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Charlie Brown license
© Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Peanuts is a global phenomenon.

Yes, Peanuts – as in the comic strip. If you didn’t know, this brand is huge.

Snoopy, Charlie Brown and all of their friends started out in the 1950s as a comic strip in seven newspapers. Today they’re published all over the world, are used on merchandise ranging from mugs and toys to t-shirts and other apparel, and they’ve even teamed up with NASA to inspire young kids to take an interest in STEM.

They’ve inspired theme park attractions, are on popular streaming services like Apple TV+, have been brought to the stage, made into featured films, and published in hundreds of books.

In fact, Peanuts characters can be found on or in:

  • Apparel
  • Footwear
  • Plushies/toys
  • Novelty items
  • Houseware
  • Sporting goods
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Stationary
  • Games
  • Electronics
Peanuts apparel

Much of the brand’s popularity can be attributed to the creative (and well-managed) licensing of its characters. But when you have so many licensees to manage, and so many creative assets that are owned and distributed through this licensing program, the scale can be overwhelming.

That’s why the team at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates decided to move their assets into a digital asset management (DAM) platform – and they chose Tenovos.

Managing Licenses at Scale

When you think of a traditional DAM, you think of a system that archives creative assets so they can be found easily. More modern DAMs expand on that functionality to manage creative workflows, or to publish and track content across digital channels.

However, for Peanuts that use case for DAM is a bit more unique.

Yes, all of the brand’s creative assets – nearly 50,000 – are stored in the platform. This includes a digitized version of the very first Peanuts comic strip (how cool is that!?), along with all of their individual characters across different poses and angles.

But it wasn’t enough to have the assets available in the system – they needed to be accessible, and browsable, by all of their current and future licensees. The system also needed to be secure so that the assets were protected, and only license holders could download the content. Managing this manually was not scalable and had become too tedious, so the team looked for Tenovos to solve this.

Tenovos’ digital rights management features are flexible and suited the use case perfectly. The platform allows Peanuts to apply security templates to each asset, which tells the system who has access to the content. When new licensees are brought into the program, they get automatic access to the assets covered under their licenses, and are restricted from viewing other content.

“It’s a great model because you can have people in multiple groups and have multiple groups attached to an asset, so you can have as many layers as you need to manage access.” - Samantha O’Brien, Studio Archivist, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates

Currently, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates are managing more than 2,000 licensees in the platform, with more being added regularly.

Organizing Content to Maximize Browsability

It’s sometimes the case that licensees, or would-be licensees, want to browse available content before they buy the license for a group of assets. In order to make sure these ‘window shoppers’ find the content they’re looking for – and buy the license – it’s important for Peanuts that their asset can be easily browsed by a variety of users.

In their old system, they used a folder structure to store content. However, this made it hard to find assets if you didn’t know exactly where they were stored.

Instead, within Tenovos all the assets are tagged with more than 60 metadata fields, including character names, asset types, poses, camera angles, and many many more. This allows users to filter through all the content to find specific assets that fit their needs.

This new way of organizing and filtering through content has increased the user’s ability to browse the entire Peanuts collection, find the assets they need, and purchase licenses quickly.

The Charles M. Schulz team also uses the users browsing and search behavior to inform and optimize their metadata fields, so they can continuously improve the findability of content within the system.


Tenovos and Digital Rights Management

The Tenovos DAM is a modern technology that goes beyond traditional functionalities of digital asset management platforms. For Charle M. Schulz Creative Associates, managing the Peanuts licensing program would be almost impossible without a centralized and integrated DAM platform within which to store and distribute its content at scale.

Their story is also a great example of why you need digital rights management built in directly to your DAM.

To learn more about how Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates uses Tenovos to manage its licensing program, watch our webinar hosted by Henry Stewart Events.