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Case Study III - BBC Worldwide (
Since the first publication of Radio Times in 1923, BBC Worldwide has been the
commercially-funded service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It covers a
broad variety of businesses covering international programming distribution,TV chan-
nels, magazines, books, videos, spoken word, music, DVDs, licensed product, CD-ROM's,
English language teaching, videos for education and training, interactive telephony, co-
production, library footage sales, magazine subscription fulfilment, exhibitions, live
events, film and media monitoring.
Managing the variety of digital assets from these business arms is a huge task, and the
company's former strategy of archiving resources on Compact Discs was becoming
untenable.The processes of finding, altering and re-filing assets were significantly less effi-
cient than desired. A new technological approach was necessary to streamline these
processes and to continue to convert resources into assets.
The decision was taken to implement a DAMS to handle and automate these tasks.
The product selection was carried out between IT Systems Manager Mark Ginns from
Worldwide's Publishing Systems
department, and his colleague, Digital Asset Manager,
Jo Mercer. After evaluating a number of similar products, Picdar's Media Mogul was the
eventual winner, with Ginns and Mercer's decision based on the company's track record
in similar working environments. Picdar created a new database for three of the compa-
ny's thirty-one magazines and, when the system went live, the content was immediately
accessible. Each image and article has history, usage, creator and copyright information
linked to specific pages in the printed magazine, thereby providing an easy-to-use and
fully indexed solution for finding, billing and reusing of a magazines' assets.
According to Conspectus magazine, Ginns was delighted with the delivery.
The system
has since been expanded to cover all thirty-one of the company's titles, and staff have
access to all assets via a dedicated intranet browser. Further expansion is planned to cover
syndication of stock footage and licensing arrangements, and may work with existing
syndication agreement with CBS with which the BBC holds the sole agent's licence.
The DAMS introduction process has required a team of three staff members to mark-
up the content, and subsequently populate the content database.The system has been
well received by users, a crucial step in ensuring the success of any new tool.
Scenario I An Archive
A small, recently founded brewing archive is looking to market its services to an
expanding niche market of hobbyists. As many of the archive's potential world-wide users
are unlikely to be able to visit personally, a Digital Asset Management system is set up to
control the archive's growing Web presence and simultaneously link to the existing MySQL
database which stores details of documents held, and digitised images of many of them.
Digital Asset
Management Systems
This case study is based on material from the Internet and from printed sources. All sources are credited in
footnotes or in the body of the text.The websites were visited on 04/02/2003.
List from homepage,
According to Picdar's website,
Conspectus magazine, September 2002, p. 21. (Available online to registered users at