Home / Case Studies /A DAM system that can handle tens of millions of assets and easily integrates with our workflow

A DAM system that can handle tens of millions of assets and easily integrates with our workflow

A DAM system that can handle tens of millions of assets and easily integrates with our workflow
About a360media

a360media owns and operates the leading celebrity and health & fitness media brands in the USA. Previously known as American Media, Inc. (AMI), a360media pioneered both the celebrity and health & fitness categories. During the 1960s, the National Enquirer was the first magazine to begin publishing celebrity news and gossip on a weekly basis. Weider Publications (acquired by AMI in 2003) launched the very first health & fitness magazine, Your Physique, in 1940.

AMI Needed To Replace Their DAM Software

As part of a long term vision to migrate IT Systems and Services to the Cloud, when AMI chose to replace its internal DAM software, they wanted to be sure its replacement could provide the level of service and support they required, and be accessed from any of its offices, or by any personnel regardless of where they were based. That’s when AMI turned to London-based IDS.

AMI’s brief was simple in concept: give us a fast, easy-to-use system that will handle tens of millions of assets and can process 100,000 images on Oscar night. Keep the hi-res files away from our network until we need them, deal with all agency feeds, and easily integrate with our workflow.

An industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, AMI’s Executive Vice President Chief Information Officer, Dave Thompson, has seen dramatic changes during his career in publishing.

Industry leaders were insisting this couldn’t be done. That systems weren’t mature enough to handle the image volumes we needed to via the web, and that a multi-faceted hosted solution would come apart at the seams. Fortunately, we found a partner with the technology and flexibility we needed to succeed.

Having worked with newspaper and magazine publishers for 20 years, IDS was familiar with the pressures picture editors face when a story breaks as they are going to press. Thompson appointed AMI’s Senior IT Operations Director, Peter Brennan, to liaise with IDS, who provided AMI with a custom SaaS solution, based on IDS’s flagship image portal, IDS PictureDesk.

AMI’s archive of 5 million images and PDFs was ingested by IDS, and 50 photo agencies were setup to supply to AMI’s titles. The custom solution was then integrated into the workflow. Using IDS’s platform AMI users can publish images directly from IDS to its DALIM workflow with the touch of the button. Within a matter of weeks, IDS had developed and delivered a bespoke SaaS solution that met all the requirements of the original brief.

Historically IDS’s business has been in creating very fast large databases using text to find images. IDS’s new range of services is based on its proprietary visual search algorithm, ImageDiscoveryTM , uses images to match images and retrieve relevant metadata.. This allows IDS to automatically match images based on visual characteristics alone. Integrating this software to AMI’s system unlocks additional value for the publisher.

AMI uploads each issue of its publications to IDS as a PDF. IDS identifies the images and using its ImageDiscovery algorithm extracts thousands of features to create a unique visual fingerprint. The fingerprint is used to query the image database, and identify which images have been used in each page of a magazine. ImageDiscovery identifies images even where they have been significantly altered, as demonstrated below:

IDS ImageDiscovery : Deconstructing Composites

Single composite image as it appeared on the client’s website

IDS ImageDiscovery identifies the three images that were cropped, cut out and composited

By applying IDS ImageDiscovery to its PDF library, AMI can determine the origination of any image, and accurately quantify page costs and settle licensing fees. Gone are the days when editors need to markup hard copies with Sharpies and Post-It notes for reconciliation.

AMI’s use of IDS ImageDiscovery represents the tip of the iceberg in terms of what publishers could do with the service. Whether it’s a ‘pre-flight’ check before publication to confirm rights, or identify legal warnings – or tracking usage of its own images across a portfolio of titles, ImageDiscovery has the power to unlock value with every publisher.

The custom solution developed for AMI has been a great success. Peter Brennan explains:

Working with IDS has been very rewarding. They understand our needs and are highly responsive when we require changes or customisation. The migration to IDS’s new system has been very positively received. The integration to our workflow is slick, and the ability to match images in PDFs through the overlay of ImageDiscovery is truly unique.

Matthew Carse, IDS’s CEO, echoes the sentiment: It’s a real pleasure to work with a company like AMI that knows exactly what it wants. They have high standards and demand them of others. This can be challenging, but it has meant IDS has been able to supply a first class system to meet their needs.

How IDS Solutions Are Helping Publishers Stay Ahead

Streamlined Workflows

With all owned and third party content in one place, IDS solutions are built to save time. IDS has created a range of tools and features developed with publishing workflows in mind.

Increased Revenues

Publishers syndicating their content through IDS PictureDesk see increased revenues from additional licensing sales via our platform.

Reduced Spending

As well as immediate IT cost savings, with the ability to easily find in-license images and owned articles, significant savings are being made by repurposing content across brands.

AI Technology

IDS offers automated solutions to many manual processes still in use today. Eliminating repetitive tasks such as billing mark-ups and keywording, frees up staff for more skilled work and can reduce head count.

Cloud-Hosted Content

IDS software is 100% cloud-based, 100% scalable and 100% secure; access to content is provided safely and reliably via web browser and our app.

Easy Integration

IDS solutions easily integrate with in-house CMS, workflow systems and publishing applications including Adobe CC Apps and WordPress. IDS supports third-party feed integration via API or ftp.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Requirements

+44(0)207 336 7942

Get a Demo
IDS PictureDesk

IDS PictureDesk

  • Market leading search capabilities including Visual Search and StarTracker™
  • Live feed of great content from a range of specialist photo agencies
  • Transfer files directly to internal workflow servers
  • Shareable lightboxes and instant contact sheets
  • MyIDS - upload content to your private IDS channel for easy storage and retrieval
IDS Pages

IDS Pages

  • Organise your published content into a fully searchable database
  • Retrieve, repurpose and syndicate articles or visual content. We make content syndication easy.
  • Linked files – instantly find all assets from a single page or article
  • Filter content by publication, year, issue and page
  • Automatic mark-up for easy billing
IDS DAM Solutions

IDS DAM Solutions

  • AI driven visual search
  • Super fast file ingestion and retrieval
  • Scalable - handles huge volumes ( 100M+ ) of content and large user bases
  • 100% cloud-based. Comprehensive API endpoints
  • Integrates with internal workflows. Dalim. WordPress, Adobe CC, Synology
  • Flexible architecture
  • Granular territorial rights allowing precise user access to content.
IDS Plugins and Apps

IDS Plugins and Apps

  • Your IDS account made more convenient for you
  • Mobile Apps for Apple and Android devices
  • Adobe CC Extension available in Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Pro
  • WordPress Plugin for accessing IDS lightboxes within the WordPress dashboard
AI Visual Search

AI Visual Search

  • Use image identifiers to find similar content in both still and video archives
  • Focus on the details - isolate a feature and ignore the rest
  • Results returned in less than a second
  • Comprehensive API endpoints for easy integration to your website or DAM
  • IDS do not need to store your files