Skip to main content

Only two percent of Global 2000 organizations offering proprietary content online — such as media and music — fully understand and have implemented digital rights management (DRM) technology. However, that number is expected to increase to 20 percent by 2006, predicts the Meta Group, an information technology research firm based in Stamford, CT.

In separate research, the researchers also found that the non-broadcast digital asset management (DAM) market “continues to endure tumultuous times,” even though businesses have a need for better management of rich content assets. Though the DAM report was not made public, its results were reported in an Australian newspaper.

Poor business case development, unreal expectations among vendors and clients, underestimation of complex integration, and poor usability and end-user training are the main contributors to unsuccessful projects, the Meta Group found. Broadcast and streaming media DAM applications were not grouped in the overall problems due to their “niche” status.

DRM technology, now in its early stages of adoption, is used for content protection, royalties associated with content, intellectual property protection, content dissemination, or simply as a way to measure the use of protected information. Its most significant current use is with media and music content.

Though still maturing, DRM adoption has been held back by a combination of complex management, cumbersome implementation and the high cost of questionable control, the report said.

“More organizations need to realize that DRM solutions have the potential over the next three to five years to aid compliance with maturing privacy legislation,” said META Group security analyst David Thompson. “As this happens, DRM will emerge as an infrastructural element rather than a standalone technology solution.”

In its report “DAM Busters: The Evolution of the Digital Asset Management Market,” the Meta Group said DAM projects are “often viewed as unique end-user applications to serve individuals, rather than as a service for creating, managing and accessing critical rich information assets across the entire organization.”

Vendors who have recognized the need for change are those who serve the enterprise content management markets, rather than broadcast and streaming media systems that cater to specialty markets.

The Meta Group predicts a realignment of DAM functionality to satisfy broader business needs in the next two to three years, as vendors find themselves “increasingly squeezed” and forced into diminishing market niches.

“DAM vendors will be aggressively forced to evolve beyond simply providing directories, libraries and repositories of audible and visual assets, and will expire if not subsumed,” the report said.

The Meta Group is a leading provider of information technology research, advisory services and strategic consulting.

For more information visit