First of all, most tools for storing and managing video, print, audio and online assets are outdated and ill-suited to today’s complex requirements. Lightweight document management solutions are frequently repurposed to store heavy and high-volume media assets, pushing performance of these systems to the limit. Other asset curators find themselves splitting assets into folders based on file size, quality, media type and other unnecessary categories -- resulting in unmanageable media silos that require a lot of manual administration and connecting charts.
Adding to the problem is the complexity of producing accurate video formats according to spec across TV broadcast and online video channels. Manually producing as many as 30-40 different file variants is common, which means managing and paying for multiple vendors.
There’s also a lot of data to manage. From ingest to media processing and distribution, keeping up to date with multiple publishers, analytics providers, verification and ad-networks requires aggregated data and the flexibility to adapt to new screens emerging all the time.
Oh yes, and then there’s integration -- with multiple suppliers, media buyers, trackers, reporters and other third-party vendors.
Saved By the Cloud?
In many areas of information storage and management, the cloud has been a lifesaver. But in the media world, there are risks. Spending a day uploading multiple GBs of content just to see it fail transcode isn't an option when you have stringent SLAs to meet.
So what does work? Here are a few tips for designing (or procuring) an asset management system that will service many customer workflows, optimize production and efficiency, and handle many media types, screens and formats.
- Centralize. Be sure you can access all the media content in one place, where it is easy to navigate, search and filter.
- Automate. Complete ingest automation is a must -- including file detection, automated QC and file conformance.
- Track. A strong audit trail and element relationship tracking capabilities are key, with visibility to assets according to defined permissions
- Repeat. Workflow management and re-use of tested processes should be built in.
- Scale. Look for flexibility in media file creation and multiple, scalable transcoding engines.
- Collaborate. Be sure there are collaboration features to clarify assignments, actions, data collection and alerts
- Distribute. Be sure you establish multi-path content delivery capabilities for both digital and physical distribution.
We operate in a multimedia, multi-platform world where reaching consumers requires shifting constantly between multiple devices and media worlds. Asset management strategies must be up to the task today and flexible enough for inevitable change to come.
Title image courtesy of kentoh (Shutterstock)
Editor's Note: Interested in another perspective of DAM in the Cloud? Read David Diamond's Cloud DAM vs On-site: There is No Real Contest