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ProMAX SystemsNov 2, 2021 7:10:45 PM5 min read

MAM and DAM: What Are Their Differences?

Three of the main problems commonly faced by organizations, including both those in the media and those attempting to make an impression via marketing, include:

  • How to consolidate a huge number of assets into a single place, giving everyone access to all content at all times.
  • How to cut down on the amount of time it takes to get that collateral out to the target audience.
  • How to embrace collaboration as an inherent part of the creative process, even in situations where people may be working remotely.

Digital media management software comes in two core varieties: Media Asset Management (MAM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems. The decision of which one to go with will ultimately come down to the nature of the project, and the long-term goals of the business in question moving forward.

Understanding MAM and DAM

Short for media asset management, a MAM system is one built to let editors store audio and visual content in a centralized location - at which point it can then be accessed by other systems like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.

A digital asset management (DAM) system, on the other hand, operates similarly but focuses on brand-related content within a company. These types of digital media assets can include but are certainly not limited to marketing collateral, product photos, and more.

Their Differences

While Media Asset Management (MAM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are similar in concept, they differ in a few important ways in terms of their overall goal. A DAM is more about strengthening brand integrity, especially as it relates to marketing collateral. Having said that, both systems do integrate with rich media production tools like non-linear video editors.

A DAM is more suited for project management and cross-team collaboration, though they both serve the full product lifecycle - albeit the "product" in both cases is usually different.

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What Is Best For You?

One of the major strengths of MAM systems comes by way of the fact that they offer both the manual and automatic logging of media. This is ideal because manual logging still allows you to maintain whatever custom workflows you've developed, but enabling automation also saves a tremendous amount of time in a way that still guarantees that the people who need access to certain files to do their jobs always have them.

MAM systems also allow for cloud editing of proxy files - something that has been proven particularly important given everything going on in the world right now with the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By design, the system allows people to be just as productive while working remotely as they can be in the office, preventing disruptions and making sure that projects can be contributed to anywhere at any time.

MAM systems also allow for the transcoding and preparation of media for both editing and delivery. Essentially, this allows for better support for the full content lifecycle, allowing important tasks to be completed without someone having to use multiple disparate systems to do so.

But truly, one of the biggest advantages that a MAM system brings with it has to do with the collaborative editing that it enables. Because everything is accessible by the cloud, multiple people can meaningfully contribute to the same project even if they're not in the same room at the same time. This too helps to speed up the final delivery of important content, all in a fluid way that supports the creative process as well.

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MAM systems also allow for the review and approval of master versions of clips - something that will decrease the amount of time that it takes to get that content out into the world significantly.

Finally, MAM systems also include built-in support for subtitling - something that allows content to be enjoyed by a wider audience of people, even if they don't necessarily speak the same language that it was created in or if they're dealing with hearing difficulties or certain other disabilities.

With regards to DAM systems, one of their major strengths comes by way of media publishing and delivery. Essentially, a DAM acts as a "one-stop-shop" for all creative assets, making them easy to find and even easier to work with. To that end, it can be an invaluable web content management tool for any organization. Content can easily be searched for and shared among not only different departments within a business but also externally as well.

Because of integrated customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality, a DAM system can also prove to be invaluable in terms of larger business management as well. Again, it's all about creating a single source of truth for an organization - a resource that anyone can use to access crucial data in just a few quick clicks. It's designed to make sure that the people who need certain pieces of content to do their jobs always have it, thus increasing productivity as well.

DAM systems also excel in terms of program planning and scheduling - helping to create a level of consistency when it comes to content distribution. Especially when talking about content that is destined for social media and related channels, consistency, and continuity of publishing is always of paramount importance. Not only do DAM systems include these program planning and scheduling features, but they're again available to all key stakeholders - virtually guaranteeing that everyone is always on the same page and moving in the same direction.

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Finally, DAM systems are excellent tools for both project management and cross-team collaboration because they bridge the gap between not just users, but departments as well. Everyone can contribute to the finished product from the same system, all in a way that creates superior visibility into the process.

In the End

Overall, both MAM and DAM systems do share a lot of similarities - especially in how they help businesses solve a lot of the problems they're currently facing. They both allow for better oversight into the content creation production chain and they both allow for collaboration and remote work as well. Organizations that are primarily focused on audio/video production are those who would likely benefit the most from a MAM, while those who want to get a handle on brand asset management and library asset management would certainly do well with everything that a DAM has to offer.

To find out more information about the major differences between media asset management and digital asset management systems, or to get answers to any other important questions about digital media asset management software that you may have, please don't hesitate to contact ProMAX today.