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DAM vs MAM: Definition, Benefits, Similarities, and Differences

Managing an ever-growing collection of digital assets is a challenge many organizations face today. Both Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Media Asset Management (MAM) systems are the solutions that can solve this problem. But what sets them apart, and more importantly, which one is right for your organization?

This article explains DAM vs MAM functionalities, benefits, and key differences. Whether you’re juggling diverse digital files across various industries or dealing with large-scale video and audio content in film production or entertainment, understanding these systems is crucial.

What is DAM

A Digital Asset Management system is a convenient digital library for organizing and distributing a wide range of digital assets. These assets can include logos, marketing materials, product images, documents, graphics, videos, and more, serving as a single source of truth for approved assets. Pics.io DAM system, for example, can work as a cap on top of Google Drive or Amazon S3, or function as an independent cloud storage.  

DAM plays a critical role in content creation workflows, especially for marketing teams. With such solutions, organizations can better manage and distribute their visual media from a centralized library, enhancing collaboration and brand consistency. DAM software also simplifies asset management by providing advanced search functionalities and metadata management, ensuring simple access and control over various file formats. By creating agile workflows for different teams, DAM solutions make it easier to find, use, and share digital assets.

DAM benefits

Let's briefly go over the most important advantages of digital asset management systems:

  • Enhanced Searchability and Metadata Management: With DAM's robust search functionalities and metadata tagging, finding and retrieving specific assets becomes quick and efficient.

  • Improved Collaboration: Centralized asset access streamlines workflows and enhances overall productivity for both internal teams and external stakeholders.
  • Brand Consistency: Due to the centralized collection of brand-approved assets, it's much easier to maintain consistent brand messaging (like logos, fonts, and even brand colors) across various channels and platforms.

  • Access Control: Customizable user roles and permissions, as well as the possibility to restrict certain assets or set up expiration dates for them, protect sensitive files. In such a way, confidential digital assets can only be used and accessed by authorized teammates.
  • Versatile File Support: DAM systems can handle a diverse range of file formats, which makes them adaptable to various business needs and industries.

What is MAM

Media asset management systems (MAMs) are centralized storages for organizing, managing, and retrieving multimedia files like videos and audio files. MAM software is essential for companies that need to manage large volumes of multimedia content efficiently in such industries as entertainment and broadcasting, publishing, advertising, etc. Just like DAM, media asset management (MAM) ensures easy collaboration, quick turnaround of output, and cost savings by maintaining a comprehensive library of assets.

MAM benefits

In short, Media Asset Management systems work wonders for organizations that deal extensively with large-sized video and audio content. Let's take a closer look at their advantages:

  1. Optimized for Large Media Files: MAM excels in managing and storing large-format video and audio files, which are the main digital assets in industries like broadcasting and entertainment.
  2. Advanced Video Production Support: MAM systems integrate tools and applications specifically for video production, including video editing suites, visual effects, and transcoding.
  3. Secure and Selective Access: MAM provides permission-based access to content for security and controlled distribution of high-value media assets.
  4. Effective Content Monetization: MAM helps package and monetize multimedia files. This feature is a must for industries that aim to generate revenue from audiovisual content.
  5. Seamless Collaboration Among Teams: User-friendly and intuitive interface in MAMs coupled with their robust features improve collaborative processes in media production, especially for teams working on complex media projects.
  6. Cost Savings: MAM software reduces long-term archival costs for high-resolution, heavy video files.
  7. Enhanced Discoverability: They use metadata and tagging for easy content search.

DAM vs MAM: Key Differences and Similarities

At first sight, it can seem that both these tools are the same and serve the same purposes. However, not every digital asset management platform can be an effective media asset management. At the same time, every MAM is a DAM. Don't worry if you're getting confused at this point. We're explaining more about the similar and different features of these digital libraries below.


  • centralized and optimized storage (both hot (immediately accessible) and cold (long-term archiving) storage options are available)
  • advanced search capabilities
  • metadata tagging and keywords
  • security features like 2FA, SSO login, etc.
  • user permissions
  • usage tracking
  • integrations with other tools


1.Video Format Support: Media asset management systems are tailored for video, offering tools and features for video production workflows (e.g., transcoding and proxy files). Moreover, such software usually has more features and integrations for video editing.

Digital asset management solutions typically support popular video formats but may lack support for camera native media and extensive video codec options. Nevertheless, DAMs support many more file formats, like PDFs, Figma files, and even external links.

2.Large File Support: MAM is adept at handling massive files, such as those in terabytes, crucial for managing rich media libraries. DAMs have limitations in processing and previewing large media files quickly​​​.

3.User Accessibility and Security: Digital asset management is designed for wide-scale access, catering to entire companies with multiple departments, the press, and the public, offering quick search, view, and download capabilities. In contrast, media asset management typically limits access to internal teams and select collaborators, often requiring authentication, making it more secure but less accessible​​.

4.Production Management: MAMs excel in managing assets through all stages of the media lifecycle, including integration with media production software. This makes media asset management more suitable for production environments, especially large ones.

DAMs are optimized for managing and distributing finished assets and often don't have all the necessary features to perfect raw materials and post-production workflows​​.

5.Industry Focus and Asset Types: A digital asset management system handles a wide range of digital assets and caters to various industries, including marketing, creative, publishing, e-commerce, and others. MAMs focus specifically on media-centric assets like video and audio, tailored to the needs of industries like broadcasting and entertainment.

6.Integration with Production Tools: Media asset management solutions often integrate tools and applications specifically built for video production, such as video editing suites, visual effects, and graphics tools.

DAM systems, being more general-purpose, may not offer such comprehensive integration with video production tools. Still, they bring to the table integrations with multiple project management, marketing, sales, and other tools.

7.Use Cases and Functionality: MAM is primarily used by industries focused on long-form video and audio content, such as news, advertising agencies, and media companies. Digital asset management, on the other hand, is used across various industries for managing diverse digital assets, including text and videos.

Here’s a table putting all DAM and MAM similarities and differences together:

Types of assets supported Supports different files, including images, videos, PDFs, design files, etc. Doesn’t work for processing large-size video files Supports popular video formats and codecs, including large-sized files
Integrations Integrates with design, marketing automation, e-commerce, project management, customer relationship management (CRM) tools Integrates with film and video production tools
User access Is used organization-wide across multiple departments. Moreover, it’s suitable for external stakeholders Is available to teams who deal with video production directly, like video editors and producers
Industries Any industry where companies are managing lots of digital assets Used by media and entertainment companies, news and ad agencies, film and video production companies
Use cases Centralized asset storage
Quick asset search and retrieval
Internal and external sharing
Deleting, and archiving assets
Version control
Advanced video cataloging
Storing, managing, and retrieving large video files
Video editing and production
Video transcoding
Monetization of audiovisual content
Possible issues Increasing demand for video content
Unfriendly user interface and too complicated functionality
No needed integrations
More and more video formats and devices appear every day
Big choice of sales and subscription models (streaming, download, or physical)
Data management
Benefits Saves time on asset search
Multiple integrations available
Supports different file formats
Archiving large high-resolution videos is pricy
Licensed content can be restricted
Cost Pics.io pricing starts with Solo plan at $50 per month From $350 to $250,000 per month

These differences highlight how DAM and MAM systems are tailored to meet the specific needs and challenges of different industries and asset types. Still, the lines between them are increasingly blurring as each gradually adopts features of the other.

DAM vs MAM: What is Best for Your Organization

The choice between Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Media Asset Management (MAM) depends on your organization's specific needs. DAMs are versatile and serve a wide range of industries. They're ideal for businesses that manage diverse digital assets like images, documents, and marketing materials. If your organization operates across different sectors, such as marketing, creative, publishing, or e-commerce, a DAM system would likely suit your needs better.

However, if your organization specializes in handling large video and audio files, such as in film production, broadcasting, or the entertainment industry, a MAM system might be the better choice. MAMs are tailored specifically for managing media-centric assets and offer advanced features for video and audio file management, which are essential in these fields.

Did you enjoy this article? Give Pics.io a try — or book a demo with us, and we'll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Pics.io Team
Welcome to Pics.io blog, where you'll get useful tips, resources & best practices on how digital asset management can help your business to manage & distribute digital content on top of cloud storage.