If you have asked yourself what the difference between a DAM vs. MAM system is, you are certainly not alone.
The idea for digital asset management and media asset management software came to be from the idea to utilize software systems to manage all stored digital assets such as images, texts, licensing data and other sales and marketing-related material. The very definitions of “manage” here are to store these assets, keep track of versions, make searching easy, enable collaboration, update web pages, ensure brand integrity, and similar.
This type of software is what is referred to as a Digital Asset Management system (DAM). Today, DAM has become the centerpiece in many marketing and sales-related environments of the media supply chain.
However, with the introduction of rich media assets in media supply chains such as digitized video- and audio files, a similar system was required on the production side of the media supply chain - media asset management software. The media files in a production environment need to be ingested and stored, relationship between media versions needs to be maintained, and logging and storing media files and metadata is required to enable fast search of scenes and clips in the editing environment. Transcoding media and metadata transformation, final delivery and packaging of master files are other examples of this type of media management enabled by media asset management software.
MAM systems also generally have some very specific functionalities and feature sets that are not expected from a DAM system. One such key functionality is being able to work and manage placeholders for assets that have not arrived yet or are “offline“. Another unique MAM system feature is the support for incoming growing media files. A MAM system of course also needs to be prepared to integrate with existing scheduling in broadcast environments
The difference between a DAM vs. MAM system is found in the actual appliance, the functionalities required, and what part of the media supply chain we need to manage.
A MAM or a DAM: What is best for you?
Now that you’re familiar with the difference between a DAM vs. MAM system, you need to ask yourself: “What types of workflows and business processes do I need to improve?”. If your business process is post-production, you need to make sure that the solution you choose has the media asset management tools required for a post-production environment. If your “must-have” list looks something like below then you need a MAM system:
- Manual and automatic logging of media
- Cloud editing of proxy files
- Transcoding and preparation of media for editing and delivery
- Collaborative editing
- Review and approval of master versions
But if your asset management requirements expand into the sales and marketing environments, a DAM system is most likely what you are looking for. Your “ must-have “ list might look like something like this.
- Media publishing and delivery
- Web Content Management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Financial and business admin (ERP)
- Program planning and scheduling
- Project management and cross-team collaboration
At the end of the day, it is all about optimizing your business processes and your media supply chain with the most efficient and applicable tools.
Many modern DAM systems are also evolving by adding tools normally only found in traditional MAM systems. And MAM systems are adding DAM features in the same way. No matter what solution you need, it is important that your system of choice can be integrated with either a DAM or a MAM system if necessary. The solutions provided by Vidispine offer essential media management components such as VidiCore, Vidicoder and Vidistream to design your own unique solution – and applications ready to integrate such as VidiEditor, MediaPortal and VidiFlow.
Further reading: How Vidispine provides content owners with a fully managed media supply chain backbone