Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Global Upside for Digital Asset Management

Global revenue from digital asset management (DAM) solutions is expected to triple by 2013, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The research, which also covers conditional access and broadband video markets, indicates marked differences in adoption rates and market growth between the major industrialized regions, North America, Europe and Asia.

"Certain common factors affect the growth of conditional access, digital asset management, and broadband video across all regions," says industry analyst Zippy Aima. "There is the recent proliferation of digital media content, especially video, and the rise of portable devices for viewing it. We can add the widespread availability of broadband data services to distribute it, and the need for systems that can store and deliver that content to the right people at the right time."

Beyond those common drivers, however, differences emerge. In North America, the conditional access market is quite mature, and revenue is expected to reach a plateau starting this year. Telcos will earn the largest piece of that revenue, followed by the cable industry, with the satellite sector a distant third.

The maturity of the North American market affects shipments of new conditional access servers too, which will see lower than replacement rates, while shipments in Asia will more than double in the same period.

"After a slow start, IPTV is finally finding traction, particularly in Asia and Europe," adds Aima. "The pay-TV business model will do especially well, with the number of videos viewed increasing six-fold by 2013, while free content suffers a few percent decline."

None of these markets is without its challenges. Although vendors and service providers have been quick to provide and adopt new conditional access solutions, the required infrastructure changes are slow and expensive. The explosion of online video also demands more bandwidth.

With the security of both premium entertainment content and private data under threat, ever-stronger access control is needed. Amid some confusion about what really is and isn't a DAM solution, DAM vendors must also focus on integration: their tools must interact with a constantly changing array of other applications.