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That’s right. In its first report on digital asset management (DAM) software, business software review site G2 Crowd has decided that none of the available tools deserve placement in the top Leader category.

The Leader category, the highest of four on the report’s Grid, is where the products with the highest Satisfaction and highest Market Presence end up. (A static version of the Grid is above; the live version is here.) Market Presence is a combination of vendor size, market share, and the report’s determination of social impact.

“For a product to be named a Leader in a G2 Crowd report, it must have relatively high Satisfaction and Market Presence scores,” content manager Ben Legman told me via email. “We will occasionally publish a report that has no Leaders.”

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DAM tools manage, categorize, track rights and versions, approve, optimize, and distribute libraries of digital files, primarily photos, audios, and videos. They are frequently integrated with other tools, including content management systems for websites, publishing systems, or marketing tools.

Six DAM products placed in the second-highest category of High Performers, which has high customer satisfaction but a smaller-than-Leader market presence. They are Widen Media Collective, Brandfolder, MerlinOne, Canto Cumulus, WebDAM, and ResourceSpace.

Widen received the top customer satisfaction score of the 11 tools surveyed.

A user review of Widen by Corey Chimko, digital resources coordinator at Cornell University Photography, praised its “customer service, responsiveness, fantastic [user interface], free upgrades, competitive pricing, and a perfect mix of simplicity and granularity.”

Several DAM tools are specialized for a specific industry, Legman pointed out. “A number of MerlinOne reviewers work in the news business,” he said. CONTENTdm is often used by digital library and museum collections, and Brandfolder is a favorite tool of marketing departments.

One question is whether DAM software, as inventory management tools, is eventually going to disappear into becoming components of larger marketing, web content, and publishing systems.

But Legman said that, based on the reviews, “there is definitely no indication that the DAM industry is fading.” Several of the most popular ones, he pointed out, are now cloud-based, so “that might be one direction the industry is heading.”

The full report, which is $600, was based on 200-plus reviews of the software packages by professional users.

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