Autodesk reported revenue for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, which aligns with the three month period ending July 31, 2016. Autodesk breaks out the revenue performance of its Media and Entertainment (M&E) business segment, which comprises visual effects and post-production solutions including Maya, Flame, and Shotgun.
Autodesk M&E revenue for the quarter was $34 million, a decrease of 16% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2015, and a 2.9% decrease versus the preceding quarter, FQ1 2017. M&E contributed 6.2% of Autodesk’s total sales in the quarter. This compares to 6.7% during the year-earlier quarter and 6.8% during the preceding quarter.
There was no commentary provided by Autodesk’s management on the reason for the year-over-year decline, though Autodesk’s overall revenue decline was attributable to the Company’s transition from perpetual licenses to a subscription revenue model.
The close of the second quarter marked another milestone for Autodesk’s transition to a subscription business model, as the Company no longer sells perpetual licenses for its Suite products. Autodesk discontinued selling perpetual licenses for individual products with the close of the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016. Beginning with the start of the current quarter (FQ3 2017) Autodesk only sells subscription or flexible license offerings.
Update on Business Model Transition
Autodesk’s M&E division has been a public data point on the impact of pricing compression in the post-production technology segment of the media technology sector. Revenue for the M&E division has been on a declining revenue trajectory for almost a decade given the impacts of the transition from hardware to software, the collapsing of functionality into Suites, and now the shift from perpetual licenses to subscription.
The below chart illustrates the revenue performance of the M&E division since the second half of fiscal 2008.
At the same time, the gross margin of the M&E division has benefited from these market trends. Gross margins increased from 74.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 to 80.0% during the first fiscal quarter of 2017.
The short-term implications of the business model transition is captured in the first paragraph of Autodesk’s prepared remarks for the quarter, “Autodesk is undergoing a business model transition in which it has discontinued most new perpetual license sales in favor of subscriptions and flexible license arrangements. During the transition, revenue, margins, EPS, deferred revenue, billings and cash flow from operations will be impacted as more revenue is recognized ratably rather than up front and as new product offerings generally have a lower initial purchase price.”
Press Release: Autodesk FY Q2 2017 Financial Results
Prepared Remarks: Autodesk management FY Q2 2017 Financial Results
Conference Call Transcript: Autodesk FY Q2 2017
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