The DAM software market offers a glut of products to fit every company’s budget, from $9.99 per month to a hefty one-time price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars for next-level systems. With so many options on the table, you’ll need to carefully consider how each one of them fits with your organization’s requirements.
The first thing to note is that there are usually two different DAM pricing models: recurring charges and one-time capital expenses.
Recurring charges, which are usually levied on a monthly or annual basis, usually correlate with DAM software as a service (SaaS) solutions. SaaS is a licensing model in which the software is licensed to customers via an ongoing subscription and delivered over the Internet. In particular, many small and medium-sized businesses find SaaS solutions appealing because of their predictable costs, their flexibility, and their reduced hardware and maintenance obligations.
The second alternative is a one-time capital expense, which usually covers everything from preliminary consultations to installation. This has a much higher upfront cost, but also the advantage that you won’t have to keep paying for the solution every year. Flat-fee DAM solutions are usually installed on-premises and typically come with hardware procurement (but not always). Because you host the DAM yourself on your own hardware, any support and maintenance will cost extra.
Finally, there’s also a third alternative with a completely different pricing model: open-source DAM software. Open-source software is usually free of charge, at least at the lower tiers of usage, and in general cheaper than closed-source enterprise solutions. However, this comes at the cost of little to no technical support and your own maintenance obligations. Examples of open-source DAM solutions include Razuna, Pimcore, and ResourceSpace.
The pricing model for DAM software is also highly dependent on the vendor. Some companies offer a highly modular product that can be tweaked and customized, while others sell only a “one-size-fits-all” solution that may not perfectly fit your needs.
In general, however, the one-time fee for a modern, robust DAM solution usually falls within the range of $15,000 to $250,000. SaaS DAM solutions, meanwhile, start at a few dollars per month and can go as high as several hundred dollars per month, depending on the features, the number of users, and the level of support.
No matter which pricing model and price point is right for your business, take the time to investigate your options. Consider factors such as:
- The number and type of digital assets that you manage, and the amount of storage space that they use
- The number of employees who will use the DAM software, and their responsibilities within the organization
- The level of post-installation support and maintenance that you require from the vendor
- Required integrations with other enterprise applications, such as software for customer relationship management and project management
If you don’t have prior experience implementing a DAM solution, it’s likely a good idea to work with a third-party expert in this field. Leaving the decision in the hands of employees such as product developers can result in an overly narrow focus on the technical specifications of the software. On the other hand, solutions consultants and workflow specialists look at the larger picture: how your organization actually works, and how DAM software will best fit into that. Partnering with a qualified DAM expert, who understands the system that's right for your specific business requirements and can roll it out throughout the organization, is critical for many businesses.