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The Rise of Digital Asset Management

When I first heard the term digital asset management I assumed it was just another financial term for some type of media stocks or bonds. In actual fact, Digital Asset Management or DAM is pitched to be one of the top media software products of the future.

Digital Asset Management’s suggested growth over the next 5 years is estimated at over 300% which is triple the current value. The business research & consulting firm Frost & Sullivan are forecasting that “the market is set to grow at a very healthy double digit growth rate through the forecast period, 2007 to 2013”. According to Frost & Sullivan; “Around 70 major vendors are now seeing the need to digitize their media assets”.

DAM solutions are becoming as streamlined into a website development as content management systems and search marketing. The reason for its success is that most big corporate websites hold a lot of rich digital media including images, audio and video content and this can make storage and retrieval of these assets difficult. For all of this content to be hosted, easily retrievable, distributed and exported it needs to be stored in a central location, properly filed, archived, optimised and available in a range of different downloadable formats.

Another reason for the success of DAM is that a lot of files, specifically video files can be so huge that even FTP access across public services is undesirable, DAM makes this possible by employing a delivery service, with access to single assets from multiple locations, thus reducing the time and cost of producing the content and maximising the return on investment.

What types of DAM systems are there?

The types of DAM are dependent on their facilitation with the business; brand asset management for example is focused largely on marketing and deals with marketing collateral such as product imagery, fonts and logos. Production asset management is commonly used in the organisation and storage of frequently changing digital media assets, whereas digital supply chain services purely focuses on the pushing of digital content out to retailers i.e. Music and games store. Library management is probably the most widely used type with a focus on the storage and retrieval amounts of mostly archived video and photo media.

If we take a closer look at DAM, the tools that it utilises start to make the system more of a tangible product. The types of uses for the system in business is for Multimedia press kits and marketing materials, corporate presentations, VOD, rich media libraries of; video, fonts and images and other marketing collateral. The types of files this includes are; images, logos, audio, animation, CAD, video and HTML.

So what’s in store for the future?

According to industry analyst Zippy Aima “There is the recent proliferation of digital media content, especially video, and the rise of portable devices for viewing it. We can add the widespread availability of broadband data services to distribute it, and the need for systems that can store and deliver that content to the right people at the right time.”

With media creation so accessible via broadband and likely to grow vastly over the next decade, images from our everyday devices such as cameras, phones and scanners will continue to flood onto the web, billions of assets (files) all hitting social networks, websites and blogs at a furious pace, and all with a thousand different destinations and target audiences. DAM will soon be the only technology capable of dealing with the demand and with the worth of digital media content management set to rise; from $203 million to an anticipated $558.6 million by 2014 this looks set to continue.

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