Peter BC
Media Workflow - stage

Media Workflow Management

Peter BC
What is a Media Asset Management Workflow?
Building blocks of the digital media workflow
Case Study
MAM vs DAM workflow
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Media Asset Management Workflow

In this article, we will take a closer look at a shared media workflow regarding content acquisition, editing, and distribution, and describe the differences between media asset management and the digital asset management workflow. What are the primary production points and how can the Vidispine workflow orchestration solution VidiFlow manage and automate your media workflows more efficiently?

We’ll cover five production and distribution points in your media asset management workflow where media needs to be managed. But first, some terminology you will encounter in this article:

  • MAM – Media Asset Management. A system that manages your media and makes your media available to you.
  • Video CMS – very overlapping functionality to a MAM system, but more specialized on the actual distribution side.
  • Transcoding – a process where one digital format is converted into another digital format – to save space or meet a target format requirement
  • NLE – Non-Linear Editor. Editing software such as AVID, FCP X, Adobe Premiere
  • Metadata – “data about data”, yes, this is what it is. And by managing this information efficiently, you can make use of your current media much better.
  • OTT – Over The Top. Internet-based TV where content is delivered using standard IP packets rather than content-specific distribution methods such as traditional cable or OTA (Over The Air) television.
  • Cognitive Services – services that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze or manipulate media replacing or otherwise enhancing human tasks in media workflows.

What Is a Media Asset Management Workflow?

A media asset management workflow is essentially a description of all involved processes from media creation, and media preparation to media distribution. Today, not only are the traditional broadcasters and content owners working on optimizing their media asset management workflows but any organization working with media to drive their business. We also see new areas of a business adapting very rapidly to the digital asset media workflow for video as an additional tool of communication.

No matter the area of business, you need to pay attention and plan your media asset management workflow. And Vidispine is here to help – no matter the size, capability, or scale that your digital media workflow requires.

What Are the Building Blocks of the Digital Media Workflow Management Platform?

Building Blocks of Digital Media Workflow | Vidispine

No matter the area of business, content in the form of media files and metadata will enter your digital asset management workflow – followed by some kind of process – to be processed and delivered. Here are the essential building blocks of a digital media workflow management platform:

  • Media files and metadata can arrive into your digital asset management workflow in many different ways and shapes depending on your area of business. Media files from on-set in a post-production workflow, broadcast masters, media to be prepared for internet distribution internally or externally are just some examples of many digital media workflows today. 

    At the content acquisition stage, Media Asset Management (MAM) is responsible for copying and indexing media into the target storage location for processing. 

    The VidiCore Server Agent (VSA) is an agent locally installed for ingesting media and associated meta-data into the Vidispine media workflow using a VidiCore media management backend. The Agent consists of two media services, a Transcoder and a Storage Handler, enabling you to manage and transcode local files, as well as transfer files to and from your cloud storage. In this process, you can opt to transcode your media locally before uploading or upload the original media file as-is. Associated meta-data will be ingested according to a pre-defined ingest job defined into the VidiCore database.
    Media may enter the media workflow through other gateways, such as users adding media directly into projects in a Non-Linear Editor (NLE) such as Adobe Premiere Pro.

  • Media files and metadata almost always need some processing into a house format (a non-standard format used in your internal systems) to be available and accessible in your digital media workflow. Master files might be too big for browsing and therefore need to be transcoded into smaller and more light-weighted proxy files, while maintaining the necessary metadata for later conform. Or external metadata needs to be associated with your media files – it all depends on your area of business.

    It is not uncommon that metadata needs to conform into a house format for metadata in the same way as media files.

    In VidiNet, the Vidispine cloud-based media services platform, you will access high-performance and scalable media processing services such as the VidiCoder and AWS Elemental Media Convert for transcoding media into your digital media workflow while maintaining the necessary metadata relation in the Vidispine database.

  • While human QC operators are skilled in finding many kinds of visible and audible defects during playback inspection, this approach does not scale well with large numbers of files and formats. They will only have enough time to “spot check” each file, viewing a few minutes at the start, middle, and end of the video. Human inspection is also inherently subjective.

    Assisted QC in the media asset management workflow mitigates many of these problems. VidiNet enables the addition of automated, AI-enabled QC processes to enhance - not replace - the work of the QC operator, providing comprehensive quality and compliance checks. Media can be checked as it is created and updated throughout the workflow, at ingest, during and after post-production, as well as after preparing the final delivery package.

    Automated QC can decode and check each frame of a video much faster than the normal playback speed. It can continuously run for 24 hours per day, thus allowing larger volumes of media to undergo quality assurance checks. Non-visible, such as metadata errors, are also easily detected. 

    The result is that the QC operator can spend more of his/her time fixing the errors rather than trying to find them.

  • Editing in the Media Workflow | Vidispine

    NLE – Non-Linear Editor (Avid MediaComposer, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro)

    Editing video and audio is the creative center point in the digital media workflow. Some asset management workflow, especially in feature film products require low res resolution versions of the original media – for later confirming the same edits to the original clips based on metadata. A Media Asset Management system can store and update editing projects based on the editor’s edits. 

    Typically, projects are edited in an NLE (Non-Linear Editor) such as Adobe Premiere Pro. In some cases, these fully-featured applications offer far more functionality and complexity than is required - for example when storyboarding a news report or creating a simple clip to publish quickly on social media. As such, simpler applications that require less user experience and focus more on “storytelling” than craft editing, such as VidiEditor, can be used.

    VidiEditor is a simple browser-based video production solution for anyone who needs to quickly and easily create short- to medium-form content. It can be integrated into enterprise environments, including broadcast workflows, or dynamically scale with cloud-based SaaS deployments on the VidiNet platform.

    Where there is a significant amount of editing and/or multiple editors working together on projects, Production Asset Management, such as EditMate, can complement Media Asset Management Workflow by enabling collaboration and simplifying editor tasks.

  • Quality control is an important process at many points of the media workflow. Not only to identify defects that can be seen or heard by the end viewer, but also to make sure it's up to internal standards and to uphold regulatory compliance of what can, and can’t, be published - for example, rules regarding flashing lights that may cause epilepsy attacks, loud sound levels that may damage hearing, or how much skin that is allowed to be shown in TV-shows in specific countries.

    Distribution of media can be either an internal requirement or a distribution workflow for targeting your customers and viewers. Either way, the media itself needs to be prepared for the best viewing experience. This process involves the preparation of both your media content and metadata data.

    The media files themselves need to be transcoded for distribution to standard target devices such as web browsers or smart devices such as Chromecast, Apple TV, and similar. This target group for distribution is commonly referred to as OTT (over the top) and will require the media to be transcoded into a ladder of different bitrate profiles to fit the currently available bandwidth and the device’s decode capability.

    Equally important is, of course, the metadata management in the distribution processes were descriptive (title, abstract, author), structural (technical metadata) and administrative metadata (rights and preservation metadata) are correctly updated and applied depending on distribution target.

    In VidiNet, you will find scalable and cloud-native transcoding and packaging services available such as VidiCoder, AWS Elemental MediaConvert, and Bitmovin to ensure the most robust media processing distribution capabilities for your digital media distribution workflow.

    A more traditional form of distribution to typical streaming providers, broadcasters, and cinema is, of course, also part of this distribution workflow.

    No matter the target, you will need the necessary information to automate this process as much as possible to maintain efficiency by avoiding the human factors as a single point of failure.

    The VidiCore service in VidiNet includes the necessary API building blocks to connect to your existing Video CMS.

    Our vision is to be the most innovative and widely used platform for managing media from digital to the audience.

  • While not depicted in the above visual, there is one last, often unseen, component of a digital media workflow management platform; the glue that holds all of the building blocks together - workflow orchestration. 

    It refers to configuring, managing, and coordinating different computer applications, services, and tasks with human tasks automatically - media workflow automation. Orchestration is different from automation. Where automation is about automating a single task to make a business more efficient and productive, orchestration works as a media workflow automation and automates the whole process, which may contain several different systems.

    For instance, workflow orchestration can automate the complete quality control process. Once a QC has been performed and an error has been identified, workflow orchestration evaluates the severity of the error and takes appropriate actions to fix it. The media is sent for correction to either an automated process or human operator, and at the same time notifies relevant people about all actions taken.

    VidiFlow from Vidispine is a new generation, interoperability and orchestration layer for media enterprises. It provides a stable, secure, scalable, and high-density “operating system” connecting the dots of the VidiCore object repository, VidiNet media services, and a broad range of 3rd party components. VidiFlow allows you to orchestrate all systems and processes using standardized BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) workflow modeling and execution. It’s highly customizable and supports a BYOS (Build Your Own System) approach through open and robust APIs and SDKs.

Case Study: Designing and integrating a cloud-based MAM system in only three weeks with Vidispine

Learn how LOGIC Media Solutions implemented a complete Vidispine media supply chain for German live-broadcast provider AKK in just three weeks thanks to the use of managed services and by reusing development components. 

What’s the Difference Between the Media Asset Management Workflow and the Digital Asset Management Workflow?

Since their inception, digital asset management (DAM) and media asset management (MAM) have often been referenced interchangeably. There is, after all, only a one-word difference between their names, which makes it easy to confuse the two. While their names are similar, and even their definitions to some extent, the functionality of DAM and MAM are tailored to different markets where there are some key differences between the media asset management workflow and the digital asset management workflow.

The difference between the DAM and MAM workflow is found in the solution's appliance, the functionalities your organization requires, and what part of the media supply chain you need to manage.

Media asset management workflow

MAM originally emerged as a video and audio management solution for the TV and movie industry. Media asset management includes production and distribution workflows focusing on building long-form (20+ minutes), time-based content. It is therefore the solution of choice for organizations working primarily with large-sized videos. 

The media asset management workflow includes:

  • 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
  • Subtitling

Digital asset management workflow

If your asset management requirements expand into sales and marketing environments, then a DAM system is most likely the optimal solution for you. A DAM system helps sales and marketing teams organize, collaborate on, and distribute visual media from one centralized library, providing a single source of truth for all important visual content. 

The digital asset management workflow includes:

  • Media publishing and delivery
  • Web Content Management
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Financial and business administration (ERP)
  • Program planning and scheduling
  • Project management and cross-team collaboration 

What’s the Difference between VAM, DAM & MAM?

It’s easy to get lost in the many acronyms being thrown around within the industry. You are more than likely familiar with at least one or two but might just have heard about the others. Understanding the difference between these asset management systems and picking the right one can make or break your content creation efforts:


  • DAM - Digital asset management
    DAM is great for managing brand and image assets. It’s mainly focused on managing already finished digital assets. The key functionalities of DAM solutions include uploading, searching, and transforming digital assets for several different formats. At times, DAM is used as an umbrella term that other more specialized asset management solutions sit under.
  • MAM - Media asset management
    MAM was traditionally focused on archiving and storage of video assets, but, being pioneered by the broadcast media, it was expanded to serve other functions, including the distribution of media. With the increase of businesses producing multimedia content, Media asset management tools have grown to accommodate a much wider array of needs.
  • VAM - Video asset management
    VAM, or as it’s often referred to - VDAM (Video Digital Asset Management), is a subset of MAM. A MAM system includes additional advanced functions beyond the basic store and search functions to handle both pre- and post-production. For example, editing, collaboration, sharing, and version tracking. VAM usually integrates within a larger MAM or DAM system and enables direct uploading to distribution channels (such as YouTube or Vimeo).


Asset management is the foundation of a media supply chain, just as the media supply chain is the foundation of a business. Take control over your asset management with the Vidispine solutions and learn how we can maximize your media potential. 

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Your Contacts for Media Workflow Management

John Proctor
Expert for Broadcast Solutions - North America
Peter BC
Peter Booth-Clibborn
Expert for Broadcast Solutions
Dirk Steinmeyer
Expert for Broadcast Solutions - Europe & MEA