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What are Digital Assets and How are they Managed?

  • Editorial Team
  • Jun 13, 2022
What are Digital Assets and How are they Managed? title banner

Digital Assets, a very self explanatory term is an umbrella term for everything that is in the pure virtual space and has an intrinsic value attached to it. Broadly there are 8 types of digital assets.

 

  1. PDFs - A PDF (Portable Document Format) is essentially an intangible form of a printed document. It is used for mostly documents that contain texts. These PDF files can be easily accessed using softwares like Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 

  1. Video - A video is a digitized representation of moving pictures. Formats in which it can be produced include .mp4, avi, .mov,  there are other several substandard formats, like MPEG-1, MPEG-2, etc. 

 

Video quality has seen constant evolution from its grainy blurry days to the crystal clear 8K Ultra High Definition videos to the virtual 3D videos for an immersive experience online.

 

  1. Presentations - Presentations are commonly used by sales and marketing teams of organizations. Then can be in the form of Slide Decks, Powerpoint Presentations, Word Documents, Google Docs etc.

 

  1. Audio Files - Digital form of sound that can reproduce the source audio and is of a certain value to a company or individual comes under this type of digital asset. 

 

These can be anything from interviews to background scores to the only audio recordings of an extinct animal species. These can be in many formats like - MP3, WAV, AU, AIFF, PCM or BWF.

 

  1. Images - This is the most common type of digital asset. Three of the most common formats are JPG, JPEG and PNG.

 

  1. Spreadsheets - Spreadsheets are tabular forms of data sets that can be used for further calculation and analysis using formulae. The most common format is .xls. One can Use Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets, Google Spreadsheet and Open Office Calc  can also be used to access spreadsheets.

 

  1. Graphics - Everything from logos to branding materials all are graphics. Graphics Are Essential to Every Marketing team. They help bring their message to their respective prospects

 

  1. Design Files - These are the assets that are still in the production phase hence are easily editable and can have large file size. They are normally TIFF or PSD files.

 

  1. Cryptographic digital Assets - Cryptocurrency is one of the cryptographic digital assets.  Any digital asset that is distributed across several systems which means it is decentralized and can’t be duplicated can be classified as a cryptographic digital asset.


 

Importance Of Digital Assets

 

Digital Assets play an important role in organization’s sales and marketing efforts. On an average companies are now spending between $150 million and $250 million on digital content activities every year. 

 

As per a research report the digital asset management market was worth USD 2,962.2 million in 2020, and it is expected to grow to USD 8,158.6 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 18.46% during this period of 2021-2026.  For companies digital assets are the stepping stone for an effective marketing strategy. 

 

In every marketing effort an organization needs some kind of digital asset, be it Images and videos explaining your product that helps to sell it, logos and branding for brand building and recognition or presentations and spreadsheets to organize sales or marketing campaigns. Digital Assets are crucial to any organization in this fast moving world to gain traction and get recognition.

 

 

How to Evaluate Digital Assets
 

Digital assets are evaluated on the basis of the effort that is needed to reproduce them and the ability to reproduce the digital assets. 

 

Digital assets that can be reproduced quite easily for example a single picture used in marketing efforts can be reproduced rather quickly but if let’s say we lose an entire presentation or an eBook, it will take considerable time to reproduce it, hence making it more valuable for the organization.
 

Similarly a digital asset like a rare picture of a rare occurrence or once in a lifetime image of a legendary shot in sports are way too valuable for any organization because these assets can’t be reproduced. These factors combined help evaluate a digital asset. For cryptographic assets like Bitcoin, its value is derived from demand and supply dynamics in the world.

 

Ownership Of Digital Assets

 

Generally assets assigned to digital ownership include any entity that can be saved online, on physical disc to include flash drives. They normally consist of videos, images, social networking data, domain names, email and other such information. 

 

Recently we saw a sudden rise in NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). In 2021 Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet, through which he launched the  popular social media platform twitter, as a $2.9 million NFT. Canadian musician Grimes sold her digital art as NFTs for a whopping $6 million in 2021. 

 

Similarly a one-of-a-kind digital rendition of the Nyan Cat meme was sold as NFT for US $590,000 in 2021. In 2021 only Winkelmann — the digital artist known as Beeple – sold digital art as NFT for $69 million at Christie’s.

 

Below we’ve listed some of the most expensive NFT’s sold till date -

 

  1. Whisbe, Not Forgotten, But Gone - $1 million, March 2021

 

  1. Kevin Abosch, Forever Rose - $1 million, February 2018

 

  1. Paris Hilton and Blake Kathyn, Iconic Crypto Queen - $1.111211 million

 

  1. Don Diablo, DΞSTINATION HΞXAGONIA - $1.24 million

 

  1. 3LAU, Gunky’s Uprising - $1.333333 million

 

  1. Pak, The Pixel - $1.355555 million

 

  1. Pak, The Switch - $1.444444 million

 

  1. Kevin McCoy, Quantum - $1.58 million

 

  1. XCOPY, Death Dip - $1.58 million

 

  1. Mad Dog Jones, Replicator - $4.1 million in April 2021

 

  1. Edward Snowden, Stay Free (Edward Snowden) - $5.4 million in April 2021

 

  1. Beeple, Ocean Front - $6 million in March 2021

 

  1. Beeple, Crossroads - $6.6 million in February 2021

 

  1. Beeple, Everydays - The First 5000 Days - $69 million in March 2021

 

One must be thinking I can always download Nyan Cat memes, why shell out money when I can get it for free. To explain this let me take an example of the great Picasso. There are several Picasso copies doing rounds and one can buy them because they are relatively inexpensive. 

 

But there is only one original Picasso and that is in Museo Picasso de Barcelona, Spain. Similarly anyone who wants can get a duplicate Nyan Cat but the original ownership of the original Nyan Cat remains with the individual who bought it as NFT.

 

Also Read |  Top 10 NFT Platforms


 

Issues faced by Organizations in Proper Usage of Digital Assets

 

As per Statista the total amount of digital assets created and consumed across the globe is going to increase rapidly, over the next few years by 2025, global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes. 

 

With such an abundance of digital material it becomes more and more difficult to sort through to find the image or presentation or other electronic media that is pertinent to the main goal. The main issue is proper Digital asset management. 

 

Brandfolder and Demand Metric published in the “State of Digital Asset Management” report for 2020 that the statistics showed that 51% of marketers waste money producing or recreating assets that go unused because people don’t know of their existence or can’t find them. 

 

In addition, 46% of people waste their time downloading and uploading assets into different tools. If these digital assets in any organization are managed properly, they can play a crucial role in helping companies and organizations cope with the use of assets, their storage, distribution and re-use.


 

Managing Digital Assets

 

Digital Assets can be managed in several ways. The main goal of digital asset management is to make sure that these assets can be easily accessed and can be managed efficiently. This is generally done with a consistent use of metadata (Titles, photographer name, keywords etc.), and a smart taxonomy (category structure).

 

  1. Metadata

 

Metadata is the additional information provided to any digital asset. It can be a short description, source information, owners details etc. Keyword association is very important in metadata since it enables digital assets access in relevant searches.

 

There are two types of Metadata -

 

  • Technical Metadata

 

Technical metadata is the additional information provided like for a digital image, its resolution, camera used, dimensions, photographer, time photograph was taken. Generally this kind of metadata is displayed automatically.

 

  • Descriptive Metadata

 

Descriptive metadata is the additional information that describes a digital asset. For Example - for a digital image descriptive metadata can display a short description of the image, relevant keywords, Title of the image, message that the image may convey etc.

 

  1. Taxonomy

 

Taxonomy is a way of categorizing assets in a hierarchical manner where we may establish relations among digital assets thus making navigation in the limitless ocean of digital assets easy and efficient.

 

One major concern when managing digital assets is their security. It should always be ensured that the people accessing don’t accidentally delete/modify/ overwrite the original files, or change the crucial metadata which can render relevant keyword searches useless. 

 

The solution to this is role based permission given to the stakeholders so that only people with authority to modify these assets get to make changes to these assets and these changes must be properly tracked so that any modification can be reverted to its original form whenever needed. 

 

A proper cloud based digital asset management system works wonders when it comes to managing digital assets in a structured manner efficiently.

 

A few Digital Asset Management Systems include Veeva Vault PromoMats by Veeva Systems, Brandfolder by Smartsheet (Brandfolder), Widen Collective by Widen, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets by Adobe, Aprimo Digital Asset Management by Aprimo and OpenText Media Management (OTMM) by OpenText. 

 

Also Read | What are Digital Payment Methods?

 

Digital Assets have taken the world by storm and have been transforming the financial and creative landscape. From Images, pdfs and presentations used in corporate marketing effects to cryptocurrency and NFTs the world has seen a drastic evolution. 

 

We now have NFT collectors, a term we never heard in the past. We have seen complete democratization of finances with crypto transactions which are completely encrypted and secure. The pandemic has given an upsurge to digital content online with a sharp rise in the sheer number of digital content creators. 

 

We have now an endless supply of digital content on various platforms and are witnessing an era of overload of digital assets (high value or low) and this digital content creation is only going to increase manifold in the future.

 

The struggle for the future is not going to be the dearth of content on any imaginable topic, but navigating through this sea of abundance for relevant digital assets. 

 

Digital Asset Management Systems are able to manage the crowded arena of digital assets for now but we have to look for a smart solution which can sustain the ever growing repository of Digital assets effectively. It remains to be seen if the recent AI powered DAMs can be the answer to all of our management problems of the future.

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