top NLE

the Unexpected Dominance of Premiere Pro

In 2009, at the peak of its powers, FCP 7 was replaced with FCP X.

A 2007 SCRI study reported that Final Cut Pro made up 49% of the US pro editing market and Avid at 22%. A published survey in 2008 by the American Cinema Editors Guild placed their users at 21% Final Cut Pro, with the rest AVID Media Composer. With a suddenly different landscape, Adobe Premiere Pro emerged as the app of choice for FCP 7 editors. At the time, Premiere Pro did not have the popularity of FCP & & AVID Media Composer.

Fast forward to 2019, with the over 12 million subscribers of Creative Cloud,  Premiere Pro is very popular and positioned to be the editing app of the future.

These days PP is used to cut features (Deadpool, Gone Girl) and it has become part of the Big 4 (Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, and Apple Final Cut Pro X). Filmmakers and Editors will probably always argue about which is better, just like photographers argue about Canon vs Nikon, DLSR vs Mirrorless, etc. (so feel free to voice your opinion in the comments).

So here are my unscientific thoughts on why Premiere Pro may be the editing app to beat in 2019 and beyond.

Adobe has continually evolved and innovated

Like myself, a lot of editors saw Premiere Pro as a continuation of FCP.


Yeah, CS3 was a step back from FCP 7, but since then the Adobe team has steadily improved and innovated at a brisk pace. Features that stand out to me are the responsive and easy to use Multicam, the ability to blur faces/copyrighted info with the builtin masking/tracking tools, Warp Stabilizer (stabilize handheld footage), and the Essential Graphics Panel (create titles and customize templates).


In 2017 they added a future looking feature with the addition of built-in VR tools (formerly Mettle’s Skybox VR and 360˚ ).


Integration with Photoshop, AE, Character Animator, and extensive selection of third-party assets

Photoshop and After Effects are both industry standards, and integrate very well with PP. My workflow is to import layers PS and AI into After Effects, and then take that into PP via Dynamic Link.

The 2019 versions of After Effects and Character Animator add powerful features like Content-Aware Fill, easier puppet rigging. And improved lip sync.

Third Party plugins let you customize PP and really extend an already robust toolset.


ToolFarm is a poplar vendor of everybody’s plugins, and there are marketplaces like ProductionCrate that offer free and paid elements, templates, and scripts that can be used in PP and AE.


I often use ProductionCrate’s light wrap script to get better composites when keying with Keylight in AE.


Premiere Pro integration with AdobeExchange

Using Adobe Exchange, Premiere Pro and other Adobe apps offer extensions, plugins, and scripts (paid and free) that integrate with other companies products.

Popular options are video review from and Wipster.

Inside of PP, go to Window > Find extensions on Exchange. Download what you want and the extensions will then be installed (PP must be closed). Select the extensions you have installed (Windows > Extensions), and then add to them a custom workspace for quick access.

Creative Cloud owners already have Premiere Pro

If you have the Creative Cloud “All Apps” Plan, then you have Premiere Pro/After Effects as part of it.

Companies already using industry standards Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign can use Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator, Audition without spending any more money on software.

As of 2016 had approx. 12 million subscribers. Statista estimates 19.74 million by 2024.

Adobe offers the All Apps plan for $52.99 a month (Students/teachers are $19.99/mo the first year, and US $29.99/mo after that.

Mobile apps integration


Mobile seems to be the next frontier for creatives in all industries, and Adobe has a whole suite of Mobile Apps (Spark, Capture, Adobe XD) that sync with desktop apps.

Being able to start working on your phone/tablet and then finish that work on a desktop app is a smart philosophy.

Premiere Pro Rush is a streamlined version of Premiere Pro that runs on a computer or mobile., and it is a tool for hobbyists/producers to cut in. It seems like a similar idea to Resolve 16’s new “Cut Page” but is a standalone app instead of being part of the app.

You can start work on your phone/tablet, and then continue editing in PP bu using “Open Premiere Rush Project…”

It’s Cross-Platform

Cross-Platform support is a big one, as it really increases the number of folks using PP and Adobe in general. In the last 3 years, Mac users have been disappointed with the lack of pro machines (still waiting for the Mac Pro trashcan replacement), and the PC offers more choices, hackintosh and build your own options.

So are you using Premiere Pro?

Share your thoughts and insights in the comment below.