The best Digital Asset Management (DAM) software in 2023
A new year can always bring with it the chance to reassess current strategy, launch new products, or to explore your options. So, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for anyone on the lookout for the best Digital Asset Management (DAM) software in 2023.
From the most basic options to the newest software on the market, this article will take a closer look at the most popular solutions and approaches.
What is Digital Asset Management
Before we get started, let’s just make sure that we’re all on the same page when we talk about digital asset management. In short, DAMs aim to provide you with a single place to store all of your digital assets (primarily images, but this could include other document types and marketing assets).
Serving as a single source of truth, a DAM should improve workflows by simplifying organization, adding a layer of security to asset sharing and storage, making it easy to find the assets that you need, and occasionally some added features to improve user experience.
Common DAM pain points
The first thing to consider when assessing what the best DAM solutions on the market in 2023 is to gain a better understanding of why organizations choose to use a DAM and some of the common pain points that they experience.
The reason is typically pretty simple. If you’re managing anything over a handful of digital and marketing assets then you need somewhere to store and share those assets from. Having assets stored locally causes huge issues for collaboration and tools not intended for asset management often make it difficult to find the right image or to know which is the latest version.
In fact, not having a DAM or not having the right DAM usually forces organizations to rely on more third-party solutions and more software. Teams will choose to share images via email because they can’t easily collaborate and they might even find it simpler to search through their inbox than to navigate their DAM folders.
No DAM or the wrong DAM can lead to bad data hygiene — and by that we mean creating multiple versions of the same asset because it is too difficult to find the image that you want. Modern DAMs solve these problems by employing advanced tagging and search features, but many go beyond the basic functionalities associated with search and storage.
A good DAM should improve your workflows and collaboration. It should allow every team and team member to have access to the assets they need whenever they need them. To share, edit, and collaborate on those assets from a single platform and to use your DAM as a single source of truth where they can find the latest version and not risk destroying an original.
Best DAM solutions for 2023
So with those pain points in mind, let’s take a closer look at the most popular DAM solutions that companies will be using in 2023.
We know what you’re thinking, Dropbox isn’t a DAM…and you’d be right. But if we want to provide you with an honest assessment of the DAM landscape then we have to admit that many companies rely on Dropbox for managing all of their digital assets.
Dropbox is great at what it is. They pioneered cloud storage and provide an excellent solution for storing and sharing files, but it was not designed to improve digital asset management workflows or collaboration.
It checks all of your basic boxes (pun intended) and will give you a place to store your assets, but it won’t do anything more than that. Files will get lost in nested folders and your team will struggle to find the assets that they need and likely choose to re-add an image over wasting hours looking for the original.
A good DAM should improve your workflows and collaboration and Dropbox fails in both of those aspects. We’d say the same about Google Drive or any of the other popular cloud storage solutions on the market.
We’re not saying don’t use Dropbox at all, but if you’re looking for a DAM then you should look for something more sophisticated.
Launched in 2013, Bynder aimed to solve many of the problems with first-generation DAM products (like Dropbox). It radically improved the overall landscape and developed features and functionalities that specifically addressed the challenges of digital asset management.
Now a legacy player in the market, it remains an extremely popular solution. With features that simplify finding and sharing assets, automate workflows, and improve digital rights management. As a second-generation DAM, Bynder has had time to develop a wide range of features and certainly provides one of the most well-rounded solutions on the market.
But it is still not the perfect solution for every use case. Many third-generation DAMs now offer features that Bynder has yet to develop and it’s lack of a free storage plan and pricing structure makes it unsuitable for small teams or individuals or companies that are looking for a DAM to use as they scale.
Another one of the second-generation DAM providers, Brandfolder has also developed a fairly complete range of features to improve your digital asset management. With automated tagging capabilities, image recognition, and metadata searching, some of these features are more advanced than those offered by Bynder.
But these features come at a price, and Brandfolder is widely considered to be one of the most expensive DAMs on the market. With a price-per-feature model, using Brandfolder may also force you to compromise on the features that you choose to use depending on your budget.
So, if you’re a marketing team with a large budget to spend in 2023 then Brandfolder could be the right solution for you, but, if not, there are probably better options out there.
One of first examples of the third-generation DAM providers, Air.inc has developed features that set it apart from many of the legacy players. Building on the same basic features and principles of digital asset management, Air has aimed to further improve workflows, collaboration, and accessibility.
In many ways, Air represents the first shift within the DAM industry towards the standards and user experience that have come to be expected in other software. This will significantly improve the overall experience and reduce the risk that you team will rely on multiple software solutions for digital asset management.
With a freemium approach, Air is suitable for teams of virtually any size, although some features are only available through its more expensive plans.
One of the newest players on the market, Raster was developed as a result of an internal frustration with the DAM solutions on the market in 2022. As a third-generation DAM, it offers all of the core features and functionalities of a first or second-generation DAM, but also offers a number of features that make it unique.
Similar to Air, Raster has focused on improving search and collaboration to make it easier to find and share the assets that you need. But Raster has gone one step further by developing a platform that is more than just a DAM.
With Raster, you get a single platform that allows you to store, edit, and share all of your images from one place. That’s right, whereas other DAMs focus solely on storage and distribution, Raster wants to improve your entire workflow by also allowing you to edit your photos directly within the platform.
This makes Raster uniquely positioned as a DAM that is suitable to the needs of marketing, design, and dev teams. With features that allow for real-time collaboration, Raster is also powered by an AI-tagging feature that means that you’ll never struggle to find a photo again.
This powerful AI feature is entirely customizable and will learn as you build your library — meaning that you can make brand-specific tags and label your images as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You will also improve your brand management workflows through the ability to assign specific user roles to team members. This means that your digital asset management can all be carried out from the same platform without any risk or reliance on third-party software that could compromise your organization’s security.
With no storage limits or freemium features, Raster is built for organizations of any size and suitable for all use cases.
Start using the best DAM in 2023
Raster will significantly improve your marketing workflow and give your designers, developers, and marketers powerful tools that will increase their efficiency and independence.
The best news? You can access all of Raster's features for free. Sign up today and start using the best DAM on the market in 2023.