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Glossary: Media asset management technology explained

It’s easy to forget that some of the acronyms and tech jargon we use can act as a barrier for new entrants. With that in mind, we’ve put together an ongoing cheat sheet of the most common terms in the media industry to demystify some of the gobbledegook.

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Accelerated File Delivery is Imagen’s, high-speed file transfer service, used by many of the world’s biggest media companies to distribute broadcast-quality files to their key clients.


Artificial intelligence can analyse a/v content, automate repetitive tasks and generate rich descriptive metadata.

Aspect Ratio

The ‘shape’ of a video frame, expressed as width against height. Many formats exist, and cinema has decided to use different aspect ratios over time. Find out more.


Application Programming Interface. Imagen’s API can be used for system integration and to allow third parties to securely publish and update content in Imagen.

Archive Management

Archive management is concerned with the acquisition, care, arrangement, description and retrieval of records once they have been transferred from an organisation to an archival repository.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, particularly computer systems. With Imagen, there’s more to AI than analysing and describing video – find out more.


Ad-based Video On Demand, or in other words, ad-supported video, is where viewers are served adverts in order to monetise the content, for example on YouTube and 4OD. It’s a popular option for traditional broadcasters and media owners, as it replicates the traditional television model.

Brand Asset Management

Brand asset management exists to take the hassle out of storing, iterating and sharing the digital materials that define your brand. It’s closely related to marketing asset management, but BAM focuses more tightly on identity assets, rather than all marketing materials. Much like marketing asset platforms, BAM platforms eliminate the confusion of multiple, untracked file versions, and the guesswork.


Content Delivery Network. The use of a robust and scalable series of proxy servers, connected by very high-speed fibre, to distribute high-quality content to the end user. The technique allows very rapid content serving to large audiences, as connections are made to the customer’s nearest proxy, rather than all the way back to the physical premises of the media owner. Imagen provides an easy connection to your Content Distribution Network (CDN) when you need it.

Cloud Storage

Scalable and flexible pay-as-you-go storage, hosted by a third-party provider and accessed over the internet. In the cloud, server infrastructure, backups, security, updates and expansion are all managed remotely, negating the need for expensive on-premise hardware and IT support costs.


Content Management Systems enable non-technical teams to operate otherwise complex websites and workflows without having to manage and write the underlying code. Simple CMS might handle just text and images, but more complex implementations will allow video management, either natively or by integrating with a third party, such as Imagen.

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software enables the sharing, processing and management of media files, and other data files among several users or systems. This type of software allows remote workers to jointly work on a task or project.

Content Distribution

Content distribution is the process of sharing, publishing and promoting your content to online audiences, across a variety of channels. Find out how you can serve the widest range of clients in your media supply chain, here.


The legal area related to ownership of a creative work and the rights to control its reproduction, performance, recording, broadcasting, translation and production.

Creative Asset Management

Creative teams often work with thousands of assets: fonts and photos; stock, archive or original footage; audio; illustrations; graphics; copy – and templates and guides for them all. Creative asset management exists to safely store and manage these assets, plugging them into your workflows without adding friction.


Credits are used in the Imagen platform to enable the purchasing of content. You simply set values for credits per unit of video duration and set licensing terms to define appropriate usage.


Digital Asset Management systems allow internal teams to easily manage complex portfolios of rich media content from a central interface. However, they are usually designed for photos, presentations, images and documents, and can struggle with large video files.


For most organisations, implementing a content management system is a no-brainer. Whether you’re licensing content, feeling the frustration of trying to find a file you know exists, or having to recreate assets that have been misplaced, the time and cost savings of implementing a media management solution are hard to ignore. The true ROI of DAM can often depend on your unique use cases.


A document management system provides a centralised place for an organisation to store its valuable digital documents. However, it’s far more than a simple storage system. DMS platforms offer multiple features to make it easier to store and retrieve documents – and the information they contain. In addition, cloud-based platforms support modern distributed working practices with easy access from any location.


Digital rights management is a technology that helps control what viewers or users can do with digital assets. For example, DRM software can prevent unauthorised copying, forwarding or editing of a media file. From a rights holder perspective, DRM can help ensure that legitimate users can playback licenced content they’ve purchased or subscribed to, without breaching the terms of that licence.


Direct To Consumer. Where your content is delivered direct to the consumer/end viewer without needing to use a middleman. A useful feature of Imagen for content owners.

Enterprise Content Management

Simply put, enterprise content management is the process of managing the information an organisation needs to achieve its business goals. In practice this most commonly centres on a digital platform for storing and retrieving all of a business’ essential information. But as a discipline, ECM is more all-encompassing.


When a product reaches the end of its official support period, it’s designated as EOL (End-Of-Life). How might this affect your business? How can you avoid it? And, what comes after End of Life?

Facial Detection

An invaluable AI tool that can locate and highlight faces in images and video ready for tagging by administrators, so that individuals can later be found via search.

File Sharing

Whether you work in media, marketing, communications – or any other business – you’ll be well aware of the importance of file sharing. Fundamental to collaborative working, and to managing editorial and approval processes, the ability to share files with colleagues and collaborators is a pillar of any modern office workflow.


Frames Per Second or the number of frames displayed during a second of video footage, where higher FPS results in smoother motion perception. Different traditional broadcast frame rates can cause significant compatibility issues.

FTP Solution

FTP Solutions are used to facilitate file transfers across the internet. But if you depend on free, freemium, or even some paid solutions, you could be taking risks with valuable IP. When you outgrow freemium file-sharing services, you need a smarter video distribution platform.


If you need to deliver high-resolution video seamlessly across the globe seamlessly, Imagen has developed the Global Distribution Network (GDN) feature. This ensures that high-resolution video is served from a service closest to your employees, so you always get the best (and fastest) connection to your content.


The built-in Imagen player uses HTTP Live Streaming technology to protect your content and optimise delivery, ensuring viewers receive images at the highest quality.

Image Management Software

IMS helps organisations by providing a centralised repository for photos, graphics, logos and other image files. Rather than leaving files scattered across servers, IMS makes it easy for marketers, communications professionals and others in the organisation to find approved, appropriate images to support their work.


Refers to importing or uploading content into a MAM platform like Imagen. Audio, video and documents can be easily ingested from numerous sources, such as web pages, external storage, and direct from social media. Find out more here.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001:2013 is a comprehensive international standard achievable in information security management and validates the security practices we have adopted to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of client data. The certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and improving our information security management systems. Imagen holds the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification from the from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

ISO 9001

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is the internationally recognised standard for quality management. The award confirms that an organisation has reached required standards for its Quality Management System (QMS) which promotes the development of continual improvement, focus on customer satisfaction and traceability through the implementation of various management system processes. To find out more about Imagen’s accreditation, click here.


Linear Tape-Open is a traditional method of archiving video content, popular due to its low up-front cost, but widely recognised as more restrictive and with more management overhead than cloud-based solutions. See how it compares here.


Media Asset Management - a topic close to our hearts at Imagen, a MAM is a single repository for storing and managing video and multimedia files.

Marketing Fulfilment

Marketing fulfilment is essentially the ability to create, iterate and deliver marketing collateral to the channels where it’s needed. With this in mind, marketing fulfilment software includes tools that focus on organising and automating workflows and managing the assets that are crucial to delivering omnichannel marketing success. Find out why a DAM is fundamental to achieving this.

Marketing Resource Management

MRM software supports and simplifies multichannel marketing operations, integrating with other tools in the Martech stack to help improve and automate processes. MRM solutions ensure the integrity of all marketing assets – from logos, photos and videos to copy blocks and templates.


Megabits-per-second is a common measurement of a media file’s bitrate, or how much information is squeezed into each frame, greatly affecting overall audio and image quality.


A search function is only as good as the metadata that you attach to your files. Imagen makes it easy and fast to add this data (allowing you to choose/customise your database fields), so that you can always find what you’re looking for.


Video monetisation comes in many forms, but the easiest approach is to upload content to YouTube and enable its monetization platform. But in most cases, pennies are all you’ll be looking at in return. Unless your videos get watched into thousands and thousands of times, you’ll never even make back your costs.


This describes a localised alternative to a video management system in the cloud, where archiving and storage is handled by on-site hardware. While this might sound tempting, on-premise archives require constant maintenance, bandwidth, space and electricity to run.


Over The Top encompasses direct-to-consumer (DTC), internet-based content delivery. Essentially the same as DTC, OTT implies that the real business value is still in traditional content distribution channels, a position that is increasingly not the case.


A Production Asset Management system, intended specifically for production use, tracks and catalogues regular revisions to assets in a digital media production workflow.

Photo Management Software

Photo Management Software systems are comprehensive programs that organise digital photos and imagery, making them easy to manage and share. Architected around a centralised storage space, a photo management platform provides features that help users categorise, share and retrieve the media they need. Find out what it can do for you, here.


A product information management platform provides an authoritative record of everything the world needs to know about your products. This would include important specifications and legal information such as ingredients or applicable certifications, but it typically goes much further. A PIM record can contain documentation such as datasheets and product manuals, along with supporting media files – images, product videos and so-on.


Lower resolution, lower bitrate video content generated automatically, intended for easier downloading, previewing and streaming to people with limited bandwidth (e.g. mobile networks).


PVOD differs from TVOD in that it deals with the most valuable and in-demand video content: usually newly-released films. Pricing can therefore be higher to reflect the value of the content, and the terms might be stricter.

Review and Approval Software

Keeping track of incoming content from internal and external sources can be a real headache for busy media managers. Effective review and approval software allows teams to coordinate production workflows and review contributions from internal departments and external freelancers with ease. Introduce quality control and organise incoming media in your organisation with ease.


Give users the option to receive updates about saved search criteria via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and also MRSS (Media RSS), which extends the capability of RSS by including links to multimedia files, such as audio, video and images.


The Real-time Messaging Protocol is designed for streaming audio and video over the internet, optimised for the lowest possible latency. Imagen uses RTMP to display live streams directly through the ImagenWeb interface.

Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is all about providing salespeople with the tools, information and resources they need to support bids and close deals. This includes everything from information describing your products and services, through pricing models or discount calculators, through to tools like phones and CRM software.

Social Media Management

Social media management software helps companies stay on top of their conversations and branding across multiple social networks. Platforms such as Hootsuite are fundamental to this, for example by automating and scheduling posts. They’re also crucial in supporting the person or team charged with maintaining the brand presence while they monitor and engage with conversations on various networks. How are modern brands keeping up?

Spatial Annotations

The ability to highlight areas on an image that can be tagged with searchable metadata. For example, it allows the administrator to draw a square marquee around a face and add a name that can be searched for later.


Automated transcriptions in any of ten languages, generated by Imagen’s AI tools. It allows large volumes of uncatalogued video to be indexed and searched using natural or specific phrasing. 


Single Sign On, the ability for users to log in with a single set of credentials across multiple sites, without being prompted for a separate username and password.


Subscription Video On Demand. Consumers pay a flat rate per month for ‘all you can eat’ content viewing. Netflix being an obvious example.


Imagen’s transcoder module automatically converts original or master files into a wide range of alternative file formats, which can be created for distribution or streaming.


Transactional Video On Demand - where consumers pay per view. There are many variations on this theme, but the two major categories are Electronic Sell Through, where customers acquire permanent access to content once purchased, and download to rent, where a piece of content is available for a limited time only. Sky is a particularly good example here, although Apple and Amazon also use the model in various forms.


Currently the highest video resolution available on consumer displays. Not all codecs can encode in 4K resolution though. Our in-depth guide to codecs and containers explains why.

User Permissions

Balancing security with access is a constant challenge for anyone with valuable media. What’s the point in owning great content if you can’t see it? It’s all about enabling the right people to see the right content at the right time. Granular user permissions and access controls give system administrators full control over who can see their media and what they can do with it.

Video Asset Management

Ideal for rights holders, production companies and over-the-top streaming services, VAM-capable platforms start with the huge storage needed to store hours of broadcast quality, high-definition video content. Platforms may provide multiple ways to monetise video content, such as self-service licencing portals.

Video Licencing

A licence is given to the third party by the copyright holder for the use of their video. The agreement can specify a price paid for the licence, limit the video’s use in content and duration, and the intended broadcast audience (national or international television, radio, web, live events, etc.).


Video On Demand. A collection of video content that can be played by users at any time, exemplified by companies including Imagen, YouTube and Netflix. This can be broken down into the following monetisation categories: AVOD, SVOD and TVOD.


To prevent replicas of distributed media and to safeguard creators’ rights, a graphic or logo can be placed over an image or video. Sometimes a hidden/forensic watermark is used, keeping identified information invisible to the user.