Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with David Iscove on Digital Asset Management


Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about digital asset management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with David Iscove. David, how are you?

David Iscove: I’m good, thanks, Henrik. How are you?

Henrik: Great. David, how are you involved with digital asset management?

David: I started in the video game industry, organizing undervalued audio assets of original master recordings for the Guitar Hero franchise. From there, I moved over to direct and reorganized the physical archives of a major music label. Then started focusing my efforts on optimizing digitally born content through production process for that same label, with the ultimate goal being discoverability and accessibility of all assets through the archives phase.

Henrik: How does a global music leader use digital asset management?

David: [01:00] The financial backbone of any creative organization is the exploitation of its intellectual property. Similar to a manufacturing facility in the most respectful way possible, the organization needs to produce content at a rapid rate in order to compete and keep up with market demand. In the case of the global enterprise with multiple subsidiaries, visibility of the products output by various groups is essential for the overall efficiency and cost savings of the parent. You can’t work in a siloed environment without incurring some form of redundancy or unnecessary expense.

[02:00] With an enterprise level DAM, we can partition the workflow of each subsidiary to satisfy the privacy that each demands while also assuring accountability for all assets as a whole and serving up select assets to other groups as required. Also, by incorporating a DAM with production capabilities, the goal is to utilize it as the repository as early on in the production process. Not only after the active market life cycle of an asset. If this is embraced, there’s an ease of flow between the front line creative production teams and the long term archiving of that asset, which is usually managed by a separate group.

Henrik: David, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?

David: [03:00] Challenges: getting people to dedicate the time to shift their focus over to a new platform. Unfortunately a lot of production is handled via offline or disconnected communication tools, either via email or file transfer applications or even personal storage accounts. There’s so much risk associated with working this way but the processes have been established over time and so people are comfortable operating within that chaos. Adoption requires fully embracing the use of new systems. There’s definitely a period of transition in where people feel uncomfortable and confused by the new workflow, but I can’t stress enough, it’s temporary. The deeper you dive, the easier it becomes. This is true for any system or new workflow. It’s just about convincing creatives to find the time to shift their thinking. Once you get through that growth period, you never look back. You can clearly see the holes in the old way of working, and you find efficiencies come quickly.

Henrik: David, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

David: Try to stay system agnostic as much as possible. If you can, technology will be adopted more readily. There’s something really interesting about the DAM space. Maybe this applies to software and hardware in general. People are so passionate about one platform over the other. They get emotionally tied to a particular brand or company. The client needs to make a selection. So much in fighting and pride can delay the eventual roll out. Most modern DAM systems offer very similar features. Instead of pushing one particular platform because it has certain bells and whistles, really listen to the needs of the organization and cater your recommendations to satisfy those needs. Don’t try to sell something outside of a client’s workflow.

[04:00] In general, do try to make recommendations of tools that consolidate assets over their entire life cycle in order to avoid migration or transfers to additional platforms. Any movement of an asset introduces risks, whether that be compatibility of fidelity or meta data. Obviously some risk can’t be avoided. Assets are meant to be experienced and consumed, so they need to move and be shared, even if it’s only with the eventual Martian overlords that intercolonize Earth in 200 years.

Henrik: Well, thanks David.

David: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Henrik: For more on this, visit If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at For 180 other podcast episodes, visit Thanks again.

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Barbara Alexander on Digital Asset Management

Barbara Alexander discusses Digital Asset Management


Henrik de Gyor:  [0:02] This is Another DAM podcast about Digital Asset Management. Hi, I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Barbara Alexander. Barbara, how are you?

Barbara Alexander:  [0:09] Good, thank you, and you?

Henrik:  [0:11] Great. Barbara, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [0:15] The function that I handle essentially handles all digital assets for our company across all markets. We manage all product images, videos, presentations. All the assets then come in, and we tag them with metadata. The types of metadata that we embed assist our different markets and our different functional teams in sourcing the images that they need.

[0:44] For our marketing teams, they use the DAM to find and launch assets to all the different markets. When we’re rolling out a new program, we’ll supply all the print assets for ad production. All the assets for POS and displays, social media assets, and videos and other related assets roll out in their countries

Barbara:  [1:07] One of our big initiatives was to really focus on the consumer this year. We paid a lot of attention to our relationships with our retailer accounts. One of the things we do with our assets is we organize them in collections. Each collection has a single link that we can send to our retailer, or it can be embedded in a spreadsheet. They can click on it and have access to the assets without needing to log on to the DAM. This has been a big success for us.

Henrik:  [1:42] How does a global beauty manufacturer use Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [1:48] Primarily we use it to make sure that only approved assets are used in the marketplace, and to be sure that usage rights are complied with. We’re able to expire the assets on our platform. Our platform will send out notification to anyone who’s downloaded the asset that’s expiring to alert them to the fact beforehand. So that they can pull the asset and supply an alternative asset.

[2:17] It’s a great governing platform. It gives a worldview to the global marketing teams. It allows them to see how the markets are using the assets. If they’re really using the whole palette that’s been provided to them, or if they’re taking a few select assets. It allows the marketing team to assess their budgets and where they should spend their money.

Henrik:  [2:42] Barbara, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen in the Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [2:48] We’ve had a lot of successes and some realistic struggles. The successes have been with our ability to really service our markets and our retailer accounts, which are very important. We’ve been able to really focus on consumer‑facing experiences.

[3:06] The struggles really center around the internal reorganization our company has gone through, which has been quite traumatic. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where the DAM is located within the organization. It really matters in terms of its overall success and survival.

[3:25] The closer you are to the core of the corporate level, I think the more successful the DAM function can be within the organization. The further you are from that, the more vulnerable you are to new people coming in, or a new emphasis. That’s been very difficult. The DAM function right now is getting re‑assessed. It’s becoming more global marketing focused, we’ll have to see what happens with it. [laughs]

Henrik:  [3:51] A lot of people struggle with being more center to the core rather than being on the fringes and being possibly at irrelevance, unfortunately, because it’s not even known to the rest of the organization.

Barbara:  [4:03] That’s exactly right. We’ve had such a reorganization and shift in people, and as a result, DAM is not understood, or really factored in as a very core, relevant function of our company.

Barbara:  [4:19] We’re struggling with that right now.

Henrik:  [4:21] I understand, and I think a lot of organizations struggle with that. I’ve heard that from many organizations. That they don’t know where to put DAM. Is it IT? Is it marketing? Is it some creative function? Or is it tied to distribution or something? It’s a struggle for many organizations.

Barbara:  [4:37] Exactly.

Henrik:  [4:39] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

“We have to think of ourselves as more than just a DAM professional. It’s more a media professional. I think that the more certification and knowledge that you can gain will only assist you.”

Barbara:  [4:44] We have to think of ourselves as more than just a DAM professional. It’s more a media professional. I think that the more certification and knowledge that you can gain will only assist you. I know the DAM Foundation has a program. I would recommend that. I also think it’s very important to attend industry functions whenever you can.

[5:10] There’s so much information to be gained by your colleagues in the industry that you really can’t source online or from a book. That face‑to‑face contact and understanding is really important. Definitely the DAM New York Meetup, the Henry Stewart DAM New York Conference, and Metadata Madness [laughs] .

Henrik:  [5:33] Which we’re attending right now.

Barbara:  [5:34] Exactly.

Henrik:  [5:36] Thank you, Barbara.

Barbara:  [5:36] Thank you, Henrik.

Henrik:  [5:38] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log on to If you have any comments or questions, please refer to email me at For this and 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, go to Thanks again.

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Megan Re on Digital Asset Management

Megan Re discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management
  • How does an organization focused on food use Digital Asset Management?
  • What are the biggest challenges and successes you have seen with DAM?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:08] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Megan Re.
Megan, how are you?
Megan Re: [0:10] I am good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:13] Good. Megan, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Megan: [0:37] I am involved with Digital Asset Management. I oversee the photography
for Food Network and Cooking Channel brand, and my position overlaps
the creative, the production and the asset management of photography. I
came to Food Network to redevelop and build a working photo team. With that,
I had to get my hands wet in all of the areas. [1:00] Coming from a background
with a BFA in photography, I understand what’s happening with a photographer’s
thinking, what is happening with digital techs’ thinking, an editor and
creatives. With that, we come down and we are working with our photography,
with our assets, with our DAM system, with organization and getting images out
to everyone’s needs ASAP.
Henrik: [1:04] How does an organization focused on food use Digital Asset
Megan: [1:16] We need it drastically. Without it, we would be lost. A company
as large as ours, we have thousands and thousands of photos. We are actually
turning 20 this year.
Henrik: [1:17] Congratulations.
Megan: [1:43] Thank you. That means we have 20 years of photography. We
have them in slide form, transparency form, and most currently over the past
10plus years, digital form. That also encompasses not only food and recipe
photos, but we have talent. I mean, our chefs, we have so much talent happening.
We have production stills happening for every show, we have events, cookbooks,
branding it goes way beyond the food and recipes. [2:09] You are talking
about hundreds and thousands of images, and with that, many internal teams,
because we are a brand. We have a marketing team, a press team, our new
business team, an international team, which is many, many countries. We have
to make sure that everyone is self-sufficient in getting images at a quick pace,
because all of our internal teams need them drastically soon.
[2:27] They need to download photos and view the photos. We need to make
sure that there are all descriptions at your fingertips, so you know all of the
details. And make sure that my photo team is savvy. Aside from that we need a
DAM, my photo team needs to be savvy and aware of the brand’s needs.
[2:51] Aware of the workflow, the process, the metadata and establish workflows
from the start, so we can work with our DAM. With our DAM, we have a DAM
that has been with our company for a long time. Aside from that, there are other
tools and other workflows before images get into the DAM that we need. All of
these thousands of images have to somehow get in there.
Henrik: [2:55] What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset
Megan: [3:23] One of my favorite questions. Challenges, at least for us, and I
think it goes for many people, is introducing a new system, the need of a workflow.
If there is not a workflow, how crucial that is from the start of a shoot. Then
too, your asset management. There is always going to be a workflow for our
internal teams and our photographers. [3:42] For us, coming here, a huge challenge
was just getting our internal teams, because this was a new department
forming who has been working with photos for years, is what is our workflow
and getting them to trust us. Our photographers, some who had been shooting
for a while with us, getting them to understand, now we are going to be asking
for new needs.
[4:05] Such as, let’s add some metadata, let’s add the copyright, let’s add the
year establishing what our metadata needs were. That was a really big challenge,
because you are starting from scratch. So what do we need internally as a
company, and what we need internally for our DAM system? Every DAM system
is different, every DAM system has different needs, so that was a big challenge.
[4:32] Basically pulling in new systems to offset the frustrations that naturally
come with a DAM system. Every DAM is unique. Some are loved, some are not
loved. They all have their issues and we just find a way to work with them and
around them in finding support. We had a DAM system, as I mentioned already,
established in our companies. It was just instilling some new processes that
were going to make it easier in training.
[4:56] Also, what do we do with the old photos? The photos that are not yet in
the system that need to get in the system, or photos that can’t get in the system
because they are so old. So, what is another way that we can asset manage
these photos? We had a huge-which we are just finishing now-two bookshelves
worth of binders and CDs from 10plus years ago. Massive.
[5:18] Successes…Simplifying the workflow. I feel like I always work in numbers
of three, so I came down to three simple systems that we needed, including our
DAM. We instilled a workflow program that we use Global Edit that we love. It
helps with our selects, our instant viewing, our approvals and our markups.
[5:35] From there, we then work with our internal servers. We have two main
servers that work for us that back up everything, and then of course, our DAM.
That is the goto place at the end where everyone is self-sufficient; can go on
and download stuff immediately at different file sizes and it organizes.
[5:53] As we all know, once images are in the DAM, it is very hard to get them
out or to get them reorganized again. So, we have to go to that system. Very
well-organized and put together. Another success was the trust in my photo
staff, knowing that they are going to work hand-in-hand on all elements.
[6:07] We are a smaller team, unlike some other companies who have a very big
asset management team and then a photo production team, my staff works
hand-in-hand with everything. We understand from the start of the job to what
has to happen at the end.
[6:30] My producers are producing to the shooters all of the details that are
ready, and when it comes back in, my asset editors can take the rest and roll.
[Another] success was organization and speed. As we know, everything needs
to happen fast. Everyone wants it now. Downloads need to happen yesterday
when they are needed today. So that was a huge plus.
Henrik: [6:34] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Megan: [6:55] Some of the advice I would say is to be prepared for challenges.
Take time to assess the project, the overall project or the company you are
going to be
working with. Problem-solve and understand the end goals. If you
do not have the backbone instilled from the beginning, it is going to be challenging.
You are going to be constantly reworking your system and your problems.
[7:08] A DAM of some sort is needed for every company, even a photographer
in their archive to a small or large company. You need to figure out how
it is going to work best. Take the time at the beginning to understand what the
end goal is going to be.
[7:30] A big plus, I would say, is understanding copyright law and usage terms.
I can’t tell you how important that is, because that is really a big goal of somebody
who is going to asset manage, is understanding how something can be
used, to what term. The minute it is let go, it is going to be seen on social media
sites. These days, anywhere, anyhow, at any media, you will be seeing it.
[7:43] Someone who is detail oriented. If you are detail oriented, you are probably
the best person to be in this field working with assets, and aware of technology
change. Within a year or six months, there are changes out there for
every program.
[8:01] If you are managing a very particular DAM, keep on top of what the new
changes are going to be, the new rollouts. If you are having some issues with
that and you need help with a workflow, keeping on top of what other tools are
available to you to assist and to complement your current workflow.
[8:21] It is not a problem to bring something else in if it is going to help you, especially
when you are low on staff and you need to work quickly. That is exactly
why we pulled in some other platforms, like GlobalEdit for the speed. That
took care of a lot of time. There are many other programs and workflows out
there that will help you to get your images into a DAM.
Henrik: [8:24] Excellent. Thanks, Megan.
Megan: [8:26] Thank you.
Henrik: [8:34] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom
and iTunes. Thanks again.

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