DAM in 2018: An Asset Management Quiz

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By Ken Adelson

LAS VEGAS - These are amazing times. In 2018, we live in a new, golden age of communications where real time content accessibility is changing the way we work, live and interact. New media technologies have blurred the traditional lines between broadcasting, print journalism, digital content, advertising and personal messaging. The walls of the old-school communications world have been broken down, as evidenced in every corner of NAB Show 2015, from which I just returned. Traditional broadcasters, newspaper and magazine publishers and other single outlet content providers have turned the corner and no longer question whether they “have” to be forging new interactive business in order to compete. They know they “need” to be in the space to reach the elusive viewer where and how they want to be reached.

While the core goals of making money, operating efficiently (saving money), building brand awareness and winning will never change, the method of “how” the organization reaches those goals is a whole new ballgame. As often stated, “Content is king,” and being able to command that content and utilize digital assets to create reasonable return on investment (ROI) and maintaining a competitive advantage, is mission critical to success on and off the field. The stakes are high as any company, content owner or individual can now be a “social” broadcaster, providing personalized, interactive broadband, mobile-friendly and wireless content to fans, clients and customers.

Operating in this environment, there is tremendous potential for new business and personal development, but as with nearly all opportunity, there is a catch. While many companies are challenged just to get content out the door, those same companies are trying to develop new media content using old methods, and in many cases, building a house of cards by ignoring what’s needed to build the foundation. That’s because many don’t see immediate ROI in developing the underlying asset management systems necessary for long term success and monetization. By not having an efficient digital asset management system and strategy to integrate new process into traditional operations, not reinventing work flow, and redefining traditional roles, broadcasters and content publishers of all sizes will find obstacles and detours and will struggle to create any real value.

Broadcasters, journalists, producers, editors, and managers need to possess a very different set of skills than they did just a few years ago. A comprehensive strategic plan for acquiring, cataloging, editing, producing, re-purposing, archiving and distributing footage on multiple platforms is essential for any size organization to generate revenue, or create branding and marketing opportunities. The infrastructure provides tools to create a centralized efficient digital work flow, enables real time collaboration and coordination throughout the organization, creating more efficient use of staff with less time spent searching for materials. The system will create additional programming capabilities, driving new revenue streams, branding opportunities and interactive in-stadium fan interactive elements. It significantly increases the organizations ability to reach fans, staff and business partners on any platform, anywhere, anytime on any screen. For a competitive advantage, it also enables management to provide its coaching staff and players with the latest tools and innovations for video capture and display in the locker rooms, coaches offices, team meeting rooms/theaters, family lounges and with scouting operations.

The technology needed is improving every day, and NAB 2015 was awash with options, many providing the chance to start small and build over time. The time is right to make the commitment. I’m not aligned with or touting any individual company or solution, but as a content strategist, executive producer for live games and feature programs and asset management specialist, I can help answer these questions and help you reinvent your media operations.

I’ve developed a simple list of questions (there could be a lot more but you’ll get the idea) that not only serves as a roadmap, but also paints a picture for executives as to why digital asset management is the key to unlocking hidden opportunity for the business, using assets the organization already owns. Professional and college sports teams, leagues, associations of all sizes and anyone that has a visual library has an opportunity to monetize and market their current and historical assets like never before and re-invent their business. Even without creating the direct ROI, the modern day content publisher cannot thrive in the long run without successfully answering these questions.

How many can you answer?

o Do you know the condition of your game tapes, interview tapes, historic event tapes, post produced content and have you started a process to preserve these assets?

o Could you easily find and re-use specific plays, interviews or moments from these tapes on all traditional and mobile platforms?

o What are your biggest challenges in production and distribution?

o Does your sports operations staff and scouting group have access to all digital material owned by the organization?

o Does your marketing and sales departments have on-line, immediate access to digital materials?

o How do you manage handling multiple formats in production or in handling internal/external requests?

o Do you efficiently utilize material across platforms; is there a single point of ingest?

o What happens to your assets after they’re created? Do they get logged and how is that log preserved? Is it anyone’s job to make sure it happens?

o Does the team and venue have separate unconnected production facilities?

o Do you have a migration plan for SD and other outdated formats?

o Can you share footage on desktops across the organization?

o How often do production people need access to the same asset and how do you handle?

o How much staff time is spent in tedious tasks of finding or retrieving and fulfilling request for digital or analog assets?

Are you ready?

Ken Adelson is an Emmy-award winning network sports broadcasting executive, innovator, executive producer and nationally recognized keynote speaker with over 28 years of television and digital media leadership. He was Senior Vice President of Production and Operations at NBA Entertainment, responsible for thousands of hours of programming, integral in the NBA’s push into digital media creation and distribution and recognized nationally as an asset management specialist. As SVP/Executive Producer for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he managed live HD television and radio game broadcasts and multimedia production. He began his career in front of the camera, as a sports anchor and reporter.

Eugene Cyckowski