Blackmagic Design: 1,500 employees, $576 million in revenue and an ambitious founder – YMCinema

In a fascinating interview conducted by Forbes with the CEO and founder of Blackmagic Design, Grant Petty, some fascinating facts were revealed. These facts speak volumes about the culture and journey of the company, led by Petty, who also writes the company’s SQL code. With 1,500 employees and $576 million in revenue, Blackmagic Design wants to conquer the film and television industry with its products, making them simple and affordable.

Black magic design. The business. Image: Blackmagic Design

The company Blackmagic Design (abbreviated – Blackmagic) was founded in 2001 by Grant Petty and software engineer Doug Clarke. The company produced its first product in 2002, a capture card for macOS called DeckLink which was the first to feature uncompressed 10-bit video. This $995 product competed with other solutions that cost around $10,000. In 2009, the company acquired the American company DaVinci Systems, best known for its color correction calibration products. At the 2012 NAB Show, Blackmagic announced its first motion picture camera and the rest is history. Since then, the company has launched 12 digital cameras and numerous products, paving the way for affordable yet professional solutions for the challenging film and television industries.

BMPCC 6K FPV Drone and Xeen Lens
BMPCC 6K FPV Drone and Xeen Lens

Here’s how Petty describes his company: “Blackmagic Design is committed to making the highest quality video accessible to everyone, so that the post-production and television industry can become a truly creative industry.” Indeed, this set of words is indicated on each product of the company. Unlike other industry leaders who pride themselves on their overpriced products, Blackmagic’s strategy is very clear on this. Make it high-end and affordable, so the masses of professionals can use it.

Building Your Post Suite in a Hotel Room: Dell XPS 17 Creator Edition (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060), Samsung Thunderbolt 3 Portable 1TB SSD, Blackmagic Design Speed ​​Editor, and DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel.  Credit: YM Cinema Magazine
Building Your Post Suite in a Hotel Room: Dell XPS 17 Creator Edition (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060), Samsung Thunderbolt 3 Portable 1TB SSD, Blackmagic Design Speed ​​Editor, and DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel. Credit: YM Cinema Magazine

Where there is a place to cut the price, Blackmagic cuts it. For example, the price of the URSA Mini Pro 12K flagship cinema camera down 40% overnight. Petty said this price drop was possible due to high manufacturing efficiency. This is one of the main reasons why the company does not outsource. Everything is done in-house. Petty told Forbes he despises outsourcing. In fact, it seems that Petty is involved in coding the company’s SQL queries.

Grant Petty.  Photo: Kris Paulsen for Forbes
Grant Petty. Photo: Kris Paulsen for Forbes

Here’s an interesting quote from the Forbes article: “For the year ending June 30, 2021, Blackmagic’s revenue nearly doubled from 2019 to $576 million, and its profits increased tenfold to $113 million. millions of dollars. Given its rapid growth and today’s heady tech valuations, debt-free Blackmagic could fetch $3 billion as a public company, making Petty and his co-founder Doug Clarke, who each own 36%, billionaires on paper”. On paper, Blackmagic Design can take it public and be the next Canon. However, no source can confirm if there is such an intention/plan.

The Ursa 12 K Filming in the snow at minus 12 degrees celsius
The Ursa 12 K Filming in the snow at minus 12 degrees celsius

Here are some interesting facts about Blackmagic Design summarized from the Forbes interview:

  • The founder and CEO also writes the code
  • Corporate culture that encourages in-house production and NOT outsourcing
  • 1,500 employees
  • $576 million in revenue
  • The company manufactures its own 209 products
  • Three factories: Australia, Singapore and Indonesia
URSA Mini 12 K on motorized slider
URSA Mini 12 K on motorized slider

Tomorrow Petty will announce something new about DaVinci Resolve called “DaVinci Resolve Cloud Update”. We don’t really know if it will be version 18 of the software. Resolve 17 was a significant leap and since then, almost every month, a new update improves the capabilities of the software in almost every aspect (editing, grading, sound design and SFX). This new update appears to be cloud-related. Still, it’s probably NOT going to be a subscription-based model, as Petty told Forbes: “Cloud licensors are like sleep dealers. You have to keep buying from them and the more loyal you are, the more you will be penalized. It’s like your dog doing something nice and you hit him with a stick.” Nevertheless, Petty knows he faces strong competition from older NLEs like Premiere and Avid. In terms of features, DaVinci Resolve could be much more sophisticated and with a smarter GUI, but editors find it hard to make the leap and convert to other programs.

DaVinci Resolve 17.4.6
DaVinci Resolve 17.4.6

Nonetheless, we believe DaVinci is well on its way to NLE dominance. It gets better and better with each version. Note that there is a new generation of editors growing up with Resolve. They never got their hands on Premiere or Avid. Either way, we’re going to report this release comprehensively. Let’s stay tuned.

Product list

Here are the products mentioned in the article and the links to buy them from authorized retailers.

  • Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17 Studio with Speed ​​Editor
  • Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K Camera
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras