators: For content creators who entertain their audiences on YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, TikTok, or any other video-based platforms, Premiere Pro is the perfect workhorse to help creators churn out high-quality content at a pace their fans demand. Not only is it available for your primary editing desktop or laptop, a subscription to Premiere Pro also includes access to Premiere Rush, their iOS-based editing app that allows you to edit videos on-the-go right from your smartphone.
  • Filmmakers: Like Media Composer, many filmmakers will gravitate towards Premiere Pro because for most, it has all the tools they need under one roof. It’s the perfect place to build a narrative project from start to finish, even including the end credits. It’s a simple workflow that is perfect for storytellers who want to focus on the bigger picture without getting caught up in too many technical hurdles if they don’t want to. 


So, Which One Should You Choose?

With both programs sharing a heavy amount of overlap with each other, choosing which one you’d like to work with will likely come down to two factors: personal editing style preference and price. 

Each program has unique workspace and timeline layouts that may work better for different editors depending on how you like to organize your workflow. 

Price is a big factor that may draw the line in the sand for many editors. 

Adobe Premiere Pro offers a subscription-based model, with Premiere Pro subscriptions alone starting at $20.99 per month when you subscribe annually. 

And if you’re someone who wants additional software for animation or audio editing, Adobe offers Premiere Pro bundled with all their other editing programs in their Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, giving you the flexibility of working with multiple Adobe software programs, like Photoshop and After Effects, for one price of $52.99 per month. 

AVID Media Composer also offers a subscription-based model starting at $23.99 per month with a 12 month commitment. Like Adobe, they also offer a bundle deal which includes additional programs like PhraseFind, ScriptSync, and Symphony to further enhance your editing toolkit. This bundle clocks in at $49.99 with an annual commitment. 

Hopefully this head-to-head comparison will make choosing the right software for your next project a breeze, allowing you to unleash your creative energy and focus on telling the stories that matter the most to you through stunning images. 


Additional Resources on These Tools:

Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

Website
Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman is a writer based in New York City. After over half a decade in the film industry, she came back to her Journalism roots to write for a variety of media outlets about subjects including technology, business, marketing, and social and environmental justice.

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