What Are The Implications of Synthetic Content For DAM?


Mark Milstein, who we recently interviewed for DAM News has contributed a feature article with the title, Will Synthetic Stock Content Save DAM?  The piece follows on the themes briefly discussed in his interview and Mark explains some of the core concepts of synthetic media and why it is relevant to DAM:

Integration with synthetic media producers will be both an accelerator and a disruptive force that will see many familiar sources of content disappear and new ones take their place.  First movers in the DAM space are predicted within the next 18 months to partner with licensed synthetic media producers to create white label offerings, and as a result instantly become content creation points themselves.  End users will find themselves overseeing volumes of wholly unique synthetic content with vast brand value and a greater need for the kind of high tech management that only DAMs can provide.  The DAM as the creation point, host and management hub for licensed synthetic content.”  [Read More]

My perception is that the potential impact of synthetic content is currently being underestimated by DAM vendors and the wider community alike.  In particular, it is the transformation of metadata from an after the fact descriptive role, i.e. to give context to an item of media so prospective users can decide if it might be useful to them, into being a precursor or specification of the content digital assets themselves.

Modern Content DAMs now sit at the centre of Digital Asset Supply Chains and receive materials from a multiplicity of upstream sources before overseeing the distribution of them through various downstream digital and non-digital channels.  Synthetic content potentially integrates large sections of the upstream side of the equation, i.e what happens before material gets to the DAM.  Rather then just receiving images, video etc. the DAM is the conduit by which they are originated – so the metadata effectively becomes the DNA of the digital asset and the means by which it is created.

As I write, few in the DAM market seem to have grasped the wider-ranging implications this has and the considerable influence that ownership of the DAM might therefore have.  The current ROI case for DAM systems is based on productivity savings, principally around the role of search, i.e. making it easier to avoid losing your stuff.  If the DAM mediates requests for synthetic content, it becomes somewhere you not just store and distribute it, but also to generate media as well.  Whoever controls the interface to the origination of synthetic content exerts considerable influence and power over what happens to it subsequently.  If it is not the DAM (or your DAM, to be more precise) might some other technology and associated interest group acquire this role instead?

The big question is, how many people in DAM really understand the full extent how synthetic content might transform Digital Asset Management?  For organisations where DAM is an integral element of an overall operational strategy, Mark’s article should be of considerable interest.

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