The $400,000 Problem Of Storing Media Assets

The $400,000 Problem Of Storing Media Assets

In this guest post, Collaboro CEO Warwick Boulter (pictured below), says too many marketers aren’t taking care of their very expensive media assets and offers his tips to ensure you safeguard yours…

A business’ digital media assets form a significant part of its overall asset portfolio. Maximising the use of these assets and protecting them against loss is a key role of marketers and managers. Yet many are failing to do this.


There are hundreds of advertising shoots taking place every day, ranging from full-scale TV commercial (TVC) productions to one-man content shoots. The vast majority are these are undertaken by creative agencies and production companies, commissioned by their clients.

If we consider that a standard TVC shoot generates 500GB of data per shoot day, and a content shoot around two-thirds of that – managing digital assets becomes a huge task for marketers in terms of infrastructure and maintenance.

And that’s only part of the problem; more often than not, the devices on which these valuable assets are stored are not entirely fit for purpose. By its very nature, a portable hard drive is designed to be a temporary storage solution.

In fact, there is a 20 per centdrive failure rate after four years and after a further three years, that failure rate falls off a cliff.

If we consider that the digital revolution really started picking up in the late 1990s, it’s safe to assume that most brands will have digital assets dating back well over seven years. This means that some of the data stored on hard drives may well have already fallen off the cliff.

And so this content flairs on people’s screens for the duration of a campaign, then disappears into the abyss, with files, footage and data stored on a hard drive never to be seen again or accidentally erased from history, as a result of the unstable storage device used.

This is more than just a waste of time and resources. It is a costly mistake for a brand.

Let’s crunch the numbers.

If an agency shoots 15 TVC and 30 content shoot days in an average year, with a client commission of $100,000 per shoot day and $20,000 per content day, that’s $2.1 million spent on media creation. If this media is then stored on hard drives, there could be around $420,000 worth of data lost over the next four years, applying a 20% failure rate.

And if this volume of data had been created for the four years previously, the $420,000 loss is almost certainly happening right now.

Where does the responsibility lie for protecting these high-value media assets? Does it fall to the client who commissioned and owns the media assets, or the agencies who store and maintain the assets?

The owners of media assets should be taking full control of their media assets.  That’s where the responsibility lies.

This is where cloud-based data asset management software is important. However, there has always been major stumbling blocks to the effective use of such software, including:

  • The process of collecting all the data from various agency and production partners is a complex and arduous task.
  • DAM software is unable to keep up with the exponential creation of a brand’s content and scale with their content library.

This is why some forward-thinking brands are sensing the need for a fully integrated and service-based data asset management solution for their business and are, in turn, protecting their assets.

Let’s consider the true value of unlocking every piece of content a brand has ever, and will ever create has to the business…Ultimately it means time and budget isn’t wasted reshooting footage a business already has (or did have once upon a time).

Smart-sharing and collaboration means the right teams can get access to any files, anytime, without calls to production partners and time and resources spent searching through USBs, hard drives and servers.

And that results in content getting to market faster.

The creation of marketing content continues to rise and as we see it bridge the gap between brand and consumer, allowing marketers to engage with their audience on multiple channels – the potential for brands to use content to set themselves apart from competitors will only increase with it.

The old ways of managing, sharing and using content are no longer working. The digital revolution is behind us, what we see now is the norm. It’s time for marketers to regain control of their creative assets and protect the legacy of their brands.

The growing complexity of an increasingly fragmented marketing space – where brands work with many agencies and creators, all of whom need ever more content to fill ever more channels.


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Collaboro Warwick Boulter

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