Atomos and RED ink a Royalty-Based License Agreement

Atomos and RED Digital Cinema have shaken hands recently on some sort of a “royalty-based license agreement” as their press release puts it. The said agreement is in relation to “…Atomos’ use of some of RED’s intellectual property.” 

However, even though this statement lacks any concrete details (which may very well may be in the process of being “ironed out” sort of, I am guessing) of what this agreement is actually about, such practice is not that uncommon when similar deals or agreements between companies in a similar market segments are announced initially to the public.

Speaking of “going public”, this is something that Atomos did recently by announcing their IPO and that they are not a publicly traded company on the Australian Securities Exchange; you can read my prior post on that here.

As far as the RED + Atomos new agreement, I can’t help myself but ponder upon it and throw out a few ideas in this post that we can all discuss in the comments below. But first, here is what Atomos CEO, Jeromy Young, said:

“Atomos and RED are now further aligned to make more advanced video recording technology more affordable with no compromise to creative freedom. RED have always been at the forefront of digital cinema technology and propelled the industry forward at an astounding rate. We are excited to be able to now work closely with RED, not only by utilising some of their key intellectual property, but in joining forces with them on future products.”

Atomos Shogun Inferno RED

Images by Atomos/RED

The press release goes on to say that “…in the process of negotiating Atomos’ licence to use RED’s intellectual property, the companies recognised that there is significant opportunity for them to enhance the integration of their product lines to produce what they both expect to be trail-blazing new camera recording systems. While the two companies have for many years worked together, this next phase of the relationship will be one to watch out for.”

President of RED Digital Cinema, Jarred Land, said,

“We welcome the new relationship with Atomos and feel that their innovation combined with our patented technology should fuel broader adoption of 4K and above, content creation. We are looking forward to what the future holds for our partnership.”

Nevertheless, this news is good news for independent filmmakers and those already in the RED Ecosystem or using Atomos products in their day-to-day productions, as it can potentially bring us new and exciting products, and/or expand the current functionality of existing ones.

Image by Atomos

While I do not see RED giving any 3rd party access to their much-guarded and beloved REDCODE RAW sauce anytime soon (but I may be wrong), I can definitely see RED working with Atomos on something like unlocking (finally) a 4K output via HDMI and or SDI to allow external recording on Atomos recorders such as the Ninja V and/or the Shogun Inferno in ProRes or DNx?

And while some may counteract this by saying that RED DSMC 2 cameras can already record ProRes and DNxHD/HR internally – why would they need to also record it externally? And while, this is a valid question, it think that many RED users will appreciate a 2nd (and possibly more cost effective) option for recording 4K ProRes proxies that such potential external recorders can provide as opposed to using a RED SSD for both the ProRes proxies and the REDCODE RAW.

However, I think that we may potentially see is a new Atomos-made monitor (or a monitor using the AtomHDR tech) dedicated to RED cameras as one potential form of collaboration on the monitoring side of things, since after all – this is what Atomos is famous for at least now – in 2019. They started with small, portable ProRes recorders, but overtime evolved into providing an smooth and easy HDR monitoring experience with their latest generation monitoring products.

Atomos and their AtomHDR engine-powered monitor/recorders excel at HDR monitoring – something that the current RED-made monitors – such as the newly announced RED DSMC2 Touch 7.0″ Ultra-Brite lack.

Or maybe they are working on some sort of 8K stock footage program for filmmakers? At this point it is a guessing game, but nevertheless, I am sure we’ll know more in due time.

But more importantly – what do you guys think Atomos and RED are up to in their new collab? Do let me know in the comments.

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