Bauer Media Group Saves More Than $1 Million Annually Using PictureDesk
Interview with Jacqui LaMorte, VP Publishing Services
About Bauer Media
Bauer Media Group is a 5th generation, family-owned business that operates in 14 different countries and serves over 200 million people. Their publishing division boasts 500+ print and digital titles, including Woman’s World and First For Women, the two top-selling women’s services magazines. They publish more than 100 special interest editions each year that inspire and inform readers on topics ranging from health to celebrity life, cooking, and sports. In February 2022, Accelerate360 Media acquired Bauer’s US publishing portfolio.
Challenge – Bauer needed a scalable, cloud-based asset management solution
Bauer was using Media Grid for their asset management, which consisted of roughly 60% licensed content feeds and 40% owned assets. As their content library grew, Media Grid became overburdened, leading to inefficiencies.
“Media Grid was hosted on prem and the servers would fill up so we would need someone to come in over the weekend to transfer content. We would either have to pay that person overtime or give them a day or afternoon off later in the week, which would leave us short staffed.”
Between the size of Bauer’s archive and the IT support needed to keep the software functional, Media Grid had become unmanageable, causing Bauer to search for a cloud-based solution. Search functionality in Media Grid was also limited, making content sourcing time consuming and hampering Bauer’s ability to locate assets for re-use.
Solution – PictureDesk, a cloud-based hub for quick and easy digital asset sourcing and search
PictureDesk is a cloud-based solution that allows Bauer to easily upload their owned assets as well as add feeds from various agencies and photographers that provide them with licensed content. Using PictureDesk’s auto tag feature, metadata for existing assets was automatically populated with relevant keywords.
“Auto tag was a huge lifesaver because we had an entire archive of 15 years plus worth of photos that had no keywords, which made them basically unsearchable. The value of PictureDesk’s advanced search capabilities is tremendous—we have tens of thousands of dollars worth of photos that we can now easily re-use. You can find relevant photos by keywords, visual search, or AI search, plus you can sort by collection, photographer, or agency. This has resulted in massive efficiency gains.”
Additional PictureDesk features that boost efficiency and save costs include:
- StarTracker™, which streams near-real-time celebrity photos.
- Centralized and automated photo billing, which visually identifies and reports on the use of licensed assets, simplifying accounts payable.
- Ability to enrich metadata for even more powerful searches.
- Cropping, which homes visual searches in on a particular product or logo.
- Lightbox galleries for quick and easy curating of images.
Results – quantifiable cost and time savings
Using PictureDesk, Bauer’s photo editors can quickly source visual assets, cutting research time from up to an hour to mere minutes for each of the 20+ editors. Furthermore, owned content can easily be located and re-used, exponentially increasing margins.
“Our special interest editions consist of 100% repurposed content that we aggregate from past publications. Generally, a full-size food photo is about $100 and one of our recipe books has 100 pages with one image per page, so that amounts to $10,000 per issue saved just by repurposing our own content, and we publish more than 100 special interest issues per year. That’s over a million dollars in savings.”
Looking ahead – opening up a whole new revenue stream
“The insight PictureDesk gives us into our assets would allow us to easily syndicate our owned content, creating a new revenue stream. This is something we are looking at for the future. We are also in the process of integrating Bauer’s systems with Accelerate360, which will further increase the revenue stream derived from repurposing content.”
FADEL®, innovator of brand compliance, rights management, and royalty billing software, acquired UK-based Image Data Systems (IDS) in 2021, adding over 30 years’ experience in image and video management to its portfolio of content services. The combined, cloud-based offerings provide agile platforms that deliver content services, licensing and rights management, digital content tracking, and sophisticated AI-powered image and video search and recognition. These end-to-end brand management and compliance solutions deliver significant advantages to media publishers, production agencies, and marketing departments at major brands worldwide.