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Managing assets is vital for organizations of all sizes and industries. Storing and managing data efficiently allows teams to streamline their workflows more efficiently. There are two types of asset management systems, Media Asset Management (MAM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM). They share similarities but differ in the actual appliance, the functionalities required, and which part of the media supply chain they manage. As these terms are often used interchangeably, this blog post will delve deeper into what MAMs and DAMs specifically are and the differences between the two.   

What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?  


DAMs are a system that helps organizations create a centralized place where their teams can access their digital assets in an organized manner allowing them to streamline workflows and optimize the production of media. This approach to storing, organizing, managing, retrieving, and distributing assets covers a broad range of files beyond media including presentations, documents, and graphics. 


 Key features and benefits of DAM systems: 


  1. Asset Diversity: DAM systems can support a wide range of file formats such as documents, PDFs, and designs making digital asset management systems versatile for businesses. 
  2. Organizational transparency: Users can have a comprehensive view of digital assets which benefits content planning and creation. Teams and stakeholders can easily collaborate in real-time, improving workflows. Version control features within DAM systems can enable collaboration allowing users to track any changes to assets. 
  3. Brand management: DAMs ensure that the messaging, positioning, and visual adherence are consistent to adhere to brand standards. Brands can reuse creative files and other assets. 
  4. Customer relationship: Businesses can organize content based on the user’s stage of the buyer journey. DAMs can allow organizations to personalize the customer experience, building stronger relations moving them along the buying cycle faster. 
  5. Governance and compliance: DAMs can organize and quickly retrieve licenses and legal documentation. It tracks usage rights associated with digital assets, saving time and money for organizations. 


What is Media Asset Management (MAM)?  


Media Asset Management is a system that encompasses the entire lifecycle of media assets from content creation to a centralized repository to store, retrieve, and distribute media assets efficiently. It focuses on handling large media files such as video, audio, and images. Therefore, MAMs are often used in media-centric industries like broadcasting, film production, and content creation. 


Key features and benefits of MAM systems: 


  1. Workflow management: MAMs are designed to manage assets through every stage of the media lifecycle, spanning from creation and ingestion to post-production and distribution. 
  2. Metadata management: Through metadata tagging and categorizing media assets, users can easily locate and access specific files. This removes the time-consuming manual labor of sifting through folders and files to retrieve what you need. 
  3. Automation: MAMs can reduce errors by automating repetitive tasks such as file transcoding and approvals. They allow creative professionals to devote more time to focus on their work enhancing their productivity.   
  4. Collaboration: Teams can easily have access to real-time media to remotely review and approve workflows globally. Teams can also distribute content to commercial partners directly without the stress of transferring files. MAMs also have control features for seamless tracking to manage different versions of media files. 
  5. File security and copyright compliance: MAMs provide robust security measures including user access controls, encryption, backups, and safeguarding sensitive assets from unauthorized access or loss. There is tracking and documentation of licenses and permissions which ensures legal issues are avoided. 


Choosing between DAM or MAM 


While Digital Asset Management and Media Asset Management systems have similarities in the way they manage digital assets, they cater to different needs depending on the requirements of the business. 

DAMs manage assets and track workflows with a more general approach to digital asset management covering a wider range of assets including documents and designs. However, when it comes to larger video files, it can take DAMs longer to process and preview large files. This means that DAMs are more suitable for those who create digital content.  

Whereas MAMs are specifically tailored for large video and audio assets and have features to support the production of content through every stage of the media lifecycle. MAMs are therefore crucial for those who need to handle large amounts of data. 

In summary, if you require functionalities such as media publishing, web content management, and customer relationship management, then you need a DAM system. On the other hand, if your post-production workflows involve a series of logging, transcoding, and collaboration of large media files then a MAM system is necessary. 

By understanding their differences, you as a business can choose the right asset management strategy to implement to suit your needs and workflows. 

Think Bigger. Think Cloud.