What is a digital asset?
A digital asset is any form of content and/or media including the right to use it.
What is a digital asset? A digital asset is any form of content and/or media that have been formatted into a binary source which include the right to use it. A digital file without the right to use it is not an asset. Digital assets are categorized in three major groups which may be defined as textual content (digital assets), images (media assets) and multimedia (media assets) – a combination of different content forms; (van Niekerk, A.J. 2006).¹
What are types of digital assets? Types of digital assets include, but are not limited to, the following: product images, lifestyle photography, logos, illustrations, animations, audio & video clips, presentations, page files (Quark or InDesign), office documents and spreadsheets, CAD files, and a number of other digital file formats and their metadata.
What is digital asset metadata? Metadata is the embedded descriptive information that stays with the file. Metadata is what allows assets to be catalogued, searched for and retrieved for its permitted use(s). Metadata can be automatically written to the asset (e.g. EXIF in the case of image files, which stands for Exchangeable Image File Format) or manually associated to the asset within a Digital Asset Management system. EXIF metadata is displayed, but not editable. However, there are other types of metadata that allow users to add their own descriptive information within a digital photo or image file. This metadata may include the characteristics of the photo, copyright information, a caption, credits, keywords, creation date and location, source information, or special instructions. Two of the most commonly used standard metadata formats for image files are IPTC and XMP.
What is a digital asset worth? In most cases, the owner of the digital asset paid one or more knowledge workers to create the asset, representing significant labor and overhead expenses. Since digital assets represent the goods sold by an organization or they are in themselves among the goods being sold (i.e. media assts), the value of a digital asset typically increases with higher use. Digital assets can be reused as is or with slight modification. Digital assets can be repurposed by applying part of the asset or the entire asset to create a totally new and different digital asset. Repurposing existing digital assets dramatically reduces the cost and time to market to create new digital assets. Digital assets have a reuse lifespan exceeding 18 months (GISTICS).
What is a digital asset management system? A Digital Asset Management system is a combination of software, hardware and professional services that provides a central location for storing, managing and accessing digital assets – both the files and the accompanying metadata.
A digital asset management system calls for the ingestion, annotation, cataloging, storage, retrieval and archiving of digital assets. Learn more under: What is Digital Asset Management?
1. van Niekerk, A.J. (2006) The Strategic Management of Media Assets; A Methodological Approach. Allied Academies, New Orleans Congress, 2006