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Everything you need to know about digital asset management pricing

by Canto  |  April 27, 2022

5 min. read
Illustration of a team comparing digital asset management pricing.

For most people shopping for a digital asset management (DAM) platform, one of their first questions is “What’s this going to cost?” You may have noticed that most DAM providers don’t list prices on their website. That’s because different companies have different digital asset needs. Even if they’re using the same platform, costs can vary based on a few key factors.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find out how much your company can expect to pay for a DAM: Just ask! A reliable vendor will discuss your needs upfront and give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

To help you go into pricing conversations prepared, we’ve put together this basic guide to digital asset management pricing. We’ll cover the fundamentals of what to expect, how to compare prices, and common pitfalls to watch out for.

The basics of digital asset management pricing: seats and storage

The most straightforward digital asset management pricing is based on two main questions: How many users will be managing your digital assets, and how much storage do you need?

How many users (and what kind)?

One of the first things you’ll need to consider is how many “power users” will manage the content on your digital asset management platform. Power users are people who can add and delete content, change metadata, reorganize your library — essentially, the people in charge of your library behind the scenes. At Canto, these users are called Admins and Contributors.

Most of the people using your DAM platform won’t be power users. Basic users, who just need to find and download content, won’t impact pricing quite as much. Canto includes unlimited consumer-type users for free. Other vendors may charge for them, but you can expect to pay much less for basic users than for power users.

How much storage space will you need?

The second major consideration is storage space. A multinational brand producing thousands of hours of HD video is going to need a lot more storage than a regional team managing a modest library of marketing photography.

One of the advantages of cloud-based digital asset management is that it’s easy to increase your storage capacity as your team and brand scale. At the time of purchase, it’s a good idea to try and plan out your storage needs at least six months into the future. After that, you can always add more if you need it.

Comparing vendors? Watch out for hidden costs.

While power users and storage are the two most important components of DAM pricing, there are a few other factors you might need to consider. Canto takes a simple, all-in-one approach to pricing, but other vendors may charge extra for basic features and ongoing support.

Keep these key questions in mind as you talk to vendors and compare costs.

Are basic features and functionalities considered add-ons?

With Canto, all of the key features for managing and sharing digital assets are included in the quoted price. That means there’s no extra charge for features like sharing portals, AI-driven image tagging, brand style guides, reporting features, and basic integrations with other tools.

Other vendors may classify these core DAM features as add-on modules, meaning you’ll need to pay more if you want to use them. Those additional costs can add up quickly.

Many DAM providers also offer advanced modules — like CDN functionality and video embedding — to meet specific business needs. Reputable DAM vendors will let you know when these add-on features come with a price tag.

Image gallery in Canto's digital asset management platform.

How much do installation and training cost?

Most digital asset management providers charge a one-time installation fee to get your team onboarded and help you set up your library. These fees vary a lot from vendor to vendor, so be sure to ask about onboarding costs and factor them into your cost calculations.

Canto’s onboarding fees are much lower than most. Customers can hit the ground running, and benefit from Canto’s unparalleled customer care and decades of expertise in digital asset management as they set up their library.

Will you need expensive customization to adapt the platform to your needs?

Every business is different, and so is every digital asset management system. Maybe you need to add custom fields to sort and filter content a little differently, or dial in what different user groups can do. Is that a simple setting you can configure yourself — like in Canto? Or does the vendor need to set it up for you?

With some providers, customization means getting developers involved, and that can quickly get very expensive.

Does the vendor charge for ongoing customer support?

Some digital asset management companies charge extra for support after onboarding — meaning if issues or questions come up down the line, you’re looking at an unexpected expense.

At Canto, we know that digital asset management is an ongoing process, not just a one-time installation. That’s why we offer ongoing customer care from an experienced support team at no extra charge.

Get personalized pricing information from Canto

Canto delivers all the digital asset management capabilities your team needs, while keeping the experience simple and intuitive. Plus, our pricing model is the simplest on the market. We’ll work with you to assess your needs and expectations, and never surprise you with hidden costs.

To learn more about what Canto can do for your team, get in touch for a personalized demo, and get pricing information tailored to your company’s needs.