MerlinOne vs. Dropbox

How MerlinOne is different from Dropbox

Deciding whether or not to implement a digital asset management solution can be a fairly big decision for some businesses, particularly those with a limited marketing budget. However, if your company is currently leveraging bare bones solutions like DropBox to manage your digital assets, you may want to consider a more resilient option if your files are starting to bust at the seams. This page will help you understand the differences between MerlinOne DAM and DropBox and why you might need to start thinking about the latter.

The Difference in a Nutshell

Both offer a system to digitally store files, so what makes MerlinOne DAM so unique?


MerlinOne Digital Asset Management solution gives users a sophisticated, but user-friendly set of tools to allow them to more effectively organize, manage, edit, share and distribute content. Offering multi-dimensional taxonomy, metadata, and keyword tagging capabilities gives teams more context and governance to their stored digital and brand assets. Focused on the ins-and-outs of content creation, MerlinOne extends brand logistics to empower marketers and creatives to be more organized and productive in their tasks and to tell better stories through the content they create.


DropBox is a simple cloud-based file storage service and sharing platform, designed more for individual users rather than for teams or for the assets themselves. DropBox allows users to store and synch digital assets in folders hosted in the cloud, allowing them to name folders and add comments to files. DropBox does not, however, provide advanced search, sort or filter capabilities. With DropBox, permissions and sharing options are limited and it is almost impossible to control how users access the content. Unlike a DAM, files are not backed up or duplicated somewhere else if files are accidentally deleted.

“Without Merlin, the team would be stumbling along, trying to remember who saved what assets and where. I honestly don’t think we’d be as streamlined and as swift of an operation as we are today if we didn’t have Merlin as part of our production process…It truly has transformed the way we work.”

Coburn Dukehart, Digital & Multimedia Director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Transform your Content Organization by Embracing the DAM Advantage

Consumer cloud solutions like DropBox are great for hosting and sharing individual/one-off files. These services are mostly single user systems that are designed for individuals rather than teams, however. DropBox often lacks the functionality, security and end-to-end workflow many teams need to effectively collaborate with their peers and maintain an organized digital library.

In a digital asset management system like Merlin, metadata allows users to more easily search their content library and retrieve the exact items they are looking for, which certainly comes in handy when users are trying to sift through hundreds or thousands of files. In addition, solutions like DropBox make it easier for users to misuse assets or have broader access to files they shouldn’t. Merlin’s DAM is way more secure as it provides robust permission controls that allow system administrators to decide who has access to what within the system.

You need a DAM instead of DropBox if…

you can identify with at least 5 of the below.

  • If you prioritize visual storytelling

  • Your digital files continue to grow at a fast pace

  • You have more than a few hundred assets

  • You are currently using an unstructured folder hierarchy

  • You struggle to find the content or assets you are looking for

  • You need to constantly ask others for the content you need

  • You need multiple sources of input and have complex existing workflows and approval processes

  • As a whole, your business has an inconsistent file naming convention

  • Your industry is a highly regulated sector where high data security is imperative

  • You are concerned that wrong versions of assets or unapproved assets are being used or could be

  • Your company has several employees, offices, affiliates, partners, and/or content contributors that need access to your digital files

  • There has been inconsistent organization of your assets and bad behavior when it has come to managing digital files

  • You have had to rehire someone to recreate content you couldn’t find

  • You recreate work because it is easier than trying to find old digital files

  • You want to automate repetitive tasks

  • You want to limit the time it takes to access the content you need

  • You want to decrease operational cost and increase campaign effectiveness

  • You want to limit the headache sending digital assets to contractors, vendors, clients, or contributors

  • You often need to reuse content or know what similar assets you have

  • You have more than one version of several of your assets

  • Your digital asset time to market is longer than what it could or should be

  • You need to more easily share and distribute your assets to internal or external parties


Side-by-Side Comparison




Custom Login Screen


Custom Interface

MX Basic interface for casual users


Unlimited User Accounts

Centralized User Management

User Activity Permissions


Folder Permissions



Asset Preview Capability


Centralized Taxonomy


Google Image tagging

Facial Recognition with Auto-tagging

Image Similarity Search

Version Control


Approval Workflows

Custom Workflows

Embedded Metadata & Metadata Indexing

Asset Star Rating by User

Related Assets

Custom Attributes

Unique ID codes

Multiple display modes

Usage History


Keyword list export

File conversion & cropping

Batch uploading & batch editing

Rights Management

Video speech-to-text with time code indexing


Facial Recognition

Advanced Search for Metadata

Advanced Search for Attributes

Advanced Filtering

Customizable Search Result Sorting

Full text search with documentation

Saved private & shared search

Custom search result sorting

Progressive reveal


Sharing individual assets & collections via email

Auto-generated asset links

File Request


Custom email templates





Biometric sensor datacenter

Fault tolerance, disaster relief & backup

Cloud deployment (AWS, Alibaba, or private Merlin Managed cloud)

On Prem deployment

Tiered storage
















Windows Media










Microsoft Office

Don’t Let Your Content Control You, Control Your Content

Nowadays, not only does effective storytelling separate brands apart, managing your entire marketing funnel is becoming increasingly difficult. While great ideas and content are essential, tools to help teams manage their content are just as important. The way you organize your content is key in helping your teams be most productive and this is the cornerstone of what separates MerlinOne from a standard file sharing solution in the cloud like DropBox. Without the metadata, taxonomy structure and being able to regulate how your assets are being used, managed and shared would result in an uphill battle to maintain control of your content as a whole, especially if you have a lot of it.

Though MerlinOne is way more than just DAM software. Your challenges are our challenges and we are invested in your success for the long haul.

  • Complimentary Onboarding, Strategy Development & Launch Support
    Before implementation, you'll be assigned a designated team to help you get started with the Merlin. Our fabulous team of onboarding and customer success specialists will be there to help jumpstart your DAM strategy, manage expectations and deadlines, help you migrate any legacy data over to the system, and help start training your admins.


  • Education & Training Through Merlin University
    Whether you’re new to Merlin or need to brush up on product how-to’s down-the-road, Merlin University is a great resource to help your users better understand the product. Become certified in Merlin or use the Merlin product content library for an array of product tutorials, taped webinars, product guides, strategy eBooks and more to help you grow your DAM skills.


  • Unmatched 24/7 Product Support
    If you have a question about our software or need assistance in any way, a MerlinOne representative is always available to take your call day or night.

We may be biased, though strongly convinced that the Merlin DAM makes every marketer, creative, brand manager, photographer, videographer, project manager, or digital archivist’s job easier.

Want to learn more about MerlinOne and see our DAM in action?

Schedule a demo today to see how you can take your content management to the next level!

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