Businesses looking to streamline their digital assets are often unsure about choosing a Digital Asset Management (DAM) versus a Media Asset Management (MAM) solution. They have enough similarities to leave one asking what’s the difference. This article will help you understand the nuances of each solution and make an informed decision when investing.

Those who have worked in the media or broadcast industry are probably familiar with MAM. It is the older of the two solutions developed to help companies manage large multimedia files. It is a repository for storing, processing and managing audio and video files. However, as businesses began to go digital, they had to create and manage several new digital assets – logos, documents, brand images, and more. A MAM could not handle these assets.

So, DAM evolved. It was a solution that could handle different digital assets, luring users from beyond the broadcasting industry to include marketers, publishers, and other creative professionals. Both systems offer a single source of truth with easy content discovery, distribution, and sharing capabilities. Both allow control of access and streamline the production workflow.

So, is the difference limited to the kind of digital assets each one handles? To a large extent, yes, but let’s deconstruct each solution to understand them better.

Digtal Asset Management – A solution that takes care of digital assets end-to-end

DAM helps organizations (typically the marketing teams) manage their digital content creation workflows – from ideation to design – creating, organizing, collaborating, retrieving, editing, sharing, and distributing media content from a single system.

Easy to store and find assets

DAM is the go-to place for every team member looking for assets. It supports the discovery of hard-to-find assets using advanced search functions in predictably organized folders with metadata and tags.

Never go wrong with the brand presets

No one can accidentally pick an outdated or irrelevant asset in a DAM because the system ensures that the lates brand assets are easilyaccessible or distinguishable from previous versions this helping in maintaining brand consistency.

Be creative without worrying about the mundane

Teams can collaborate quickly to create or modify an asset with automated digital asset management workflows that provide visibility and auto-alerts.

Expandable, secure, easy to integrate

Besides optimizing storage and searchability, a DAM can speed up asset modifications, downloads, and uploads. One can share and distribute assets without worrying about security or server bandwidth, as they are often cloud-based and can integrate with other applications in the ecosystem.

To summarize, DAM users can benefit from:

  • Improved operational efficiency and security
  • Faster production and distribution
  • Consistent branding
  • Enhanced customer experience

Marketng Asset Management – A solution tailored for rich multimedia assets

MAM is a software solution that stores and manages heavy media assets such as videos, animations, or audio files. It is used primarily by news and ad agencies and media, entertainment, and broadcasting companies that need to manage media files to keep the production and distribution workflow running smoothly for their media supply chain.

Made for heavy and high-quality media files

The solution manages the severities of heavy media files that involve preserving their high quality over time. A MAM supports high processing power as high-definition or 4K ultra-high-definition movies are very bulky.

Supports the media workflow

MAM systems pivot around the media workflow and integrate well with functions such as transcoding and editing. One can use MAM to schedule and distribute media assets to meet the modern-day business demands of high volumes of media files in multiple versions and formats for different channels.

It optimizes the storage of these media files and their metadata by managing them as separate components such as videos, audio, captions, and metadata. Users can then process or ingest these files to create the required versions during distribution, saving valuable storage space.

Overall, MAM helps:

  • Automate routine media workflows, provide security and tiering in storage
  • Provide insights to help companies monetize their media assets
  • Manage the media content lifecycle

MAM and DAM fulfill similar needs - to store, manage, and distribute content efficiently using automation of content processing workflows and secured access control. Today, nearly every organization creates immersive, high-definition multimedia files for its marketing and branding activities.

On the other hand, broadcasters and their peers would welcome a MAM that includes asset management for other digital assets for a more comprehensive solution.

There is an opportunity to merge the functionalities of both systems and end the difference between MAM and DAM, a trend that is picking up in the industry.

Choosing between DAM and MAM

Organizations must decide between MAM and DAM depending on their business needs. They should opt for a DAM if their primary objective is to support media publishing and delivery of different types of digital assets to manage their web content or deliver personalized customer experiences. It can help them optimize their project management and collaboration.

But if their digital assets are media-intensive with high volumes and velocity, where they process or transcode media for editing and delivery, or need to edit, review, and approve final versions collaboratively, they should consider MAM.

The primary difference between the two is - industry focus and the types of assets they deal with. Few functionalities may be specialized and unique, but most are available in both.

The following section lays out the similarities and differences between the two systems for you to make an informed judgment.


  • Centralized and optimized storage
  • Data backup and sync functions
  • Easy content discovery using metadata and tagging
  • Automated and centralized content workflow management
  • Share and distribute assets seamlessly and securely
  • Protects digital assets with custom user permissions, rights management features, data encryption, and security protocols
  • Helps maintain brand consistency with version control, expiry policies, automatic updates
  • Generates asset usage and performance insights
  • Facilitates collaboration between teams in the creative process

Differences between MAM and DAM

Use Cases ● Used primarily by news and ad agencies, broadcasters, media and entertainment companies.
● For ingesting and transcoding video assets
● For advanced cataloging with custom, thematic metadata layers
● To improve revenue by monetizing audiovisual content.
● Used across industries by internal teams such as marketing, design, sales, developers, and external parties like clients and partners.
● Used for content workflows for text and videos
● To create customizable templates for personalizing campaigns
● To deliver variations in the asset in real-time for marketing and branding
Challenges ● A large number of devices and asset formats introduced by evolving video production tech
● Governance and data management
● A sudden rise in media assets led by any event or news
● Multiple sales and subscription models (streaming, download, or physical)
● Organizations fail to make the most of DAM when users don’t embrace it or use it effectively
● Excessive customization or too many advanced features
● An increase in the use of videos and time-based assets
● Demand for high levels of personalization
Benefits ● Lower costs of long-term archival of high-resolution, heavy video files
● Restricts usage or distribution of licensed content
● Ensures brand integrity
● Delivers superior customer experience by supporting omnichannel strategies
● Integrates well with the Mar-tech stack
Cost Starting from $350 to $250,000 per month as per features and vendors Starting from £79/$109 a month as per features and vendors
Types of assets
● Not suited for managing or distributing smaller files such as GIFs, PDFs
● Designed to support popular video formats and codec
Handles a wide variety of digital assets including multimedia assets but not tailored for heavy high-quality media assets or camera native videos
Integration Comprehensive integration capabilities with video production and editing tools
Removes operational bottlenecks by integrating with various systems such as creative and analytics tools, social media tools, content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management systems(CRM), marketing automation platforms, e-commerce platforms, and others.
User access Is accessible to a selected team of video producers and editors as the media assets are high-value DAM is used for organization-wide access and distribution of content
Production management Handles end-to-end production starting from ingestion, production, and distribution Mostly used to store final assets while raw images and files are managed by users in their personal systems
Content monetization Helps monetize multimedia files by helping package content as per market demands/buyers’ needs. For example, a documentary on a film actor can be put together by pulling out relevant clippings from thousands of videos shot over his career span. Assets are primarily used to meet the marketing or branding needs of an organization.

The differences between DAM and MAM are narrowing, with each system introducing new features that make them robust and self-sufficient. Many DAM solutions offer advanced storage for A/V files and other MAM-like features. Similarly, MAM solutions are expanding their capability to store static images and documents, including asset lifecycles and user roles beyond videos.

ImageKit Can Help You with Your Digital Asset Management

Now that we have gone through the capabilities of MAM and DAM, we can consider MAM as a subcategory of DAM. Organizations that are ambitious about expanding their video production or using high-res videos as part of their marketing and branding strategies will find ImageKit, a powerful and flexible DAM solution, offering a range of features and benefits for businesses of all sizes and industries.

ImageKit is well-equipped to set up an end-to-end video encoding pipeline using ImageKit Video API. It offers out-of-box video optimization features such as auto-selection of the best format and quality optimization to reduce the output video size and thus reduce the buffer time.

Users can transform images and videos in real-time, using URL-based transformation to deliver perfect videos. Multiple video formats are available today, and choosing the right one for end-users is challenging. It requires encoding videos in different codecs. ImageKit has automated format conversion to address this issue.

In ImageKit, you can use layers to add images, subtitles, text, and even other videos over a base video. It has several other features around videos that make it better than a MAM.

If you want to experience the power of a cloud-based DAM right away, sign up for a free trial, It comes with a free 20 GB storage for you to explore image/video upload, storage and transformation capabilities.