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OPINION: MAM: Key strategic investment

Media asset management is seen as key to business success, contends Kevin Usher, director of product and segment marketing, broadcast and media, Avid

In today’s media environment enterprises are under intense pressure to improve content monetisation and maximise operational efficiency. They’re expected to do more — to create more content for more platforms and deliver it to more people — so they have to find new ways to secure revenues, differentiate services to earn audience loyalty, and deliver all these services at a lower cost.

Today, the MAM system is seen as a key strategic investment. It provides wide-scale access to content, and it can take an active role in identifying and promoting content that has a revenue opportunity attached to it. And as the repository of metadata, it’s seen as the heart of workflow processes and automation. MAM should today be seen as the workflow engine, driving automated processes as much as possible, and thereby reducing costs as well as serving more markets and outlets.

To determine today’s attitudes towards MAM, Avid recently commissioned international research company Ovum Consulting to survey business leaders on their views. Ovum spoke to 125 individuals – mainly at C or board level – in 21 countries.

66% of respondents felt that their MAM system had lowered their multiplatform distribution costs. 50% said it had improved realtime collaboration between creative media professionals. And a staggering 82% of executives believe that MAM delivers a return on investment of 10% or better. They saw an average cost reduction in multiplatform delivery of 20%, and coupled that with a 17% increase in revenues due to faster production and distribution.

It was clear from the survey, though, that MAM cannot deliver benefits on its own. It has to be part of a widely integrated system that provides seamless and, where practical, automated workflows across multiple vendors’ solutions. MAM may be the heart of the system, but if it doesn’t interwork with peripherals, a lot of its value is lost.

The real benefits of a modern MAM system come in the ability to store, update and maintain comprehensive metadata, and to use this to drive automated workflows. This can only happen in an organisation that has reviewed all its processes and considered how best they can be accomplished in the future.

Today, MAM is widely seen as a fundamental component of any media enterprise, and users are confident about its ability to deliver a return on investment.

MAM is proven to solve key business and operational challenges that many media organisations face today. However, to achieve a successful outcome, MAM should be designed and implemented in close collaboration with the customer. Understanding their needs at every stage, from design through to implementation, and beyond, is imperative.

In conjunction, the MAM system needs to be futureproof to meet whatever new challenges in media formats and creativity media organisations will face in the future. Therefore, flexibility, extendibility and the scalability to address specific business or operational needs are paramount requirements of a MAM system, especially if total media enterprise transformation is the ultimate goal.