4 Things We Learned at Henry Stewart DAM



Last week, I teamed up with Brandfolder’s customer experience manager, Audrey, to descend upon Los Angeles for the Henry Stewart DAM LA Conference.

The objective of our attendance: get up close and personal with digital asset management experts.

The two-day event featured sessions about all things DAM, including case studies from awesome brands like REI, Monster Energy, Hearst Magazines, Oakley, and Comedy Central, among others.

To recap the conference, here are four important takeaways from our experience.

1. The Right Metadata Matters.

The importance of metadata became glaringly obvious.

There wasn’t a single session that didn’t stress how metadata can make or break a DAM implementation.

Presentations from REI and Pac-12 Networks touched on the importance of defining your taxonomy prior to using DAM as a best practice.

Defining your taxonomy allows users to easily find assets and verify rights and permissions to use assets correctly. This enhances productivity, reduces legal risk, and creates new ways to repurpose assets in marketing campaigns. It’s also important to ensure the right metadata is attached to assets.

According to Steve Simonian, VP of Software Engineering at Fox Networks, “Bad metadata is worse than no metadata.

If you want your DAM to be successful, define your metadata taxonomy early on and require all assets to have metadata upon uploading into the system.

2. Leverage Video.

Due to the conference’s Los Angeles location, we saw a large number of broadcast and entertainment-based companies, including everything from local news stations to movie and television giants like Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, and Fox.

All of these organizations have enormous amounts of video content, and it needs to be readily searchable inside their DAM solutions.

As such, many production houses spoke of the importance of breaking apart large video sequences into smaller, more digestible pieces that could be re-purposed for long-tail value later.

As we saw from Fox and Comedy Central, brands will continue to create larger amounts of content to support movie releases and television shows. As a result, being able to store and quickly locate the right clips inside DAM software will become increasingly important.

As you consider your brand’s future roadmap, it’s especially important that your DAM provider can grow with your changing digital needs, especially video.

3. Avoid Licensing Woes.

Many case study presentations focused on the pain points associated with asset licensing.

Eric Izenas, Marketing Systems Manager at REI, was able to solve these problems completely by implementing a DAM system.

After putting production back into the hands of their own marketing teams, REI significantly reduced costs by no longer outsourcing talent, and by eliminating legal issues regarding potential brand misuse.

Another common theme throughout the conference was ensuring that images, videos and attribution rights could be accurately managed.

We heard clients challenge vendors to step up the game around attributing specific licensing data to assets, which would address complex licensing agreements and ensure proper asset usage.

4. Monetize those Assets.

Once you’ve supported your content (especially video), associated the proper metadata, and ensured you have the proper rights for using and repurposing, you can focus on the monetization of your assets.

Dan Piro, Director of the Digital Asset Archive at the National Hockey League, discussed the NHL’s desire to distribute footage to external vendors for a price.

Companies with large content libraries must be able to easily find content based on incoming requests. This will help them find new ways to bring in revenue and provide demonstrated ROI.

After we learned from multiple attendees that they’ve re-purposed existing content for monetary gain, we began to wonder: How many DAM users realize, and take advantage of, the potential value of their assets?

Takeaways from Henry Stewart DAM

Overall, the two-day event was inspiring and enlightening. It was incredible to see so many popular brands maximizing their asset ROI and achieving stronger branding with DAM.

Most importantly, listening to the needs of attendees validated our commitment to enhancing our product. We’re excited to continue expanding upon our video storage, custom tagging, and advanced metadata features, all housed beautifully within a highly intuitive interface.

If you’re interested in seeing how Brandfolder can help you store, share and showcase your assets, we’d love to hear from you!


Jenay Sellers runs Digital Marketing at Brandfolder, the simplest way to store, share and manage brand assets. As a Marketer and self-proclaimed web designer, she understands the importance of digital asset management tools and solutions. When she’s not encouraging others to check out Brandfolder, she enjoys cooking Blue Apron meals, playing golf, and curating Spotify’s best new music.

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