Storing digital assets is not difficult. However, searching for items that you accessed in the past and finding them… has its challenges. That is why digital asset management (DAM) software helps you with organizing, managing, storing, and retrieving digital assets.
If you work at an SME, you probably store your files in some tool like Google Drive or Dropbox, am I right? Bigger companies might have repositories within their servers where employees can store files at will. However, the software you are about to see is meant to help you sort, categorize, tag, and filter content, so you never have problems finding a file.
At best, this software will completely change the way you operate and handle your creative process. At worst, it will save you 30min every time you need to go looking for a file.
Here’s how I evaluated each digital asset management tool.
- User Interface (UI): This is a place where you’ll be storing marketing material by the dozen. The interface must be clean and decluttered, so it’s easy to navigate. Specifically around the filter section.
- Usability: I test how intuitive the tool is by using it without any training. If the UX is designed properly, I should have no problems finding my way around the tool or even training someone else to use it.
- Integrations: Pre-built integrations with Adobe’s Creative Suite are ideal for many teams. I analyze the available integrations and their relevance to our main task, which is to store and handle files.
- Pricing: I look at each tool’s pricing structure and get information on their plans. Also, I will provide you with information on free trials or free versions of the software.
- Tagging: The software lets you tag a digital file as soon as it’s uploaded. Normally there is a list of pre-defined tags, plus the option to create your own.
- Searchability: Searching your marketing material is probably the top feature of the lot. This feature includes filters that should help you narrow down your search and use a search bar similar to Google.
- Version control: Once you upload more than one version of the media file you are working in, the software should have the option to store it as a new version, leaving the old one accessible for future reference. Proper versioning helps you talk to the client when you are going through requested changes.
- Proofing: A big part of content creation is having approved assets. The software should include some sort of proofing functionality where an external user (a.k.a. The client) can give your team feedback. Also, a place where conversations can take place, so we streamline the approvals.
- Access controls: Having a permissions module that helps us determine which user has access to what kind of files is an essential part of a DAM.
- Artificial intelligence: I’m including this last one because many tools are using AI to help process digital content right after it’s uploaded. AI will make categorization or tagging suggestions and even suggest a folder location based on the type of visual.
- Image resizing: Most DAM solutions have the option to download your media files in different sizes according to your needs. These needs can include a specific social media platform or web content.
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A Leader by The Forrester Wave™ Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience, Q1 2022 report.
Bynder helps you create, find and use digital assets with streamlined collaboration and a focus on brand consistency across all markets and channels. It provides cloud digital asset management delivered through a slick, clean interface. Features include one central location to store all brand and campaign assets, direct asset available for users across the world, simplified file searching, built-in security controls such as two-factor authentication, user rights and access settings to protect your content, and more.
Bynder scores high in the Features and Functionality section of our evaluation criteria specifically because they have great support for a variety of file types, browser integration is pristine, user-friendliness for the dissemination of brand guidelines, and many more top-notch capabilities.
Integrations include Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, Sitefinity, BloomReach, Drupal 7, Drupal 8, WordPress, Okta, Google, Hootsuite, Microsoft Active Directory, Collect.io, Shutterstock, SDL Tridion, Templafy, and TYPO3.
The only cons to note are that parts of the interface are a bit cumbersome or clumsy and more customizability options would be helpful for large-scale projects.
Bynder offers customized pricing based on request and has a free trial and/or a free demo.
Widen Collective is a really useful tool to organize, share, and distribute your brand assets and product content across the web. In the end, it helps empower your marketers, salespeople, and partners to get the content they need on demand.
Something notable about this tool is its powerful search functionality and flexible metadata models. In this sense, Widen Collective stands out in our features and functionality evaluation, where searchability and flexibility reign supreme. And in addition to using metadata to classify your assets, you can also assign different roles and permissions to different user groups to control access levels.
You don't see this in every digital asset manager, but in Widen Collective you'll find an analytics feature. This means you can understand who is using your content, which can in turn inform more effective creative deliverables.
It's worth mentioning that you could use this tool as a standalone digital asset management tool or you could build it out into a larger management system. In addition to the core DAM offering (Widen Assets and Insights), several add-on applications are available to construct your brand management, marketing resource management, or product information management system that works for your use case. For example, you can use Entries to assemble product content for e-commerce distribution, or Portals to share curated collections within branded webpages. You could also leverage Templates to build localized ads and brochures or use their Workflow add-on to manage work-in-process review and approval.
The Widen Collective integrates with dozens of platforms spanning content management, project management, marketing automation, customer relationship management, social media, sales enablement, and more.
Widen offers pricing upon request.
Wrike is a work management platform that lets you manage digital assets in a single platform. Wrike connects directly with 400+ integration to help you centralize assets in a secure location, saving your team time and energy.
Wrike’s easy-to-use interface offers intuitive navigation with distinct Spaces, folders, and tasks, which you can fully customize to your team’s specific needs. Collaborate within and across teams in real time by sharing workflows, syncing calendars, and more.
Wrike offers a user-friendly experience with advanced customization capabilities. Plan, monitor, and manage project timelines using Kanban boards, drag-and-drop Gantt charts, or detailed dashboards. Gain access to advanced insights with a suite of analytics, resource management, and performance-reporting features.
Built with marketers in mind, Wrike has native integrations with all leading digital asset management (DAM) software providers, including MediaValet, Bynder, and Tenovos. Wrike also syncs seamlessly with Adobe Acrobat, Google, Dropbox, and 400 more popular tools, so you can manage digital assets without leaving the platform.
Wrike starts at $9.80 per user per month and is suitable for teams with five members or more. There is a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
Founded in 2012 and acquired by Smartsheet in 2020, Brandfolder is an industry leader in Digital Asset Management software.
Brandfolder delivers a DAM software that is as intuitive for users as it is powerful for admins. Easily store, manage, share, manipulate, and analyze assets across hundreds of formats including 8K video, documents, images, and 3D renderings with little to no training. In addition to core DAM functionality, Brandfolder provides robust features to empower key stakeholders such as marketers, salespeople, franchise partners, agencies, and retailers with SmartCDN, collaborative workspaces, and self-serve asset templates.
These features free up already stretched-thin creative teams by giving users the ability to resize and reformat asset downloads on-demand, quickly create or customize content using pre-approved templates, and embed digital assets across the web that automatically update. Brandfolder’s proprietary AI/ML and analytics technology, Brand IntelligenceⓇ , can detect duplicate assets, extract brand-specific metadata, and auto-tag images for more powerful search capabilities and asset usage analytics.
The recent acquisition by Smartsheet has led to deeper integrations with the leading collaborative work management system to level up marketing and creative production with powerful automations, reporting, and workflow capabilities. Additional integrations include Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Highspot, Google Suite, Sitecore, Shopify, Hubspot, Contentful, Salesforce, Workfront, OKTA, WordPress, Seismic, Drupal 8, Hootsuite, Jira, Trello, Templafy, Wrike, SSO/SAML, and many more, accessible via Zapier.
With best-in-class time-to-value, services, support, security, and scalability Brandfolder enables brands around the world like Slack, TripAdvisor, Lyft, and P.F. Changs to create compelling brand experiences with unparalleled efficiency and speed.
Brandfolder offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.
Scaleflex’s Filerobot is a GDPR-compliant Digital Asset Management platform that is software-agnostic and helps teams store, manage, optimize, share, and accelerate all digital and media assets. If you handle a remote team, you'll be happy to know it offers a user interface in over 8 different languages!
Among its features are an inline image editor with social media presets, duplicate management, versioning control, and media optimization. Also, you can set custom permissions and user roles, and have your team collaborate and share internally and with external partners.
On the innovation front, their AI and machine learning allow bulk background removal, video transcoding and adaptive streaming, and auto-tagging for enriched search capabilities.
Note: They have comprehensive documentation and in-house DAM experts who provide training to help you deploy faster.
Integrations include Adobe Creative Cloud, WordPress, Magento, Canva, Opencart, Kontent, Pabbly Connect, Sylius, Akeneo, Prismic, Zapier and they are always looking to expand their libraries. Your developers will be happy to know it offers headless APIs for custom integrations.
Scaleflex offers a free demo and customized pricing plans, allowing companies to scale as they grow.
MediaValet is a digital asset management solution that helps organizations easily manage, find, and share their high-value digital assets (source, WIP, and final). As a cloud-based DAM available from anywhere, it helps teams improve their productivity, increase asset ROI and drive revenue growth.
Advanced search and tagging features enable users to pinpoint what they need in seconds. Artificial intelligence automatically tags photos and documents with object, text and color recognition, making them instantly discoverable on upload. For video content, Audio/Video Intelligence automatically generates metadata tags for people, objects, text, and spoken word – it can even generate captions in over 70 languages, making video content more accessible.
With unlimited users and administrators included in enterprise subscriptions, MediaValet allows teams worldwide to scale quickly and cost-effectively. Plus, unlimited training and support ensures that all users are confident using the system and can maximize its value.
Delivering the highest level of security and scalability, MediaValet is trusted by many of the world's largest and most respected brands, such as the Jane Goodall Institute, Experian, and Brand USA.
Mediavalet integrates with Wrike, Workfront, Slack, OKTA, Active Directory, WordPress. Drupal 8, Adobe Creative Cloud, Sharepoint, Office 365, Hootsuite, and more.
Pricing is available upon request.
monday.com is a great digital asset management software because of the way the tool has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical digital content management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work for any marketing team.
monday.com allows you to allocate & prioritize tasks, use various views in order to see where everything stands, and track multiple projects using dashboards that provide high-level insights in a visual and intuitive way. It has client management capabilities that let you do everything from setting up automatic reminders, due date notifications, and assign members of your creative team to new tasks automatically. The platform also provides powerful and customizable notifications and automation so you and your team can focus on what's important.
With monday.com you can plan, manage and track your budgets in an intuitive interface. You can track expenses, income, their dates, and attach needed files to each item. And thanks to the various columns, you can filter items by many different variables such as status, people, text, time, location and others. Formula columns are also available.
While monday.com doesn’t offer traditional automated reporting, it is built to show the big picture at a glance to help you analyze various aspects of your projects and processes.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
ClickUp is a project management platform with dozens of useful features and collaboration tools. Files in ClickUp can live inside any task. Fortunately for all designers, it has bulk upload enabled, and items can be displayed as a grid or list.
However, unlike other software, ClickUp does not have a central location where we can see all files attached to a project. This makes it difficult to manage our digital assets and should make you consider using integrations instead.
ClickUp offers native integrations with OneDrive, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.
ClickUp is free with limited storage for an unlimited number of users. Paid plans start at $5/user/month and offer a free trial.
Filecamp is a digital asset management platform where you can store all your images, videos, creative files, and presentations and easily find them, thanks to its powerful tagging functionality.
This robust platform was created to help you manage and control how your images are used. Therefore, you can upload files and folders, tag them manually or use the auto-tagging feature, filter, sort, search, and download files in the original resolution or the one of your choosing.
If you are interested in your team collaborating on creative assets, Filecamp includes a proofing module where your team can engage in conversations around deliverables, suggest changes and go through approval workflows in a single place. Plus, you can do all this in a white-label product that you can make your own in a way only a few tools let you.
Filecamp allows you to have unlimited users in all plans and starts at $29/month. You can buy additional storage for your plan on-demand and test the tool with their 30-day free trial.
Canto helps to organize all visual content with a digital asset management system that emphasizes ease of use and collaboration. Robust search mechanics, smart sharing between different groups of stakeholders, and ample support (online tutorials or customer helpline) are just a few of the features they offer.
The flexibility of deployment and implementation are just a few of the reasons Canto scored so highly in the Usability evaluation criteria section. Overall, the software was pleasurable to navigate, easy to tune into and customize to individual use cases, and welcoming to new users.
Integrations include Box, Google products, Dropbox, Drupal, Egnyte, Facebook, Adobe Creative Cloud, Mailchimp, Pinterest, Slack, Twitter, TYPO3, Vimeo, WordPress, YouTube, and more.
A minor grip was the amount of data required to satisfy upload forms, which became a bit tiresome. Additionally, the loading of preview images tends to lag quite a bit.
Canto Digital Asset Management offers a quote-based plan upon request and has a 15-day free trial.
Need expert help selecting the right Digital Asset Management Software?
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It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
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Free Digital Asset Management Software
Several DAM software companies offer a free version of their software with some features restricted. Here’s a brief list of DAM software you can try for free.
- ResourceSpace: Free plan includes 100GB of storage and unlimited users
- Pimcore: Open-source tool
- Wrike: Free plan includes 2GB of storage per user and unlimited users
Other Digital Asset Management Software
There are a few more DAM options that I haven’t had the chance to fully review, but check these out if the above aren’t making the cut:
- ArchivEra: Best for archivists & project managers working with archives
- OpenAsset: Best for real estate and AEC projects
- IntelligenceBank: Best for assets shared by multiple internal teams
- Asset Bank: Best for user interface and usability
- Frontify: Best for brand management
- BrandMaker: Best for built-in calendars
- Pageflex: Best for combined asset management & marketing solution
- Salsify: Best for combined DAM and product information management
- BEAM: Best for file sharing and management
- Daminion Server: Best for tagging and indexing files and assets
- Brandworkz: Best customer service and support
However, if you're not looking for digital asset management software, check these lists out:
- Having trouble keeping all your digital projects on track? Try our project scheduling software recommendations to help stay organized.
- Managing large teams can be a headache. Try our resource scheduling software recommendations to make sure everyone has what they need.
- Focus on what’s important and get more done each day by taking a look at our productivity app reviews.
Digital Asset Management FAQ
Start here to cover the basics of digital media asset management software, like what it is and what you can use it for.
A digital asset is a ‘thing’ that you can use and access online. Among others, that can include photography, videos, branding assets, ebooks, logos, illustrations, animations, presentations, spreadsheets, word documents, emails—it could be anything that’s digital and that has metadata.
Digital asset management is a repository of digital assets – think of it as your online filing system. A DAM improves flexibility, control and access between organizations, businesses, departments, customers and partners of digital assets.
Digital asset management systems make the process of storing, sharing, and tracking digital assets much easier. It provides a centralized library to store and share digital assets, and allows people to access the files they need no matter where they are in the world—without being connected to an onsite server.
DAM software allows project managers to organize and access client content. All your assets are stored in a single library, so you can access them at your desk, in line for coffee or on your way to a meeting.
Advertising agencies, creative teams, non-profits, and ecommerce companies are just some examples of organizations that would use a DAM. Freelance creatives such as photographers and designers often use personal digital asset management for storing, sharing, and organizing their files. Anything that’s digital and has metadata is a digital asset. So anyone whose job or project involves frequent use of digital media or files will likely use a DAM.
What does digital asset management software do?
What are the capabilities of digital asset management software?
Digital asset management software stores digital assets in a centralized library. Most digital asset management systems provide additional features such as automatically adding metadata tags, creating smart albums, and tracking of asset licenses. Digital asset management software typically works with both mac and windows.
Do I Need A Digital Asset Manager?
I’ll answer that question with three more questions. Do you…
…manage creative teams?
…work on a decentralized team?
…work with multiple vendors, clients, or partners?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these three questions, you could likely benefit from digital asset management software.
What are the benefits of DAM?
- Everyone can access the same file versions. Using media management software means that everyone has access to the most up-to-date version that’s stored and shared on the cloud. Without a digital assets management system, you’re emailing files back and forth, which makes it hard to keep everyone up to date on the latest changes.
- You can refer to the version history and track revisions. Take advantage of how digital assets management systems store previous versions of your work—it’s all backed up in the system, so you can revert back to a previous version. This is useful when new changes don’t get approval and you’d like to quickly revert to the older version.
- You can use metadata to organize and locate assets. Media assets management software stores images, logos, video, and other files along with their metadata (embedded/enriched info, tech specs, copyright, origin, etc.). This means you can search for and quickly locate a file based on metadata, and you can use custom field to help label and organize assets.
What do you think?
DAM platforms ultimately make our lives easier. I would love to know what your experience is with this software or if you think we should add a tool that you currently use to this list. Let me know in the comments.
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