Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a software/hardware framework for
identifying, cataloging, storing, searching, previewing and distributing
valuable rich media, both within your organization and in
collaboration with your production and service partners. DAM is a means
for both extending and safeguarding the important work that you do as
a public media provider.
Rich media can include text, graphics, video, audio and stills. Its
value can be determined by its usefulness to others in the production
and distribution chain (multimedia production teams, web masters, other
pubcasters) and to your constituents (viewers, listeners, web visitors,
It can be useful to think of your assets as either production components
(individual audio or video clips, transcripts of interviews, etc.) or
as completed programs. Not only should these assets be digitized and
stored in an organized and future-proofed fashion, they must be associated
with information that describes them and allows them to be accessed
and shared appropriately. This information is called metadata.
Metadata might include descriptions, rights information, file format,
associated production credits, educational curriculum correlation, etc.
All broadcasters use some form of asset management we have notebooks,
databases, spread sheets and edit lists. However, advances in digital
technology compression, networking, IP file exchange, etc.
now allow and some might say, demand, a more structured and wide-ranging
distribution of our highly valued content. We have an opportunity to
become the digital libraries of our communities.
Several public broadcasting licensees and organizations have made significant
progress in Digital Asset Management (e.g. PBS, NPR, PRI, MPR, WGBH,
WPT, SCETV, etc.) DAM is also at the core of a number of Television
Future Fund and Radio Competitive Fund projects, most notably the Public
Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary (WGBH, et al), Evolving
the Links (Wisconsin Public Television, et al), the Media
Asset Retrieval System (KCTS, KUOW, et al), the Radio Exchange
(SRG, et al), Public Radio Collaboration (a consortium of
radio licensees) and OnCourse (an online education consortium
of television stations, educators and institutions).
CPB is working in close cooperation with these projects, stations,
and other national organizations to coordinate system wide activities.
It is especially critical that we develop shared protocols, determine
a business/service model for our activities and identify funding and
partnership opportunities. We are not alone in this endeavor
most major media companies, government agencies and many large non-profits
are facing a similar challenge.