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A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Video Content Management System for Your Business

Media Asset Management

Choosing the Right Media Asset Management
08.02.2022
Data Management
Media & Entertainment

Video has become the dominant form of content online, and it continues growing to this day. More companies than ever are applying video as part of their marketing, training, and business strategies and efforts. These companies include not only the traditional broadcasters extending their business model into internet distributed film and tv but also a much more generic usage of video in internal and external daily communication by a plethora of different companies and organizations in all sectors, all around the world.


This gives rise to new, more complex workflows requiring a so-called “Media Asset Management System”.


When to consider a MAM System?

The concept of media asset management has become essential in this new environment where new workflows have appeared with new requirements. In the end, the value of your media files is closely related to what we know about the files — the data about the data, commonly known as “metadata”. The more you know about the files, the more valuable they are. This is where media asset management comes into play.


When the number of files is starting to grow, and the number and complexity of your workflows are increasing, you will quickly come to notice what a difficult task it is. It will become evident you will need a system that can efficiently and automatically guide you through the thousands of files and take actions based on the metadata of these files. For example:

  • Find a set of files based on metadata criteria’s
  • Updating a set of files based on metadata
  • Assemble and deliver files based on metadata

The media asset management system architecture is the result of these new workflow requirements. A media asset management software knows all about your files, including asset name, location, codecs, formats, frame rates — every little bit of important information about your media assets. But it doesn’t stop there, certain media asset management software can even give you information on the actual visual and audible content inside the video, for example recognizing faces, speech for subtitles, and much, much more.


If you recognize everything said here, then you need to consider investing in a media asset management system… Today!


The difference between DAM, MAM, and VAM

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to choose the right media asset management software system. We need to shed some light on a topic that always seems to resurface itself when talking about asset management solutions: the difference between DAM, MAM, and VAM.


In the end, the world of media production is rifled with jargon and acronyms. And when it comes to the solutions for managing digital assets and media, you have plenty of acronyms to choose from. At first glance, it might look obvious how they differ from one another. But as new solutions with discrete functionalities have emerged on the market over the years, the lines between them have become increasingly blurred.


It doesn’t really help the matter that there is virtually no consistency in how they are applied in the industry. But to try and shed some light on this discussion, we’ll give a quick summary of the three most commonly used solutions (including MAM) to hopefully help you understand what you might need.

DAM

DAM (Digital Asset Management) is the solution you need for managing brand and image assets. DAM is mainly focused on managing already finished digital assets. It includes functionalities such as uploading, searching, and transforming digital assets for several different formats. At times, DAM is used as an umbrella term that other more specialized asset management solutions sit under.

MAM

MAM (Media Asset Management) was previously focused on the archiving and storing of video assets. But, being pioneered by the broadcast media, it has expanded considerably to serve other functions such as the distribution of media. With the increase of business producing multimedia content, media asset management software has grown to accommodate a much wider array of needs and requirements.


VAM

VAM (Video Asset Management), or as it’s often referred to — VDAM (Video Digital Asset Management), is a subset of MAM. A VAM system includes advanced functions beyond the basic store and search functions to handle both pre- and post-production media assets. It often includes functionality such as editing, collaboration, sharing, and version tracking. VAM usually integrates within a larger MAM or DAM system and enables direct uploading to distribution channels such as YouTube.

Step-By-Step Guide to Find the Perfect Mam System for Your Organization

To help you find the ideal solution for your needs, we’ve created this quick step-by-step guide on what you need to do.


Step #1: Assess your MAM business needs

Before you start weighing your options, it’s essential to understand your MAM business needs. Why do you need the MAM system? Take a complete inventory of what capabilities and functionalities you need to make day-to-day operations more efficient.


Here’s a few examples of questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you dealing primarily in video
  • Are most of your assets fairly small and manageable?
  • Do you need post-production capabilities?
  • Do you want to have the option of bringing freelancers on board?

Step #2: Make sure you are prepared for video

Video is king and will grow even more significant in the future. Video content is fun; it’s eye-catching and easy to consume. It’s no wonder that it’s estimated that video will make up 82% of all online traffic by 2022.


When investing in a media asset management platform, it’s prudent to consider both the now and the future. With that in mind, invest in something that’s video-ready.


Step #3: Consider the functionality of the system


  • Can it be easily integrated with existing processes?
  • How robust is the security?
  • Does the system allow for metadata enhancements and efficient workflows?
  • Is it cloud-enabled?

Find a solution that offers the functionalities you need to make the most out of your digital media assets that are entirely scalable and that allows you to streamline your day-to-day operations.


Step #4: Choose a media partner

Based on your research, choose the media partner that provides the ideal MAM solution for your needs, budget, and situation. Take your time, consider and compare your options, bring in a second, third, and fourth opinion to make sure it’s the right choice for your organization.


Step #5: Updating processes and workflows to match your new MAM

While technology is great, it’s never the solution in and of itself. A properly implemented MAM system will streamline your processes, saving both time and resources, freeing up creative talent. But to achieve this, everything needs to be aligned. The MAM system, your workflows and processes, the people using the system.


Align the different elements with each other. Track and observe the performance of the system and your workflows to identify bottlenecks and/or possibilities for improvement. Then optimize, optimize, and optimize some more to make sure you’re utilizing your media asset management software to its best of its potential.


The pitfall to avoid when choosing a MAM system

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is forgetting to account for the human element. Media asset management software has a learning curve, it’s essential to understand how this will affect employee productivity, and to account for it in your daily operations.


By not involving the people, who will be the ones to actually use the system, when choosing media asset management software is a mistake you need to avoid, or it might cost you dearly. Because in the end, in today’s industry, there are so many types of services and media that there isn’t just one correct answer when it comes to finding the ideal MAM system for your company.

Written by

Karsten Schragmann
Karsten Schragmann
Expert for Media Asset Management