The world of digital media is evolving rapidly as innovative technologies emerge and user behaviors change. With this change, software solutions must adapt to meet shifting needs. This is especially true for digital media library platforms, which organize and provide access to large collections of digital assets.
To remain competitive, digital media library developers need to stay on top of key trends that will shape the future of their products. Such trends include AI and machine learning, elevating user experience, tighter integration, digital asset supply chain, and more.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have immense potential to enhance digital media library systems. As these technologies continue improving, expect them to take on a bigger role in areas like:
- Metadata generation — AI can automatically analyze assets and generate descriptive metadata tags. This removes a traditionally manual and time-intensive task.
- Search and discovery — Machine learning algorithms can better understand user intent in searches and return the most relevant results. They can also uncover patterns to recommend new or related content.
- Tagging suggestions — By studying how assets are manually tagged, AI can recommend additional relevant tags for untagged items. This improves the ability to search.
- Duplicate detection — Algorithms can identify duplicate or near-duplicate files. This prevents clutter and inconsistencies.
- Automated categorization — Software can categorize assets based on parameters like file type, resolution, date, color profile, and more.
- Facial recognition — For photo and video assets, AI can identify people’s faces and group images accordingly.
- Contextual metadata — Computer vision can analyze images and videos to extract contextual information about what they contain. This makes them more discoverable.
As AI and machine learning improve, they will become integral parts of robust digital asset management.
The cloud has already reshaped many forms of business software, and digital media library platforms are no exception. The advantages of cloud-based systems include:
- Lower start-up costs — No need to invest in on-premises infrastructure and servers. Cloud systems have lower upfront costs.
- Scalability — It is easy to add storage and computing resources to support more content and users. Cloud systems readily scale to handle growth.
- Flexibility — Users can access cloud-based platforms from anywhere with an internet connection. This supports a distributed, mobile workforce.
- Speed — Content processing and other tasks are faster, as cloud platforms leverage high-powered remote servers.
- Reliability — Cloud platforms offer robust backup, failover, and disaster recovery capabilities to keep systems and data safe.
- Automated updates — Cloud platforms seamlessly roll out software improvements, patches, new features, and more. No manual updating required.
- Collaboration — With assets stored centrally in the cloud, dispersed teams can easily collaborate on projects.
While some companies still rely on on-premises solutions, cloud platforms will become the norm for most organizations.
Focus on User Experience
Modern users expect slick, intuitive interfaces. Digital media library software will place greater emphasis on user experience design. Key elements include:
- Consistency — UI elements, workflows, and terminology should be consistent across the platform. This makes it easy to learn and use.
- Personalization — Users should be able to customize settings, views, metadata fields, and other elements to suit their needs.
- Responsiveness — Interfaces need to work seamlessly on any device — from desktop to mobile.
- Simplified workflows — Less clicks and less complex workflows make platforms easier to navigate.
- Visual appeal — Clean, uncluttered layouts, attractive typography, and thoughtful use of color improve aesthetics.
- Usability testing — Prototypes and live platforms should be tested with real users early and often. Feedback drives refinement.
- Contextual help — In-app tips, hover-over tooltips, and other contextual help guide users without disrupting workflow.
- Accessibility — Platforms should be accessible to users with disabilities through features like screen reader support.
Prioritizing UX helps boost user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity.
Tighter Integration with Companion Apps
Media library platforms do not exist in isolation. They need to integrate with other applications used in creative and marketing workflows. Moving forward, platforms will more tightly integrate with key companion apps through:
- Direct plug-ins — Plug-ins within creative tools like Adobe CC provide direct access to the library’s assets and metadata.
- Connector apps — Standalone, lightweight apps can provide linkage between the library and various tools.
- Embedded displays — Library search results and other key data can be displayed directly within partner applications via APIs.
- Automated workflows — Platforms will support more robust automation between applications — like automatically adding rendered Adobe assets to the library.
- Single sign-on (SSO) — Users log in once to access connected systems. This creates a more unified working environment.
- Unified search — Searching from other applications can retrieve results from the library as well as the native application.
- Contextual recommendation — Based on what you are working on within creative tools, the platform can offer related suggestions from the library.
Tighter integration removes friction and makes workflows more efficient. It also makes the value of the platform more tangible to users.
Focus on Digital Asset Supply Chain
Modern digital media platforms do more than just store and organize files. They manage complex supply chains that involve:
- Ingestion from multiple sources
- Tagging, metadata assignment, and categorization
- Multiple file renditions and dynamic transcoding
- Review, approval, and distribution workflows
- Multiple integrated storage tiers (online, nearline, archive)
- Rights management and access controls
- Publishing to web, mobile, social, etc.
- Analytics like usage patterns and engagement
Platforms will provide more sophisticated tools, automation, and control over these supply chain steps. The emphasis will be on building an efficient, scalable “content factory” tailored to the organization’s needs.
Prioritization of Video and Rich Media
Text-based content once dominated digital libraries. However, video, imagery, interactive content, AR/VR, and rich media now make up a growing portion of assets.
Future platforms need advanced capabilities tailored to these richer forms of content such as:
- Auto-generated video transcripts for searchability
- AI-powered tagging of objects, faces, logos, etc. within video
- Hotspot linking and annotation capabilities for interactive graphics
- VR (Virtual Reality) previews and integration with VR authoring tools
- Specialized, video-focused CMS integrations
- Tools to manage and convert between different video/image/VR formats
Managing the full spectrum of digital content will be crucial.
Emphasis on Marketer Needs
Historically, digital asset management originated within creative teams. Modern platforms also need to meet the specific needs of marketers by providing:
- Easy self-service access for marketers to download approved, brand-compliant assets.
- Feature-rich APIs for integrating with marketing automation systems, CRMs, etc.
- Curated collections of assets tailored for campaigns and initiatives.
- Usage analytics on how assets are being deployed and engaging audiences.
- Social publishing and digital asset optimization.
- Workflows for submitting updated content requests to creative teams.
Rise of Distributed Content Networks
Many organizations use multiple DAM platforms. Different business units or global regions have their own systems. Managing content across disconnected silos is enormously inefficient.
The rise of distributed content networks tackles this by connecting multiple platforms. Core capabilities include:
- A unified search across repositories company wide.
- Replication of files and metadata between platforms.
- Management of access rights across systems.
- Workflows that span systems (like review and approval).
- Unified usage analytics across the network.
This fundamentally transforms how enterprises manage digital assets.
Nearly all the platforms provide APIs for integrating with other applications. In the future, API capabilities will be primary design considerations rather than an afterthought. API-first platforms feature:
- A well-documented API Developer Portal with sample code and tools.
- APIs that allow full control of core functionality for ingestion, search, workflow, etc.
- The ability to fully configure metadata, workflows, UI, and more via API.
- Webhooks for event-based integration with external systems.
- Oauth2 supports security-conscious integrations.
With an API-first approach, the possibilities for workflow integration are vastly expanded.
The Growing Value of Metadata
Metadata has always been at the core of media library platforms — powering everything from search to workflows. Expect metadata management to become even more sophisticated through:
- Expanding schema with specialized, custom fields tailored to each organization and use case.
- Automation like AI-generated tags as noted earlier.
- Tighter integrations with data from creative tools, marketing automation platforms, CRMs, and more.
- Leveraging metadata for new applications like data analytics.
- Innovative visualization tools for exploring metadata relationships.
Rich, well-managed metadata unlocks more platform value.
Shifting to Agile Development
Traditionally, DAM platforms followed a slow, incremental pace of improvement — a single major release every few years. However, users expect faster innovation cycles today. Leading platforms are adopting agile development with:
- A sprint-based approach delivering frequent improvements.
- Tight collaboration between users and developers.
- Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines for efficient coding and release management.
- Decoupled, microservices-based architectures enabling faster changes.
The combination of agile processes and modern architectures lets platforms innovate at the pace user’s demand.
Here are some of the key trends that will shape the future of digital media library platforms:
- Harnessing AI and machine learning for automating manual tasks like metadata generation and search improvement.
- Transitioning to the cloud for lower startup costs, increased scalability, flexibility, and greater reliability.
- Improving user experiences through more polished, intuitive interfaces.
- Tightening integrations with creative tools like Adobe CC along with marketing systems.
- Expanding capabilities for managing rich media like video beyond traditional digital assets.
- Adopting developer-friendly, API-first architectures.
- Increasing the strategic value of metadata via deeper integrations and expanding schemas.
- Embracing agile development cycles to accelerate the pace of innovation.
- Building distributed networks to break down silos and connect systems company-wide.
These key trends signal tremendous changes ahead. Digital media library platforms that strategically evolve along these lines will be best positioned to add value in the future.
ioMoVo offers an AI-powered digital asset management platform built for the future.
Key capabilities include:
- Computer vision AI that automatically tags and classifies assets for improved discovery.
- Integration with both creative tools and marketing systems via API and application extensions.
- Customizable metadata schema tailored to each customer’s needs.
- Support for a centralized view of assets distributed across regions, brands, subsidiaries, and more.
- Lightning-fast search that leverages AI along with metadata.
- Modern cloud infrastructure provides scalability and reliability.
- Accessible from any device. Minimal training needed.
To learn more about ioMoVo and request a demo, visit www.iomovo.io. Unlock the power of AI for your digital media library.