Media & entertainment has always been an industry that is shaped by consumer demands, which are in turn fueled by technology innovations. The recent technology trend of content digitization drives media businesses to further develop their on-line presence, notably through a CMS (Content Management System). The CMS is the face as well as the revenue-generating engine of media organizations.
This post examines if Drupal is a good CMS for the media industry.
Media & entertainment
The media industry has undergone tremendous digital transformation in both content format and content delivery. Technology innovation brings about digital contents that are delivered to the consumers over the Internet and the wireless spectrum. As a result of such transformation, digital subscription and on-line advertising become key revenue sources and drivers for the growth of media organizations.
Media companies are experiencing downward pressure on their revenue streams. Even pre-COVID, because of the on-going uphill battle against free web content, media companies experienced a drop in viewership. The other revenue stream, on-line advertising, also faces tough challenges as industry behemoths like Alphabet and Meta are capturing increasingly larger shares of the digital advertising pie.
Digital subscription and on-line advertising budgets all got a big boost from the pandemic. However, as the world emerges from COVID and people venture out from their living rooms back into public venues, media organizations continue to experience downward pressure on their revenues.
To retain or, better yet, to grow its on-line viewership, a media company must satisfy the increasingly personalized customer demands. Customers demand a better digital experience based on their personal preferences as they consume on-line information and entertainment. They want to consume only those digital contents that are tailored to their wants, in a format that they desire (e.g., video vs audio vs text), and in their native spoken language (e.g., English vs Spanish).
Consumers want not only their preferred information and entertainment, but they also want them delivered on the platform and device of their choice. It can be their mobile phones or their favorite social media channels. And people with disability challenges will demand nothing less than full on-line inclusion.
Next, we will examine, given the above challenges and opportunities, if Drupal is a good CMS for media companies.
Is Drupal good for media organizations?
Digital asset management
Digital contents are the primary assets of a media organization. The digital assets can be of various types and formats: video & music streaming, blog articles, ebooks, social media, Non-Fungible Tokens(NFTs), etc. A good CMS must provide support to create, edit, and manage media contents. Drupal’s open architecture and APIs allow you to create re-usable digital contents, and to display them in customizable layouts that are responsive to the end users' viewing devices.
Some digital contents require substantial post-production optimization work before they can be uploaded to the website. For example, images and videos may require format conversion, quality optimization, and thumbnail generation work after they have been created. Again, Drupal's open architecture and APIs allow you to build custom extension tools to automate these repetitive and labor-intensive administrative tasks, thereby saving you money for the long run.
Creation of great digital content is a must do for media companies. Yet, unless an interested audience can find it on-line, a media company cannot monetize the content effectively. Nowadays, the key to content discovery is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO-friendliness is a key property to look for in a CMS.
Drupal-based websites have some inherent qualities that make them SEO friendly: a clean website structure and fast load time. And Drupal provides battle-tested SEO support modules that are free. Examples of such modules are:
- Pathauto. This module automatically generates SEO-friendly and user-customizable URL aliases for your digital contents.
- Metatag. This module automatically generates the meta data, i.e., keyword tags and description tags, for your web pages.
- XML Sitemap. This module automatically creates an XML sitemap to aid search engines to crawl and index your website.
- Path Redirect. This module allows you to specify an automatic redirect from an old URL path, which is no longer valid, to a new path, thereby avoiding the dreadful 404 error.
Even if a potential subscriber manages to find your SEO-friendly website, they may still face certain hurdles before they can use your digital content. Unless accessibility is actually designed into your website, people with visual impairments or dexterity challenges cannot consume the information or entertainment offered.
Drupal, from version 7 on, was designed to comply out-of-the-box as much as possible with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG) 2.0, the industry standard for accessibility support. Any change to the Drupal core must pass accessibility tests before being accepted into a general release.
Language is a common barrier to overcome for many non-English speaking viewers who land on a media website. Specifically, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, with over 41 million people aged 5+ who speak the language at home.
Drupal supports over 100 languages. The Drupal core provides multilingual support by allowing for the automatic detection of users' preferred language, and by supporting the automatic translation of every part of a website including web page contents and user interface elements such as menu options.
To counteract the downward pressure on revenue and the intense competition from the likes of Alphabet and Meta, a media company must constantly innovate in its operations and look for new and better ways to monetize its digital contents.
A CMS must be able to integrate new technologies and innovative content types over time. Technologies such as E-commerce and Artificial Intelligence can help media companies optimize their web operations and monetize their digital content. Advances in blockchain technology result in the creation of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as a potential new digital product for media companies.
Summary & Conclusion
Drupal enables media companies to effectively create, manage, and monetize their digital contents. And with Drupal as its CMS, a media company is able to offer an incredible digital experience to the widest possible user base, overcoming various barriers such as language, cognitive and physical abilities. Last but not least, Drupal future-proofs media companies because it is capable of integrating innovative content types such as NFTs. It is not surprising that 73% of the top 30 media companies use Drupal.
Five Jars designs and builds digital products and cutting-edge industry-specific solutions with measurable impact. By working with Five Jars, YMCA of the North was able to automate and optimize their video preparation workflow and save 70+ person-hours per week.
Please contact us to explore how we can optimize your content production workflow and build a CMS that allows for a top-notch user experience.
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