5 Must Haves for Your Media Asset Management System

professional videographer sitting at desk while coworker helping her with film footage visual quality improvement.


A Media Asset Management System (MAM system) has become an indispensable tool for news organizations and institutions that rely on a well-organized and efficient archive for their multimedia files. 

The challenge, however, lies in selecting a system that not only meets current needs but is also equipped to grow and adapt to future demands. 

In this article, we’ll talk about five must have features to look for in a MAM system that ensure it serves as a long-term asset for your organization. 

Why Do Broadcasters Need MAM Software?  

Media Asset Management systems have become crucial for organizations that use, produce, or distribute vast amounts of digital media, ranging from news organizations and entertainment companies to corporate marketing departments and educational institutions. 

In fact, the global market for MAM software is growing – worth USD 1.54 billion in 2022, it’s forecast to reach a value of USD 3.81 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 13.9%. 

These systems are not just about storing digital files – they’re about enabling efficient access, manipulation, and distribution of media assets in an increasingly complex digital ecosystem. 

Media Asset Management Challenges 

Without proper media asset management software, organizations face numerous challenges that can hinder their efficiency. 

Inefficient Asset Retrieval 

Poor digital asset management processes often involve searching for and retrieving media assets from disorganized or siloed storage. This can consume considerable time and resources, detracting from more productive activities. 

A study by Asana found that teams lose 236 hours of work per year on duplicated work; looking for files was an activity that comes under that category. The use of disparate systems was another contributing factor. 

A survey by Wakefield Research and data analysts, Elastic, showed that 20% of participants said that ‘digging for files’ was the main problem in the future of remote work. 58% also said that a quick search for files was a ‘top-three problem”.   

What’s more, 81% of professionals can’t find important documents when put on the spot by a boss or client. 31% of these individuals said this happens frequently. 


Lack of a centralized media asset management solution often leads to multiple copies of the same digital assets being stored in different locations, causing confusion and unnecessary storage costs. 

Multiple Formats 

Each media type may require different handling, editing, and formatting before it can be broadcast or published online. Managing these processes manually not only slows down the workflow but also increases the risk of errors, which can compromise the quality and timely delivery of content. 

(For more detail, check out our white paper on why broadcasters need a MAM system.) 


Top Features of MAM Software

Let’s take a look at some of the key features every media content management system should offer. 

1. Open Architecture and Scalability 

A top-tier MAM system must have an open and service-oriented architecture. This ensures seamless integration with both existing and future third-party solutions, positioning the MAM system as the central hub of all media workflows. 

Such an architecture provides the flexibility needed to customize and extend the system’s capabilities as your organization’s needs evolve. This scalability is paramount; digital asset management software needs to expand in tandem with your business, accommodating increased asset volumes and new workflows without requiring a complete system overhaul. 

Overall, such adaptability is crucial for sustaining efficiency and protecting your investment against technological obsolescence. 

2. Comprehensive Ingest and Transcoding Capabilities 

As mentioned, converting media files into multiple formats and resolutions complicates workflows and creates bottlenecks.  

For example, consider a news organization that receives footage in multiple formats: raw video files from field reporters, user-generated content from social media, and archival footage in outdated formats. Each type of media must be handled differently, but doing so manually for every file is a painstaking process.  

That’s why it’s critical that any MAM system can efficiently transcode files, whether audio files, video, or anything else. Assets are then immediately prepared for subsequent stages in the media lifecycle. 

A system like VSNExplorer MAM, which supports multiple transcoding and rendering engines, exemplifies this versatility, streamlining workflows and eliminating the associated bottlenecks. 

3. Advanced Content Searching 

In the vast sea of rich media assets your company has stored, it’s vital to be able to quickly and intuitively locate specific files. A MAM system equipped with advanced search functionalities significantly enhances productivity in this way. 

Beyond simple keyword searches, the system should give users the option to categorize content into various classifications and add multiple layers of metadata to assets. 

This not only facilitates more precise searches but also enables a deeper understanding and utilization of the stored media, transforming the MAM system into a powerful repository of searchable knowledge. 

4. Seamless Multiplatform Distribution 

Contemporary media consumption is characterized by its diversity, with audiences accessing content across an array of platforms. As discussed in February’s issue of InBroadcast, being present on multiple platforms is key to unlocking new revenue opportunities. The article also mentions how an advanced MAM system is a must for any broadcaster looking to diversify, especially those facing strained resources.   

MAM software that integrates directly with major social networks and other online platforms – from Facebook and YouTube to emerging OTT and VOD services – ensures that content reaches its intended audience, regardless of the medium. 

This feature lets organizations maximize the visibility and impact of their content, leveraging the system as a catalyst for broad, cross-platform distribution. 

5. Cloud Readiness 

With the shift towards cloud based workflows, a MAM system’s compatibility with cloud services is a critical consideration. Here are some key advantages of using the cloud:  

  • Cost and operational efficiency: Cloud based software eliminates upfront hardware investment and lowers maintenance costs, as maintenance is carried out by the provider. Updates are also taken care of automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention and allowing teams to focus on core activities. 
  • Scalability: The Software as a Service model allows users to easily scale resources up or down based on business needs. 
  • Accessibility: The cloud enables remote access to media assets from any location, enhancing collaboration among teams spread across different regions. 
  • Processing power: Cloud based solutions can better handle the likes of large HD video files compared to older legacy systems. 
  • Disaster recovery: Cloud storage ensures that data is never lost and, should hardware failures occur, recovery is quick.  
  • Future-proof: The cloud makes it easy to keep the MAM system up-to-date with the latest features and technologies without significant infrastructure overhaul. 

VSNExplorer can be deployed entirely in the cloud or through hybrid configurations. This flexibility lets organizations choose a setup that best suits their requirements and budgets.   

Choosing the right Media Asset Management system is a strategic decision that can profoundly influence the operational efficiency and adaptability of news organizations and media institutions. 

To summarize, characteristics to look out for include open architectures, comprehensive ingest and transcoding capabilities, advanced content searching, multiplatform distribution, and cloud readiness. 

VSNExplorer has all of these features, plus advanced metadata management, thesaurus management, and much more. To inquire or book a demo, contact us today.  


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