How much does Digital Asset Management software cost?

Organisations have never had greater choice when it comes to deciding how to store, manage and share their digital assets.

However, with the options ranging from free file storage systems like Google Drive and Dropbox, all the way through to enterprise-grade Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems that cost £100,000 plus, it can be hard to know where to start - and what represents value for money.

In this blog we're going to look at how much Digital Asset Management costs, as well as the factors that impact the price.

What does Digital Asset Management cost on average?

A 2018 survey conducted by Digital Asset Management News (which ResourceSpace was a part of) looked at the average cost of DAM systems based on the responses of 13 leading vendors.

The results were:

Overall average cost
1-year hosted $51,999
1-year non-hosted $71,746

However, it's worth noting that the survey showed a wide range between the lowest and highest priced DAM vendors.

In his article for CMS Wire promoting the survey, Ralph Windsor, contributing editor for DAM News, suggested that "prospective clients are being charged substantial premiums for no other reason than that pricing is considered part of a brand strategy by the vendors."

"If the intent of the vendor is to acquire large enterprise accounts, then they may feel they must apply pricing which appears to paint themselves as serious players in the minds of their target prospects (and therefore justifying the higher cost)."

Factors that can affect DAM cost

Depending on the vendor and their specific pricing model, there are a number of factors that may or may not impact the cost you have to pay for a DAM.

Hosted versus non-hosted

When implementing your DAM platform, some vendors will offer you the choice between hosted and non-hosted, otherwise known as cloud hosted or on-premise.

Cloud hosted Digital Asset Management is located on the vendors' servers, while on-premise requires the organisation to host the software in-house.

Although choosing an on-premise solution will reduce the amount you have to pay the DAM vendor each month (not including any initial set-up costs and ongoing support required), it doesn't mean it's the cheaper option. Maintaining a server requires an IT team to manage it, ensure there's a disaster recovery process in place, and take care of all the backups. It's likely to be more expensive in the long run.

Note that the number of vendors offering on-premise solutions is in decline, with organisations favouring the flexibility, convenience and lower cost of cloud solutions, when you take into account there being no requirement for an internal team.

With cloud hosted solutions the cost will increase depending on how much space you require for your assets, as well as how much customer or technical support you need.

The cost of hosted DAM solutions might also increase if you have specific security needs, for example the criteria required to be on G-Cloud 12.

Open source versus proprietary software

Open source refers to software that makes its source code freely available. This offers benefits from a product development perspective, with members of the user community able to develop new functionality and integrations independent of the vendor, but it also makes a big difference to cost.

READ MORE: The big DAM debate: Open source versus proprietary software

By contrast, the licence for proprietary software is restricted, with updates and bug fixes rolled out periodically by the vendor. However, open source vendors will also release their own software updates and bug fixes, in addition to community development.

By definition, open source software must be freely available and offer free redistribution. However, one thing to be aware of is that modifications to open source software may not be supported by the vendor, meaning you'll need to invest in a larger internal DAM team than you would with proprietary software.

Features

Some proprietary DAM vendors will offer tiered pricing based on certain features. These features might include advanced metadata tools, analytics, asset editing, workflow tools or machine learning.

The downside of this pricing model is that you might find yourself needing to pay over the odds for a business-critical feature that's only included in a higher package.

Other vendors, including all open source DAM providers, do not restrict access to any of the software's features.

DAM training, technical and customer support

If your organisation doesn't have internal resources that can manage and maintain the DAM system you'll probably need access to some level of onboarding or training, as well as ongoing technical and customer support from the vendor.

These services might be priced up in hours, or set deliverables.

Number of users

While some DAM vendors allow for unlimited users, many will charge incrementally more depending on how many people in the organisation require administrative or collaborative privileges. Typically, there's no additional costs for users who simply need to access and download digital assets.

User numbers are usually a relatively small factor in deciding DAM cost, unlike other software solutions where the pricing model is based on user licenses.

How does ResourceSpace compare against the market?

ResourceSpace is an open source DAM solution, which means the software itself is completely free. If you have suitable internal IT and Digital Asset Management expertise you can download the source code and implement it on your own servers without paying us a penny.

If you do need support from us, you'll only have to pay for two things at most:

  1. The cloud storage you require from us (although the first 100GB is free)
  2. Onboarding, training, and customer and technical support

This makes ResourceSpace one of the best value DAM solutions on the market.

Overall average cost
ResourceSpace 1 year hosted $6,670
ResourceSpace 1-year non-hosted $5,835

READ MORE: The Digital Asset Management comparison checklist

We also offer an on-premise solution starting from just £388/month, including ongoing support, unlimited users and an annual health check to ensure you're getting value from the software.

Want to find out more about ResourceSpace and how it stacks up against the competition? Get in touch with our team, or launch your free DAM instance today by clicking the button below.