A+E Networks by the numbers

202 territories
covered by A+E Networks
100 Terabytes
of content to import
754,125 photos
managed by Photography
A+E logo small2

Organization
A+E Networks

Industry
Media & Entertainment

Headquarters
New York, NY

DAM Manager
Kelli Harris

Crafting stories seen around the world

A+E Networks is global media content-creating company with a portfolio of multi-platform and entertainment brands that reach 414 million people around the world. 

A+E Networks operates in over 200 territories and in 41 languages, and their brands are some of the most recognizable across linear, digital and streaming platforms,  including A&E, The HISTORY Channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, and Vice TV.  

The media giant has decades worth of assets — hundreds of terabytes of video, photos, and other asset types. “Our archive continues to grow every day,” said Senior Photo Editor Kris LaRosa. Each show or movie has video, of course, but there is also accompanying promotional material, including photos and key art.

The goal

A+E Networks wanted to make it easier for users to access assets at any stage in their development. “It's really helpful to have one central hub where everyone can go to find everything,” Kris shared.  

But they needed a system that anyone could use. Digital asset manager, Kelli Harris, said, “We wanted something that was user-friendly and that also had a more robust interface.”

A+E Networks also wanted to cut down on unnecessary systems. Kris said, “It's hard to manage files when they're all over the place.”

The challenge

The trouble was A+E Networks didn’t have a centralized digital asset management solution in place. Instead, the photo department was using a combination of tools to approximate DAM functionality. 

One of the systems they most wanted to upgrade was their talent approval system, which was an important part of the Photography Department’s workflows. 

Kelli said, “We were previously using [a talent approval and selects software] when I came on, and at first I wasn't sure what it was, but it clearly wasn't something that would be able to improve the workflow and be accessible by anyone, and it was not user-friendly.”

“We were using multiple systems that each only served one function and didn’t talk to one another.  With Orange Logic, we were able to centralize all of those workflows into one place.  Turns out, one size really does fit all!” added Jennifer Pierce, A+E Network’s Director of Centralized Production and Creative. 

And because the talent approval software was isolated from the rest of A+E’s tech stack, metadata was lost as it traveled through different systems.

“We were using multiple systems that each only served one function and didn't talk to one another. With Orange Logic, we were able to centralize all of those workflows into one place. Turns out, one size really does fit all!”

Jennifer Pierce
A+E Networks Director of Centralized Production and Creative

The solution

After an involved search, A+E Networks chose Orange DAM. “We looked at several solutions, and Orange DAM was the one that was all-encompassing. We could ingest video, share video, and photography and the talent approval capability was there,” Kelli said.

Currently, the digital asset management system has rolled out to the Photography Team and is starting to reach other teams in the organization. The photo team at A+E Networks shared a few of the ways Orange DAM is helping them reach their goals:

Talent approvals combined with asset management

The team shared that work has become much easier with both asset management and talent approvals on the same site. Metadata can be uploaded along with assets from the start of an asset’s life cycle, and since both asset management and approvals happen in the same place, the asset is attached to its metadata throughout approvals, editing, and distribution.

Easy-to-use interface

Kris shared, “We've done a lot of work upfront with Orange DAM to optimize how it works.” They added that Orange Approvals has some advantages over their previous system. “There are a lot of things like that that either didn't exist with our [previous talent approval system] or that are things we wished could have been resolved or optimized that we've been able to do with Orange DAM.” 

Partnership with Orange Logic

The Photography Team has worked closely with Orange Logic to customize both the digital asset management and talent approvals set up. “We've had a lot of help from our implementation specialist and her team,” Kris said. 

Talent Approval Visual (1)
A+E Network's Talent Approval workflow

“We looked at several solutions, and Orange DAM was the one that was all-encompassing. We could ingest video, share video and photography, and the talent approval capability was there.”

Kelli Harris
Digital Asset Manager at A+E Networks

The results

Though they’re still in the early stages of opening up the DAM to teams at A+E Networks, the DAM has already resulted in improvements to the Photography Department’s workflows.

With Orange DAM, A+E Networks has been able to eliminate several systems, including their old talent approval system, for considerable savings.

The approval system is easier to use, with a clean, modern interface that lets agents and other representatives securely review assets. At the same time, the DAM connects files with their metadata throughout their lifecycle, ensuring continuity of information.

Lessons learned

    • Find a user-friendly interface: The easy-to-use interface in Orange DAM helped get buy-in from the A+E Networks Photography Team and allowed other teams to adjust to changing systems.
    • Eliminate unnecessary systems: A digital asset management system can do more than mind your assets. A+E Network was able to store assets and manage approvals through their DAM account, allowing them to cut down or cut out extra systems.
    • Metadata management matters: A lot of important metadata went missing while files traveled between A+E Network's systems. Being able to track an asset from upload through distribution and preservation means assets have more context and are easier to find when you need them.

What does this mean for your enterprise?

Orange DAM gave A+E Networks Marketing a central source of truth, connecting their tools to one powerful hub, and giving users a consistent source for metadata, making it easier to find assets.

Those assets were kept safe within the advanced security of the digital asset management system, while making it simple for approvers to log in and complete their approvals. 

It also offered a more efficient, effective set of workflows, eliminating unnecessary steps and offering a more straightforward method of collaborating on, creating, and approving assets.