DAM vs. MAM: Which Asset Management Solution Best Suits Your Organization?

In an ever-digitizing world, within which businesses create scores of content to inform, engage, and convert as many customers as possible, organization is key. As such, it comes as no wonder that spending on digital solutions to manage said assets and enable easy and timely retrieval, is on the rise. In fact, the global digital asset management (DAM) market size is expected to grow from USD 3.4 billion in 2020 to USD 6.0 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.0%. That being said, while DAM is the most commonly used type of asset management system among marketers and digital publishers, it is not the only solution available to savvy, future-forward organizations. MAM, or media asset management systems also serve as central repositories for digital assets such as audio, video, images, graphics, and other files, and though these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not one and the same. This post will highlight the similarities and differences between DAM and MAM solutions in order to help you understand which solution is the best fit for your organization’s digital asset needs and promote most efficient, successful, and secure content creation and publication.

What is a DAM?

According to TechTarget, a digital asset management system is one that “organizes, stores and retrieves rich media, and manages digital rights and permissions.” The digital assets organized and distributed through DAM systems tend to be brand-related and reused within an organization, such as logos, product images, and other marketing materials. Old content is archived, while relevant content is organized for easy access by multiple teams within the organization, from sales and production management, to communications, and even brand partners.

What is a MAM?

MAM systems are designed as more drilled down versions of DAM systems. While they also store digital files, they tend to provide more and deeper management of video content, especially those that are more long-form and time-based. As such, MAM systems tend to be used, first and foremost, by audiovisual production teams. Doing so enables authorized video editors to more easily access the video content, and utilize non-linear video editing tools, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve to optimize each video with speed and ease.

DAM and MAM compared: similarities, difference, and benefits

Both DAMs and MAMs store rich digital content generally used to market an organization’s offering. They also both make the task of identifying and retrieving desired digital assets easier for all of the organization’s team members, according to their personal access permissions. In a nutshell, both share a common goal: make content findable so it can be leveraged for the organization’s benefit. As such, DAM and MAM systems promote centralized, inter-departmental collaboration, as well as synergy with other users, while lowering associated storage costs in the process. But this is where the similarities end. DAM solutions provide a single source of truth for massive amounts of content, including audio and video. Its powerful search tools enable rapid and easy searching and finding of precise digital assets for easy distribution within or beyond an organization’s borders, including via social media. In doing so, DAM systems not only help reduce content creation and marketing costs, as losing and misplacing content is rendered a thing of the past, but they also help align brand messages across the organization’s various departments, and ensure only the most up-to-date versions of brand content is distributed to stakeholders and customers. Conversely, MAM systems are designed and developed for the sole purpose of creating and managing video content in a video production workflow. That means that these systems and all of their features are oriented towards creating and handling videos, from richer metadata (the most important distinction!) and integrations with external applications, to content updates during the video editing process, versioning requirements, and more. In short, the MAM system’s entire workflow orchestration is video-oriented.

Which is the better solution?

If you’re asking whether DAMs or MAMs provide the better solution, you’re going at it all wrong. Instead, you should be asking which solution is better for your organization’s specific needs. Organizations solely seeking management solutions for their video production processes could enjoy the hyper-focus of MAM systems, while organizations looking to manage their brand and marketing materials would most certainly benefit from a more holistic and all-inclusive DAM solution. Ready to master the DAM? Talk to us about MasterDAM, our solution that provides you with a central storage and management solution for all your digital assets!

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