In the Content Management Software market, Media Collective by Widen touts itself as the leader in digital asset management (DAM). The cloud-based SaaS helps companies utilize DAM tools to create, manage, share, and analyze your digital assets. This includes creative tool integration, video management, web CMS integration, brand portals, lifecycle and rights management, asset archiving, and usage analytics that benefit every department in your company.
For marketing it offers a way for your teams to activate their digital assets, get them to people who need them, and gain visibility into how they’re being used. This can happen through setting customized system messages, adding new assets via drag-and-drop, promoting featured collections and spotlighting smart searches, and getting visibility into all assets with asset activity feeds. For sales departments, you can show customers the latest product images and videos through your mobile tablet and smartphone. You don’t need to email your marketing team for images. Instead, you’ll find them easily and connect to the right content, from anywhere in the world. There is controlled access via user roles and permissions, quick keyword and category searches to narrow results, and you can convert image and video formats on-the-fly. For you web designers, you can update website pages to showcases your newest images, using the DAM system to find a range of images and videos for your layouts, leveraging creative integrations like WordPress and InDesign, tracking versions and changes to master assets, and automatically updating digital assets with dynamic resizing and embed codes. The asset analytics features give you a comprehensive view of all your digital asset activity so you always know which are your most powerful assets, facilitating data-driven decisions about which assets to maintain in the long term.
What users seem to like most about Media Collective is its advanced filtering and search options based on company metadata, the ease with which user permissions can be adjusted to control access to various assets, the speed of screen loads and downloads, and the stellar customer service that Widen provides. Customers are extremely pleased with the support they receive to implement the solution, as well as the ongoing support in continued tweaking needed to respond to changing environments and requirements. The support has been described as “best-in-class” and is delivered through multiple points of contact (online chat, email, phone). Users also note that Widen goes the extra mile in terms of automatic, timely, and user-centered product enhancements and releases. Other customers note that the user interface is slick and easy to use for the widest range of users possible, whether internal employees from various departments, designers, vendors, and international partners.
A few users note that browsing assets by category is a cumbersome process, but other than that there are no negative comments about the software, which is a rarity indeed. One user noted that the learning curve is fairly steep because the customer has to fully understand how they’ll utilize a DAM in its workflows, and Widen also has to understand the intricacies of the company to help make it work.
I’m especially surprised that no one mentioned anything about price, given that it is a substantial investment. Annual subscriptions to Media Collective begin at $10,000. The average subscription price ranges between that starting point and $23,000, meaning it is clearly a solution for larger companies with large digital assets needs. They do offer a solution for smaller companies as well, called smartimage with monthly fees that are only hundreds of dollars rather than thousands. What is clear, however, is that regardless of the price being paid, users clearly feel that the software delivers more than enough functionality and value to justify the cost.