Tracking Image Licensing: 3 Reasons to Use a DAM for Rights Managed Photography

by John Kusovski
May 17, 2018

There’s no question some of the quality images marketers use in their creative pieces are rights managed, and as such their use comes at a price. The most obvious cost is the fee to license an image, but the time and energy expended on the administration of rights managed works shouldn’t be overlooked.

Some concerns keeping marcom and brand managers up at night include:

  • Use of a rights managed image past the expiration date of the license.
  • Assuming an unlimited scope to a licensed image purchased for previous works.
  • Uploading rights managed imagery to servers where it’s used by others who assume the work is royalty free.

These worries aren’t without merit. Misuse of rights managed imagery can come at a steep cost — paid for in both money and reputation.

Add it all up, and you can see how an investment in digital asset management (DAM) software begins to make sense. Let’s break down why.

1. Digital asset management software automates the critical, but routine, administration of image licensing

Many brand managers question why they’d add a rights managed photo into a DAM, but the reason is simple — it manages the rights for you!

A great DAM will attach the license terms associated to every photo uploaded to it, as well as display to the end user the freedoms and restrictions for each image in the system. Additionally, a DAM can be configured to send automated reminders to stakeholders who make use of licensed imagery to notify them if a license is due to expire and requires renewal.

Simply put, the minutiae of tracking image licensing are handled within the system itself, which provides freedom for marcom managers to focus on their work, rather than their licensing worries.

2. A rich library of licensed images nurtures the vision of your creative team, all while saving time and money

In a 24-7 digital world, it’s likely your creatives are challenged to develop ever-more inspiring campaigns in shorter periods of time.

Using a DAM to centralize your rights managed photos reduces the time creatives otherwise waste hunting for images on disparate systems. It affords your team with a single point to access to the entirety of your image library — no more settling for sub-standard imagery in creative work designed for maximum visibility.

Your team won’t just save time, but money as well. DAM libraries inform creatives of whether they have license to use a particular image, so accidental purchases to rights of a photo previously paid for become a thing of the past.

3. The mission of brand consistency is supported by a rights managed photo library

Because your team isn’t likely to support an investment in photography not aligned with your brand, the addition of licensed imagery into your DAM implicitly adds a “stamp of brand approval” on them.

Why is this important?

Because rights managed photos have already been subjected to an approvals process, their use is less likely to trigger revisions during a marketing review process. That makes it more likely your creatives will incorporate those brand approved images into their work.

The result is a creative team more confident of what they design, with marcom and brand managers finding it easier to approve and release high-quality, brand consistent creative.

Multiple benefits from a single platform

As you can see, tracking licensed images in a DAM isn’t just about reducing violations and saving money. It also affords your marketing team with the peace of mind and the tools they need to do their jobs better and faster.

Using rights managed photography isn’t something you have to worry about. So long as you have the proper software in place to keep track of it all, the benefits far outweigh the consequences.

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