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Buying a DAM

Understanding Digital Asset Management Pricing

  • 8 min read

When companies first start looking into digital asset management (DAM) solutions to better organize their content, figuring out the pricing structure can quickly become complicated. What most don’t fully realize in these early stages is that their needs may change over time and the initial price tag for a DAM may not stick for very long. This is why it’s important to fully understand DAM pricing, what the initial cost includes, and what kinds of increases you’re looking at as you grow as a company.

To avoid surprises and going over budget, it would be helpful to map out features and benefits the DAM is providing, take time to choose a partner that will help you find the right plan, and make sure there’s room for you to scale up if needed. Let's first take a look at the different kinds of DAM costs to help you better understand what to expect with each one.

Digital Asset Management Costs

There are various factors at play when it comes to determining the cost of a DAM. The size of your organization, your unique use case, storage needs, and more can all help determine the kind of DAM solution you may need. Although there is a lot of complex information out there about the costs of DAM solutions, you will always see three main components to the price of a DAM:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these costs below.

Subscription Costs

All DAM solutions have a base subscription cost, which is usually dependent on a combination of storage, user numbers, administrators, and user groups. To receive an accurate quote for the subscription price for your DAM solution, you’ll need to be able to answer these four questions:

  1. Storage: How many terabytes (TBs) of assets will you store?
  2. Users: How many people will use (or could use) the DAM?
  3. Administrators: How many people will manage the library?
  4. User Groups: How many different customized user groups will be needed?

Each DAM vendor has a slightly different approach in how they price their base subscription, as well as what they include with it. For example, MediaValet’s core DAM subscription-only charges for storage, and includes unlimited users, administrators, and custom user groups.

Understanding This Cost

This is often the most variable cost, so it’s important to consider how each vendor’s pricing structure will impact your organization’s long-term growth. Some pricing structures can prevent organizations from extending DAM access to other users, such as additional departments or marketing agencies, as it would increase the price of the DAM’s base cost substantially. A subscription model that’s based on just storage, with unlimited users, can greatly improve the scalability and reach of your DAM - and should be a priority if you’re expecting to grow your user base.

Upfront Costs

There are often one-time fees to cover the upfront costs of implementing the DAM. First, an onboarding fee is an extra cost associated with the initial DAM setup for your organization and may increase with additional storage or integrations. Another is a consultation fee. Many DAMs will either offer consultation internally or have partners that can provide additional support with navigating more complex DAM implementations. Both of these fees are normal but can vary across vendors and quickly add up if they’re estimated based on an hourly rate. With MediaValet, the onboarding fee is a flat rate that covers the entire onboarding process, followed by unlimited training and support over the customer’s lifetime. We also have several partners that can help with additional implementation needs.

Understanding This Cost

In many cases, implementations can take longer than expected, so take care to understand what’s included with these fees to avoid getting caught with an unexpected bill. Make sure you understand if the onboarding and consulting fees are based on a set number of hours and the implications of going over and above what’s included. Understanding the kinds of services that are included also set clear expectations between the DAM vendor and you, the customer.

Ongoing Costs

A typical ongoing cost is for DAM training which involves booking time in with the DAM vendor to train new users on the platform or update users on how to take advantage of new features. This can be in the form of one-on-one training or group training sessions and is usually priced based on a set number of hours and/or sessions. Another ongoing cost is for DAM support, which covers technical challenges with the DAM (system bugs, setting up new users, recovering deleted assets, etc.). Like training costs, support costs are usually bundled or billed hourly. Both DAM training and support are critical to the adoption and usability of the platform, so it should be an expected cost. Again, with MediaValet, unlimited training and support are included in the base subscription cost.

Understanding This Cost

While “optional” training and support can be tempting to pass up, ensuring new users understand how to use the platform ensures better long-term adoption and increased ROI. It can also save you from wasting valuable time trying to solve technical problems yourself, only to make matters worse. In most cases, investing in training and support inevitably saves you time and stress down the road. With this in mind, consider using a vendor that offers unlimited training, or be sure to thoughtfully budget for this additional cost.

Comparing Costs of Digital Asset Management Systems

When shopping around for DAM solutions, it’s important to ensure you're comparing apples to apples. In this section, we’ll cover all the basics you should know about DAM costs before you start comparing pricing structures. The three major considerations you’ll need to understand prior to comparing DAM prices are:

  1. Features and Integrations,
  2. User Needs, and
  3. Ability to Scale.

Let's take a closer look at each consideration below.

1. Features and Integrations

Since every organization has unique needs, the DAM you decide to go with should reflect that. A very important part of comparing the costs of different DAM solutions is only looking at systems that have the features you’ll need. Be sure to deep dive into the DAM’s features on asset organization, search capabilitiesdistribution solutionsarchivingsecurity, and the ability to scale—and don’t forget to look into their training and support.

What’s the use of investing in a DAM if it doesn’t work with the rest of your tech solutions? Running into a problem with the right integrations can be a major roadblock in choosing a successful DAM. MediaValet integrates with many of the most-used programs like Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and much more.

2. User Needs

The right DAM partner will take into account how the DAM needs to work for your team, and how they can offer ongoing support that will boost user adoption, and foster confident usage. MediaValet offers a customer success program where you’re partnered with one of our customer success managers to make sure your DAM works the way you need it to with unlimited training and support.

3. Ability to Scale

scale headerWhere you’re at today is not likely where you’ll be six months, a year, or five years down the road. Most organizations are looking to grow, making scalability an important factor to consider when comparing DAM vendors. It's important to take into account how your costs may grow as your business does—and to ask yourself if these costs are sustainable. MediaValet offers unlimited users and user groups at no extra cost to help support our clients who are looking to scale up.

Whether you have a library of digital assets already, or you’re starting fresh, MediaValet works with you to develop an intuitive and future-proof taxonomy that will scale and grow along with your business.

Get the Full Picture

When embarking on a DAM cost comparison, it’s important to understand how each vendor’s pricing works, as well as what features and benefits they provide. This will help optimize productivity, get the most out of your DAM, and avoid any unforeseen costs. Ensure you understand the subscription, upfront, and ongoing costs of your DAM as well as what's included in what you’re paying for. It's just as important to choose a DAM partner that you trust when helping decide on the right plan for you.

We believe in investing in the success of our clients by offering unlimited onboarding, training, support, users, and user groups. Why wouldn’t we help our customers get the most out of their DAM? Get your custom MediaValet pricing today.

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.

MediaValet Team