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Another DAM Podcast interview with Christy King on Digital Asset Management

Christy King discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization involved with mixed martial arts use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Christy King. Christy,
how are you?
Christy: [0:10] Very good.
Henrik: [0:12] Christy, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Christy: [0:14] I am the newly appointed Vice President of technology research
and development for Zuffa, which is the parent company of the Ultimate
Fighting Championships and several other MMA brands, mixed martial arts
brands. We started down the Digital Asset Management path by trying to
organize a method to distribute video to nontraditional resources. We have a
very young audience, tends to be males, 18 to 34. [0:46] Very much closer to the
18 range. These guys all have every gadget, new fancy, cool thing that hits the
market sooner than almost everybody else, so we really tried hard, very early on,
to be able to distribute to all of those devices, and many of those outlets did
not have traditional ways to take in video content, meaning take…
[1:08] In order for us to create a file-based workflow that made any sense, and
deliver the accompanying metadata, which means images, and text descriptions,
and price points, and policy rules about where things could be shown and
what country, we had to come up with a distribution methodology, and a way to
create all those materials, and distribute them, and keep track of them all over
the world and all of these technologies.
Henrik: [1:33] Christy, how does an organization involved with mixed martial
arts use Digital Asset Management?
Christy: [1:39] What we do, since we started out trying to distribute in all these
places and all these different ways, what you discover very, very quickly, when
you start with a relatively contained, single goal, which is, we wanted to deliver
video, which you find very, very quickly no matter where you start an organization
with asset management, is that it sort of snowballs into a really big
effort. [2:07] All of a sudden, you learn a whole bunch about all these different
technologies and all these different vendors that can solve all sorts of problems,
and gosh, people in the company get a load of the first problem you solve and
their eyes lit up, and they get super creative and excited, and go, “Gosh, if we
can do that, then we can do this, and we can do this other thing, and we can do
this other thing.”
[2:28] Pretty soon, you have yourself a huge variety of problems you can solve,
and every time you solve one problem, then there are three more, because no
piece of information in the company lives in isolation. One of the things you find
is, you’ll discover that if you start to distribute something and you’re going to
change somebody’s work flow, let’s say, in marketing. Now, instead of emailing
a picture to the advertising agency, you’re now going to upload it somewhere.
[2:56] Right? Seems simple enough. You change that, you’re done. What will
happen is, within a couple days, you’ll have four other people that come out
of the network that say, “Hey, I copy and paste that out of the website.” Or,
“I download that image and send it over here in order to do the poster or
the podcast.” Or whatever it is. All of these people had just figured out a way
to adapt and survive, with the information wherever it lived. Somewhere in
the company.
[3:23] What you discover is, when you start down the Digital Asset Management
path, work flow becomes a really interesting challenge to solve and get communication
and effort out of everybody, so that you don’t create five more problems
by solving the first problem. So mixed martial arts is no different than any
other company, in that you’ve got to figure out a way to make sure everybody
has the resources they need to get their job done.
Henrik: [3:47] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Christy: [3:52] We work with several vendors. There isn’t any one particular
vendor that solves all of our problems. One of the interesting changes that I’ve
seen in the way that I use technology is that, it used to be that if you needed to
have somebody edit video, you bought an edit system. If you needed to deliver
something, you used a shipping company. All of these kinds of solutions
were separate, disparate and had nothing to do with each other. [4:22] When
you get into Digital Asset Management, everybody’s stuff lays on top of everybody
else’s stuff. I would like to see an awful lot more vendors do what my
vendors have been really willing to do, which is work with each other. We have
a company called Levels Beyond that deals with our video solution, with their
reach engine. But we’ve asked them to work very closely with the folks at Denim
Group, who have designed and built our CMS backend for our website.
[4:53] I’ve asked them to tie in very tightly with the company that produces much
of our fight statistics. All of these folks need to work together and understand
each of their technologies, not necessarily even at a surface level, but at a pretty
deep level, so that they can understand how to use the best of what each company
has to offer. Really, it’s that interesting ability in people to think in a more
open source and shared kind of way.
[5:22] Not necessarily to give their trade secrets away, but just live in the world of
understanding that whatever they’re doing is going to be needed to be shared
by several other people, besides the company they’re selling their product to.
That’s probably the biggest piece of advice I would give.
[5:43] Be a little bit more willing to be open and work directly with other vendors.
I started my process very much in the production department. It has
blossomed to being an asset management solution that we’re applying, with
lots of people, across our entire organization. Really, I have one big Digital Asset
Management system, but I’m calling each departments little asset management
system a little bit different name, as we implement this stuff. So as not to scare
people to death. [laughs]
Henrik: [6:11] Good idea.
Christy: [6:13] You’re asking people to do a huge amount of change and work
flow and culture shift, in order to think about, create… Now, everything they do,
they have to at least put a little bit of their mind towards the fact that whatever
they’re doing, they’re communicating that to everyone else in the organization
and other people outside of the organization, at the moment they create it in
a shareable form. [6:39] Communication becomes even more important than it
might have been to an organization before. You just don’t upload an image. You
need to upload an image and call it something that makes sense, in the bigger,
organizational sense, that’s related to search terms, dates and maybe days that
the things that invoice should be issued so that someone gets paid when this
thing gets uploaded. You’re talking about marketing, accounting, financial analysis,
and invoicing process.
[7:14] Maybe rights are communicated that’s related to your legal department.
[laughs] This is a pretty demanding, big kind of concept to introduce to a company.
Vendors and people thinking about doing Digital Asset Management, in
general, really need to make sure they take it slow and explain to people a lot,
all along the way, the purpose of doing each of these extra tasks, in order to
make the overall company run more efficiently.
[7:47] Especially if you’re a worldwide company or you have organizations spread
across several states or across the world. Really getting taxonomy right and
communication paths tight in a Digital Asset Management system can make a
huge difference in a company that’s spread out like that, geographically.
Henrik: [8:07] Thanks, Christy. For more on Digital Asset Management, log
onto AnotherDAMblog.comAnother DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom,
iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If you have any comments or questions,
please feel free to send me an email at
Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

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