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Breaking Down DAM (Digital Asset Management) Distribution


Partners, distributors, media outlets, web producers, ad agencies, publishers—all of those groups depend on your digital media every day.  How do you manage these needs? Surprisingly, many companies—both small and large—have no process in place to manage these requests, resulting in project delays and bottlenecks.

This process is known as digital media distribution and is a key component to digital asset management. A DAM’s core functionality includes managing, searching, organization and archiving assets, but what happens when you’re inundated by internal and external requests? Without distribution, this creates a difficult situation for busy content managers. So how does digital asset management facilitate distribution of digital media?  Let’s take a closer look at the different approaches to distribution:


The self-service model provides your stakeholders with direct access to your photos, videos, brand assets and other types of digital files. Within WebDAM, that means web access to view, search and download what they need through a browser.  However, the self-service model can be as simple as a shared file server made directly accessible to the requester. With the self-service model, the requester accesses what they need with no interaction by the content manager.


Under this approach, the digital asset management system facilitates requests by providing the requester with a mechanism to contact the content manager for file-access permission. Within WebDAM, this includes providing the requester with preview and search capabilities to confirm the assets of interest. Once identified, the requester can submit a request for review and approval by the content manager, all using an online system. This type of request mechanism saves the content manager a significant amount of time by bypassing the search-and-identify process—all while limiting database access for the requester.


Fulfillment requires the content manager to do the legwork. The content manager takes the request, searches for potential matching assets, and provides the requester with access to only those selected assets. Fulfillment, unlike self-service, grants access to only a limited selection of files based on the requester’s specific guidelines. WebDAM facilitates this process with its Lightbox and email distribution features, providing an efficient means for selecting and sending files.

So which distribution method is best for you?

All of them, in fact! Each distribution method can be appropriate depending on the situation. For example, if a member of the press makes a one-time request for corporate photos, fulfillment may work best. However, if your web team needs regular access to brand assets and product photography, self-service allows them anytime-anywhere access. Regardless of the method, an efficient process for distribution of photos, brand assets and marketing collateral can lead to more efficient production, saving time and money for everyone involved.

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