Richard Buchanan, vice president of Comcast, kicked off the Henry Stewart DAM Conference (DAMNY) with a keynote speech about the changing environment of video on demand -- one of Comcast's prime area of focus.

Comcast, with its many broadcasts channels (and, more recently, NBC Universal) has a significant amount of experience with producing and proliferating digital content. Buchanan provided a number of insights regarding the management and monetization of online media. Comcast has had to learn how to make money off of its content in an age profligate, unauthorized copying. Buchanan stressed the importance of highlighting the value of the content that you provide to your audience.

The Unknown Future of DAM

Today's challenges, according to Buchanan, are increasingly complex. "The oracles do not always reveal themselves," Buchanan began, referring to the fact that try though pundits may, no one knows in which direction VOD will go. The best that companies can do, he stressed, is to position themselves for as many conceivable directions as possible.

Collaboration and Open-source Technologies

Buchanan highlighted that collaboration must extend beyond companies' own selfish gains. "Punishing can affect the punisher." Proprietary information doesn't always lead to a strategic advantage, Buchanan added. Buchanan believes that, whenever possible, companies should use open source technologies -- particularly if they provide flexibility and agility.

Diversify DAM Sources

Another critical aspect of GAN, Buchanan said in his keynote, is that any DAM solution should be diverse. A DAM solution should manage all formats: HD, SD, 3D, as well as mobile devices.

To achieve this end, Comcast has been experimenting with personalized media assets. Not only can journalists take video from their iPhones and other portable media devices to record breaking news, but so too can citizens. 

Any companies' DAM solution should make it easy to find, view and recommend content. "One half of adults and 80% of teams will be using social media by the end of the year."

Finally, any companies' DAM solution should be fast and affordable. The ideal DAM, solution, according to Buchanan, would be adaptable, expandable and achieve hard and soft ROI goals. 

Soft ROI?

Buchanan explained what he meant by soft ROI goals by pointing out that it is not uncommon for some assets to be free in one channel and for sale in another channel. It is important, Buchanan said, to understand your audience to determine what should be free and what should be paid.

Buchanan closed by urging the audience to become Chief Supply Officers "We're all seeking the same solutions," Buchanan said.