Guest post by Rich Zuris at Art & Logic
In the digital age, one of the biggest challenges facing companies in the entertainment and advertising industries is the organization and management of audio, video, and photo assets.
With ever more of these multimedia assets being generated every day, the problem is only growing more complicated. A single photo shoot might generate thousands of images, and a given organization may need to organize and utilize millions of assets in a year. And therein lies the problem – it’s not just a matter of filing. In the lifecycle of a given asset, it may need to be approved by the models, transmitted to the legal department, and organized accordingly.
Fortunately, there is a software solution for this precise dilemma: Digital Asset Management software, or a DAM system.
How a DAM System Works
With a DAM system, organizations can simply find a particular asset and carry it easily through its natural workflow. Because it is designed for such a specific job, the tool’s key benefits are closely associated with each of the steps a company might need to go through with its multimedia assets. Let’s take a look at each step:
Finding the Right Assets
Not only might you need to organize millions of multimedia assets, if you’re in entertainment or advertising, but you’ll also need to make those assets easily accessible to a variety of different parties with different roles and needs. Editors, talent, legal officers, and more will need to be able to find the right content, without having to fuss with assets that aren’t relevant to them.
Digital Asset Management software allows them to do just that. It allows organizations to archive and retrieve material based on the date and time when it was produced, the subject matter, or relevant departments within the company. Using powerful search functionality, the DAM system helps any user find the precise assets they need quickly and intuitively, and makes navigating multimedia assets a logical process.
Keeping Assets Secure
As discussed above, Digital Asset Management software users might have any number of roles within an organization: they could be photographers, producers, talent, lawyers, and administrators, among other roles. Not all of these roles should be able to access the same content, especially when much of the content is sensitive.
With a DAM system, that’s no problem. The software is able to restrict content based on a user or role’s need to access or manipulate it. In many cases, for example, photographers might be the only people who need the ability to upload material, while editors might be the only ones who need to be able to edit those photos’ metadata. Restricting features to the appropriate roles helps to secure the system as a whole, limiting the exposure of content and helping to maintain the quality and stability of your content base.
Moving assets through the content lifecycle.
At each stage of a multimedia asset’s “life,” the needs surrounding the content will differ. From creation and upload to editing to talent review to legal approval, the Digital Asset Management software is designed to make the necessary tasks as easy and efficient as possible.
Ideally, a DAM system should give an organization the core toolkit they need to organize and manage all of their multimedia assets from conception to publication, cutting down on the need to purchase, learn, and integrate other software tools.
Securing approvals from all relevant parties.
One of the most complex elements of the multimedia lifecycle is approval. Decisions about which materials from a photo shoot will be used are often a collaborative process between editors, models, and lawyers. These decisions (and sometimes negotiations) can be complex, so they need to be supported by a robust software platform.
In celebrity photography, you may have to juggle agreements stating that talent must sign off on a photo before it is used – and that talent may only reject a certain percentage of assets from the shoot. To support these requirements, a Digital Asset Management software solution can be used to automatically notify talent of material for review with plainly stated deadlines. The DAM system can then indicate whether models have reached predetermined rejection or approval thresholds, and facilitate those approvals and rejections.
Throughout this process, the talent will only have been shown the assets that are relevant to their shoot and to the choices at hand, making the experience straightforward and efficient.
Applying Metadata for Later Use
When it comes to organizing multimedia assets, metadata is essential – these are the “labels” or “tags” that associate the content with crucial and descriptive information. That data might range from the date it was taken to the talent featured to key legal notes such as restrictions on the ways the material can be used.
DAM systems make it easy to add and edit metadata to content, individually or in bulk. That way, assets are always associated with any important information – and they’re easier to find, since you can search according to details in the metadata.
Today, Digital Asset Management software is a necessary and foundational tool for a wide range of organizations in entertainment, advertising, and more. At every step of their multimedia workflows, organizations can use a DAM system to be more efficient, more organized, and more successful.
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