What is Media Asset Management? Examples & a DAM’s Potential

What is media asset management? You might know it, but do you know the best tool to do it effectively? Learn what your production’s assets need.
Media & Asset Management
September 28, 2022
What is Media Asset Management? Examples & a DAM’s Potential

In the media and entertainment industry, there are so many behind-the-scenes processes required for each production, sometimes we take many of them for granted. One that constantly flies under the radar but is critical to a production is media asset management. You’re probably benefiting from it, or even doing it, but maybe you don't even know there's a term for it.

It often goes unnoticed because everyone is so focused on getting their own production tasks completed and don’t even realize they are doing a form of media asset management themselves.

With so many overlapping terms in the industry, it can be hard to keep everyone on the same page. One example is the process of media asset management: what is it, what does effective asset management look like, and how can producers and production teams maximize the benefits they achieve?

We have created this article as a quick guide to answer these questions, and provide a real-life example. After that, we will also explain how a digital asset management (DAM) system can bring new opportunities for your media assets.

What is Media Asset Management?

Media asset management is the process of managing video and multimedia files.

Media asset management does not exclusively refer to a MAM system. This term simply refers to the processes of managing those digital assets. It allows creatives, directors, and their delegates (those who have approved access to the files) to better prepare, organize, secure, and carry out a media production.

How prepared is your team to adapt to the new asset management processes fueled by explosive growth in virtual production? Take our one-minute assessment and find out.

Media Asset Management Example

Every studio, production and production vendor uses media asset management in some manner as they help produce a film, tv show, commercial, or even in house video production. But not everyone uses them in the same way.

That’s why we have an example of managing media assets that might prompt you to reconsider how you evolve your production’s media asset management processes.

Example: Archiving media assets for future use

Let's dive into an example of media asset management that many major studios rely on to control costs and thereby maximize profits: Archiving digital assets.

When an asset is created and used in a film or television series, that doesn’t mean its lifecycle is over. In fact, to save others from creating the same asset twice and driving unnecessary costs, many creatives archive their digital assets.

Don’t let your production’s media assets collect dust - or worse, get thrown away.
Image by Igor Ovsyannykov

This usually happens at the end of post production once the final cut is delivered, but it can also happen anytime along the way as work-in-progress assets which don’t themselves go into the final cut are completed and approved. One example is concept art created during pre-production which was used as a visual guide for a VFX 3D model of a character.  

With proper media asset archiving workflows, organizing and finding the assets you need takes only a few clicks.

You might think, “I get what media asset management is, but the real question is, what do I need to use or do differently in my role to really get the most from it?” This archiving example covers just one avenue of its use, but there are other ways for you to get the ultimate potential from your media assets.

Accessing your asset’s full potential derives from modern production technology: Specifically, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) System.

How a DAM Activates Your Media Asset Management Potential

Modern media productions are reliant on both new and old technologies.

Reason #1: Make dailies and tagging simple

When it comes to reviewing dailies, it’s important to securely distribute them to production decision-makers. DAMs turn your dailies process easy by making your digital files readily available for anyone, at any location, at any time.

Even if the director is in another country, a DAM facilitates that review for accelerated decision-making.

Plus, DAMs like 5th Kind do automatic tagging when an asset is uploaded. Instead of hounding your crew to manually tag and manage assets during wrap, it’s already done once it’s uploaded. Also, DAMs can provide the option to review dailies individually or gather a physically separated creative team to collaborate together at the same time on them.

Reason #2: Keep digital assets secure

Having a digital asset leak, especially ones that give away story points or unique on screen effects, is everyone’s worst nightmare. To prevent this, production teams can use a DAM to limit access and keep track of their assets. Some, like 5th Kind, even offer custom visible or forensic watermarking as well as digital rights management (DRM).

If a media production’s assets are in a cloud-based DAM, then the files and workflows are protected. Having a DAM like 5th Kind allows you to meet security requirements that many production studios demand.

Say goodbye to unprotected physical hard drives or flash drives when you implement a DAM.
Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán

Reason #3: Speed up the production process

Back in July of 2022, FilmLA announced that it expects to see productions return to pre-pandemic levels within the next year. With production crews returning from remote locations or trying a hybrid route, while some (like VFX artists) staying fully remote, getting back into the swing of things has been a challenge.

To fully adapt to the production changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, productions will need modern technology. This has already become a rising trend with production teams that leverage modern technology due to the rise of the complexity and scale of productions in pre, post, and during production. For example, virtual production is one of the factors contributing to this notion.

Speeding up production workflows and simplifying complex processes helps studios and other content owners create more media content at a faster pace. In the end, this means more profitable IP, increasing the ROI of investment in upgrading your media asset management.

As productions become more complex and are urged to be created faster, DAMs have become trusted as a tried-and-true tool.

Make Your Media Asset Management Easy

In short, media asset management is the process of organizing digital file types during productions. There are various techniques that studios and other teams use to make this process more efficient, such as archiving files.

But a DAM is needed to fully unlock the power of your media assets. It takes the headache out of keeping track of dailies and other work-in-progress creative media, keeps your media assets secure, and helps generate more profitable IP down the road for future productions.

Are you ready to transform your team’s media asset management?

Discover why 5th Kind’s Digital Asset Management System is leveraged by major studios and more – schedule a demo today!

New call-to-action