DAM News Round-Up – 14th February 2022


Digital Asset Management News

Contain your excitement everyone, it’s time for yet another trawl through the boundless and unbridled joy that is our weekly round-up of DAM industry news.  What fascinating pearls of wisdom and insight are on offer from our community this week?  A good question you may well ask, read on and all will be revealed.

Atomic content and personalization: Two lessons publishers NEED to learn from Netflix in 2022

This item is from Dutch vendor, WoodWing.  It opens with some exclusive advice: “Psst! The secret to growth is going atomic”.  Those of you who had thought (or perhaps hoped?) that this item might have been about some kind of secret nuclear-powered device that only WoodWing offered and which would be an untapped source of untold wealth and vast riches may be a bit disappointed, however.  The article is actually about atomised content, i.e. dividing stuff into pieces (or ‘digital assets’ as some people also refer to them) so you can re-arrange them for personalisation purposes etc.  The Netflix case-study is interesting enough and ‘atomic content’, ‘modular content’ etc. seems to have come around once again as an in-vogue topic in DAM (although like most things in DAM these days, it’s all been said and done before).  Ed Breault’s DAM is the Keystone to Modular Content, is worth checking out for another take on the same idea.

What is Web 3.0?

Next up is Bynder’s discussion of the Web 3.0 concept.  This could potentially have been one of the more interesting articles this week, but I get the sense that the author, Steve Ecott, spent a fair bit of time wondering himself what it actually meant, especially in-relation to the (distinctly Web 2.0) Content Digital Asset Management software market which Bynder currently inhabit.  There are some discussions about AI, super-charged personalisation, distaste for big tech (which might be a problem for Bynder’s main investors since they have significant financial stakes in some elements of it) and also blockchain,  but the latter needs far more attention than it receives in this piece.  The topic is an interesting one, however, the article does not do it justice as it relates to DAM.  In particular the way that blockchain-based digital assets such as NFTs are starting to use concepts that are cornerstone to DAM (e.g. metadata) and the intersection with synthetic content all may have quite a profound impact on DAM in the future, but virtually no one is saying anything about it, with the possible exception of Paul Melcher (and he periodically comments on DAM rather than actually being fully involved in it, per se).  I wrote about this over five years ago here and also here.  That was well before the idea of Web 3.0 was fully conceived and when the closest thing to NFTs were an early precursor known as Colored Coins.  I felt Bynder’s article was a missed opportunity and I get the sense that the subject was possibly chosen because (in common with lots of other DAM vendors) they have run out of anything new to talk about and this happens to be a popular current theme which they hope to be able to hang a content marketing hat upon.  I await a more engaging follow-up from them with great anticipation.

Evolution of Digital Asset Management: Connecting Teams

Moving on, we have Wedia’s article on connecting different groups of enterprise DAM users together.  The article is essentially a discussion of the various teams who use DAM systems and what they do with them.  The piece is workmanlike and covers the main concepts etc.  But perhaps regular readers are noting a theme emerging here: it’s all the same stuff again.  Is it really news to most that DAM systems will get utilised by marketing managers, creative people, brand managers and e-commerce interests?  I rarely come into contact with any DAM users that don’t understand this now (and nearly all have done so for quite some time).  In mitigation, the author,  Sara Jabbari, makes a good point at the end:

By natively combining upstream and downstream workflows, enterprise DAM platforms have become an indispensable solution used by global and local marketing teams, creatives, brand managers, digital teams and many more. What once was regarded as a standalone media library to store assets is now a fully integrated platform to scale operations across your organization, from simplifying the production process and homogenizing your brand marketing, to building powerful and impactful customer experiences online and offline. A DAM is often said to be at the core of a company’s MarTech stack, but it’s not just aggregating the tools and applications of your organization, but really the people in charge of using them. ” [Read More]

Ideally, the article should have started with this and then expanded to consider how to effect the integration of these workflows rather than just a description of the groups of individuals involved in them.

How Do DAM Platforms Use Cloud Storage?

Next up for discussion is Aetopia’s article about the different types of cloud storage.  This is a more straightforward technical educational piece about how digital asset essence data (i.e. the binary file you download) gets stored across the different stages of the digital asset lifecycle from upload and transcoding through to archival.  The article is reasonable and explains the basics quite well.  I would suggest that the main issue with this kind of material is that non-technical audiences won’t bother reading it and more technically literate ones will already know these core concepts anyway (and may also pass over it, as a result).  But if you want to understand this subject in more detail then it is a good place to start.  Apart from the very end, they keep the sales pitches to a minimum.

How to Make the Business Case for Digital Asset Management

I would like to say I had saved the best until last, but I am afraid I cannot in respect of this article by Neil Monahan from Brandworkz.  This is (yet another) article about business cases for DAM and it uses the usual x multiplied by y formula to arrive at a nonsense made-up number for how much DAM systems will allegedly save you.  For some minor variation, this time the made-up fantasy DAM ROI figures are in GBP rather than USD, but that is the extent of the interest here.  I’ve been writing about the multiple issues with these sort of items since 2013 in this publication and elsewhere.   For anyone who plans to use this tactic to get senior management buy-in for a DAM initiative, be aware that your typical CFO/FD will be very well versed in taking apart these arguments line-by-line and if your ROI case really depends on them, it will fail spectacularly.  I think I have noted before that CEO of Brandworkz, Jens Lundgaard has written some good articles about DAM in the past.  I get the sense there is possible fatigue about this subject from this particular quarter and perhaps I am not the only one?

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