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What is MAM (Media Asset Management)?

What is MAM (Media Asset Management)?

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What is MAM (Media Asset Management)?
Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2014

What is MAM Media Asset ManagementMedia Asset Management systems (or MAM as they have become known) is an area that has generated substantial interest in recent times. But what exactly is MAM and what does it mean to broadcasters and media facilities?

To attempt to answer this thorny question, we surveyed the major MAM vendors to ask them what a MAM was. And it was very interesting to see the responses. All of them agreed on some of the functions of a MAM but there was a very large spread of functionality as you can see from the responses listed below. And no single solution vendor can claim all of these functions.

Vendor 1

What is MAM?

Organizations want to manage their media assets from ingest to distribution. An organization has more and more media to ingest and more and more media to distribute and is looking for a solution. A good image used by our customers: a MAM is a kind of a 'factory' of media where stuff gets in and other stuff (transformed) gets out.

MAM processes

Ingest, QC, Edit, Prepare, Log, Transcode and fulfil.

Non-MAM processes

Playout automation, scheduling and resource management.

Vendor 2

What is MAM?

Very Big Question – it would require a whole slide deck.

MAM processes

This would require a whole slide deck – it seems that everything is in scope.

Non-MAM processes

See answer above.

Vendor 3

What is MAM?

The management of an asset for the purpose of using the asset for publishing and broadcasting. Key factors include the file format, its stored location, is the asset the master or a copy, technical metadata required for publishing, metadata and links about the content.

MAM processes

Generation of the initial metadata, capture asset (upload or digitisation) create browse, spot check & QC, prepare for publishing, send to archive, create promotional material, send to publishing or broadcast system.

Non-MAM processes

The following should be linked from MAM.

DRM (inc. contracts and ownership), Metadata about manufacture of media, Scheduling and production planning, Tracking talent, Financials , Newsroom systems.

Vendor 4

What is MAM?

MAM is a business focused workgroup or enterprise class solution that:

- Ingests, manages and delivers media assets 
- Manages & share knowledge of assets 
- Unified, universal, access to assets
- Integration for cross-system asset exchange 
- Orchestrates business processes + workflows 
- Controlled collaboration between users

MAM processes

- Metadata synchronization to traffic / NRCS / ERP / DRM
- Metadata + media ingest, transform, QA & annotation, delivery, lifecycle management, genealogy, round-trip
- Search, assessment, collection and ordering
- Business process management, news, sports, reality etc.

Non-MAM processes

- Program planning and scheduling
- Resource scheduling
- DRM
- Financial and business admin (ERP)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Web Content Management

Vendor 5

What is MAM?

MAM is a system to archive and manage time-based media and workflows in a distributed and collaborative environment.

MAM processes

- Media processing and transformation
- Integration of all components in a facility
- Media publishing and delivery
- Business Process Management
- Cloud computing

Non-MAM processes

- ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- Playout automation and Traffic systems
- Non Linear Editing

Vendor 6

What is MAM?

MAM is a multi-format, multi-vendor, multi-workflow federated content repository which encourages innovation, traction, and operational efficiency over the complete life-cycle of an asset.

MAM processes

- Ingesting + Proxy + Transcoding
- Population, update, retrieval of metadata
- Workflow + Multi-format delivery + version control
- Translation services + ad sales + budget planning
- Metadata + asset import tools

Non-MAM processes

- Human Resources processes
- Construction planning 
- Facility management and scheduling 
- Financial planning

So as you can see, it is difficult even to agree on what MAM constitutes and the business processes that it includes. It is important when looking for a MAM solution that you work out what YOU want & need for YOUR business and then find a solution that matches it with the smallest amount of customization. Don’t end up being Special.

Make sure your site does not become bespoke. Like all software vendor choice, ask the vendor about general product enhancements and improvements, new device integrations and common developments to be made available to your business.

At AmberFin, we have not set out to create a designated MAM system as such, for this will, we believe, create restrictions and limits to your current and future business operations. Instead, through our iCR (intelligent Content Repurposing) platform we have created an architecture with an over arching management layer, which provides a brain for your facility that enables users to make and implement facility –wide decisions quickly, easily and with the right blend of process automation and human intervention for any organization and application.

The same architecture provides an Engine Room where all the workflow’s ingest, transcode and QC operations are contained and managed. AmberFin iCR is not a MAM. It’s an engine that can be controlled from a MAM to provide the right files at the right time with the minimum of effort. We have worked very hard to be MAM neutral, so whether you end up buying from a market leader like Dalet or you end up “Rolling your own” from software off the net, iCR provides a set of APIs that allows you to integrate with any MAM.

Why is this important? It comes down to the rate at which different functions in your organisation age. You will find that business rules (controlled by a MAM) and transcode profiles (controlled by the transcoder) will change at different times. If you’re happy to lock the two functions together forever, then you may be happy with the MAM not only controlling but also performing your transcoding. If you are aiming for more business flexibility, then you may choose a best of breed solution. The choice, at the end of the day is yours.

I’m always interested in feedback, so why not sign up to receive blog notifications and maybe drop me a line at bruce.f.devlin@amberfin.com and suggest topics that you’d like me to talk about. Until next time…

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Posted by Bruce Devlin

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