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Media Libraries in 2020 and Beyond

As we approach the end of the decade, the team at Third Light offer their predictions on what changes will shape our industry in 2020 and beyond; how media libraries will evolve, as we look to adopt more collaboration tools in the workplace:

Media Libraries 2020

Here are our top 10 predictions:

  1. Deeper, personal collaboration features which allow people to interact naturally and without leaving the DAM. For example, this could include workflow tools which build on text discussions, but also connect into the users' roles and responsibilities.
  2. Using powerful tools such as pencil support in the Apple iPad Pro to implement faster, more expressive annotations - helping digital media libraries to support users who need to move files through the creative workflow more efficiently.
  3. Further integration of AI and Machine Learning to help reduce the overhead of tagging or categorising content. As the quality and perceived value of computer vision features increases, the level of trust DAM managers will place in these services will also continue to rise.
  4. Bringing together the web-based environment and the desktop environment, to encourage and support users with different technology sets to work in a unified environment.
  5. Expectations of AI will increase because of things we use every day now doing this – on an iPhone you can search for “dog”, “nights out”, “sunny day” etc and you’ll be shown results relating to this without tagging, also facial recognition of those in your images. These types of features will evolve as users will start to expect them with them being on their everyday devices.
  6. The processes for on-boarding and user adoption of media libraries will evolve. The product and training materials will become more interactive to help users on their journey with using a media library. It’s no longer just about an administrator and manager type user, more organisations are spreading use and devolving administration.
  7. Top ecommerce sites such as Amazon continue to set the bar very high in terms of user experience. Digital-natives, marketing and creative teams will expect to be offered the same experience when using digital tools in the workplace. Media libraries will evolve and adapt to meet expectations
  8. A move towards designing collaboration and work in progress tools that work for all types of industries and departments, not just for specific sectors or teams within an organization. Media libraries will play a key role in this.
  9. Many business applications fail to gain user adoption because they don’t provide the same ease-of-use or practical functions available from free services such as Google Drive or Facebook. As progressive employers seek to provide differentiated benefits to attract and retain staff, forward looking organisations will select software, including DAM, that in addition to delivering business efficiencies also provide tools enabling staff to adopt software for personal use.
  10. Media Libraries have traditionally been a place to store and distribute approved materials in a very vertical and almost static way. Nowadays the flow of information is much more horizontal, with teams and individuals collaborating together without having to pass through gatekeepers. Media libraries will continue to expand their features to adapt to this collaborative way of working.

With technology improving, concerns over storage and performance are a thing of the past so even media that is still being worked on has a space in the Cloud, where it benefits from increased security and much more powerful sharing capabilities. There’s no need to hoard files anymore when you can have them in a place that is both still yours to control but also closer to the people you need to share them with.

The next decade will see more and more solutions like this, with more collaboration options and integrations with other services. As content creation continues to increase, media libraries will be at the center of many organizations’ content strategy, everything they do will be possible from the media library, with entire projects starting and finishing there.


DAM - Digital Asset Management