What's the difference between a DAM and Google Drive?

"I am looking for free digital management software, will Google Drive work?"

With so many asset storage solutions available it can sometimes feel like an impossible task to choose which software is the right one for your company.

In this blog post we will be weighing up the features of a paid digital asset management (DAM) system and Google Drive as a free alternative.

If you are short on time, jump to our DAM and Google Drive comparison chart.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based collaboration and storage tool. Teams can easily work from one place across multiple devices, making it a great solution for creating, sharing and accessing documents. It is also one of the most inexpensive options, with the first 15 GB of storage you use being free.

Google Drive can be a powerful solution to manage assets such as photos, videos, and brand guidelines if you are a small company with a limited amount of assets and users.

However, if you are responsible for thousands of digital assets and users that have different access requirements, Google Drive becomes more and more difficult to manage. This is where digital asset management software comes into play!

Digital Asset Management systems

DAM software makes managing, storing and sharing rich media easy, while offering a huge range of invaluable features for brand managers. It is more than a collaboration and storage tool, offering greater features which help maintain brand integrity, asset consistency and quality, as well as search capability.

When it comes to a DAM and Google Drive, the difference will always be in the details of features, and here's how:

The difference between a DAM and Google Drive: comparison chart


Feature Google Drive DAM
  • 15gb of free storage.
  • 'Drive Enterprise that allows companies to only pay for storage employees use.
  • A lower cost option with reduced features and benefits.
  • Free Digital Asset Management software options available.
  • Tiered packages at different price points suitable for different size organisations with varying requirements.
  • The option of advanced features and benefits.
  • Markets itself as 'a safe place for all your files'.
  • Offers advanced privacy settings to protect and secure files such as passwords and single sign-on.
  • Non-branded platform, with no customisation available.
  • Displays assets in a list or grid view, which are not visually focused.
  • Branded platform, with option to customise and personalise the interface, as an extension of your organisation.
  • Displays assets in a visual format, with thumbnails and download previews.
Content Sharing
  • View-only commenting and editing access options available.
  • Permission to access assets and folders have to be granted by the individual asset owner.
  • Master admins can set permission levels for individuals and groups to ensure correct access is given.
  • Includes permission levels for partners; easily create a secure third-party URL to share.
Version Control
  • Relies on individuals uploading the correct version and removing the old versions from the Drive.
  • Assets approved by master admins to ensure only latest versions are available.
  • Metadata allows descriptions, tags and rights information to be added to assets so users know how and when to use them.
  • Versioning options enable users to revert back after changes have been made, ensuring nothing is ever lost by mistake.
  • Built from individual workspaces which can make browsing and searching difficult.
  • Search is based on file name with limited filtering options.
  • Team is working from an organisation wide schema to make browsing and search accurate and fast.
  • Uses metadata to classify assets for easier search ability.
  • Basic reporting available, such as storage.
  • Provides actionable insights and visual reporting on users and asset use.


Digital Asset Management: ResourceSpace

For simple cloud-based file sharing tasks, Google Drive is probably all you need. However, if you need to share files securely, find assets quickly, organise them effectively and manage folders in several ways, you're going to need a DAM like ResourceSpace.

Our open source digital library includes all of the features discussed above and many more benefits.

What's more, the ResourceSpace software is completely free and always will be. You only pay for the storage space and our technical support. Check out our pricing plans here, or request a free trial below.