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Empowering Warner Bros. with Digital Asset Security

How has 5th Kind enabled Warner Bros market growth and asset control over the past twelve years? Find out in this digital asset management case study.
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September 24, 2022
Empowering Warner Bros. with Digital Asset Security

For over ten years, 5th Kind has been Warner Bros.’ behind the scenes partner in Digital Asset Management. The partnership started as a solution to sharing and securing Warner Bros.’ digital assets. During the pandemic, 5th Kind empowered WB to confidently share assets live while remote. With the help of 5th Kind, Warner Bros has been able to watermark their intellectual property, securely share assets during the pandemic, and reach new global markets.

“The partnership that we have with 5th Kind is unlike any other that I’ve experienced. This is an unusual situation to have a tech company be so responsive to what we need, and so personalized and then available. That’s just irreplaceable.” - Spencer Douglas, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing at Warner Bros

Problem: Securing Sensitive Digital Assets in an Increasingly Virtual World

Until 2012, Warner Bros. had developed its own asset management system. Within this system, internal teams, filmmakers, and external vendors frequently worked with their own legacy applications. Each of these had their own levels of security, flexibility, and range of features. However, none delivered the complete, encompassing feature set that a multi-billion dollar, industry-leading studio required.

This approach created major challenges for live collaboration internally, ranging from security, permissions management, and distribution. And with the ever-increasing risk of piracy and asset leaks, security was a massive concern when coordinating with vendors and brand partners.

Then in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought about additional challenges. For the first time in its history, the entertainment industry was forced to move almost entirely virtual. Warner Bros. had relied upon in person meetings for the presentation of assets, but during the height of the pandemic, this was no longer tenable.

Solution: Efficiency in Content Distribution & Reviews

“5th Kind brought very personal touches in the beginning, and that meant a lot to us. And I think a big reason that we signed on, but also stayed on, was because it didn't feel cold and corporate. It felt personal and personable and warm. It made a big difference.”

In the early 2010s, in an effort to secure their massive amounts of assets, Warner Bros. holistically evaluated their approach to digital asset management. They evaluated internal solutions to preserve creative freedoms, as well as industry vendors. That's when they began looking into Digital Asset Management systems (DAMs) that were already trusted and battle-tested within the entertainment industry.

5th Kind's unique position as an industry leader with a focus on personalized solutions and customer success allowed 5th Kind to deliver a proven yet customizable Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution. It addressed the full scale of Warner Bros. challenges at the beginning of the decade by meeting their real-time media review needs with their current tools and augmenting their capabilities.

By unifying asset management into a single platform with a creative friendly interface, WB simplified their internal pipeline and secured their digital assets for internal and external distribution.

Once 5th Kind’s security measures were in place, WB started to allow digital assets to be presented and downloaded with custom watermarks. While some of the tools used by WB prior to 5th Kind offered watermarking, none allowed for customization. 5th Kind’s unique watermarking technology enabled WB to implement visual watermarks that included:

  • Specific opacity, position, angle, color, repetition
  • Identifying information such as name and company.
  • A unique style with a dual outline
  • The option to adapt changes for future watermarking needs

These watermarking solutions proved vital during the pandemic as well. With nearly all staff and vendors working remotely for an extended time, this security was critical to avoid delays while mitigating the risk of leaks. During COVID-19, Warner Bros. was not only able to continue those remote presentations through 5th Kind itself, but also felt confident that the viewers were receiving the assets in a secure way.

5th Kind’s CORE platform helped facilitate asset sharing to take place at any time, whether in remote meetings or asynchronously.

“Knowing that we had this history with 5th Kind, the ability to track down anything, and the flexibility to discuss what we needed in the moment gave us the confidence to move forward.”

Results: Complete Confidence in Digital Asset Management

In a word, 5th Kind brought confidence to WB. For a company whose assets are their lifeblood, the ability to collaborate on those assets – while mitigating security risks – is crucial.

With this confidence in their security, for the first time, Warner Bros. started to expand which teams and territories were able to present materials. This speaks to the trust in knowing that their sensitive assets will be handled appropriately within 5th Kind. Whether there’s a presentation in a different country or right in California, Warner Bros. can trust that their assets are protected, tracked, and reported on. There’s a sense of safety knowing that their reference materials are being distributed with watermarks and tracked throughout the world.

Other than security, 5th Kind quickly established confidence as a dedicated partner – and not just another vendor. WB had full confidence that when they needed a personalized solution to new problems that emerged over the past decade, 5th Kind was open and eager to meet those needs.

“There's always been a collaboration spirit, in terms of meeting our needs. And that's been really helpful, and part of the reason that we've stayed working [with 5th Kind] all throughout the years.”

Finally, 5th Kind instilled the confidence to reach new markets, due to strengthened’ digital asset workflows. For example, WB could virtually present assets to a greater number of licensees, retailers, product developers, promotional partners, digital partners, and creative vendors.

Number of Files Managed and Files Distributed Per Year

Interested in seeing how 5th Kind can instill confidence in your digital asset management? Schedule a demo today!

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