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Digital Asset ManagementThe realities of modern digital and media asset management
The Real Story Group, USA/UK, UK
Digital media — photos, audio files, video clips, Flash animations, games and banner ads, PDF documents, and web pages — have become an increasingly significant part of our everyday experience. The management of digital media throughout its lifetime (regardless of final output medium) is the general domain of digital asset... read moremanagement or DAM. We also use the term MAM, or media asset management, which fits under the larger DAM umbrella.
While the word ‘content’ (broadly speaking) tends to be something that has the potential to convey information; in the DAM world, content is a bit more abstract: it’s something with value, hence an asset. The distinction is subtle but important. In DAM, a piece of content does not become an asset until it has been classified, indexed, versioned, secured, stored, possibly reformatted or canonicalized in some way, and (typically) assigned a lifecycle state, a unique ID, and an owner. These are the things that make a piece of content an asset.
Key to making it all work is metadata, or information about the content. Simply put, content + metadata = an asset. A digital asset management system provides a secure repository that facilitates the creation, management, organization, production, distribution, and (potentially) monetization of media files identified as digital assets.
As the need to produce marketing collateral, catalogs, online video, magazines and other brand-based publications increases, the need for better asset management becomes increasingly evident. Greater automation through a digital asset management system (or ‘DAM’ technology), when done right, can yield many benefits, both hard and soft.
This series examines the realities of modern digital & media asset management.