With so much content and so many channels on which to post it, publishers are increasingly looking to content management systems to help save time and increase profitability. “In order to effectively monetize their Web sites, publishers need the underlying technology to centralize and standardize their content in the same way, in a common database and a common workflow,” says Paul Harris, vice president of marketing for content management systems provider, Saxotech, who counts Crain Communications among its publishing customers.
A CMS is best defined as a database-driven system used to facilitate sharing and collaboration during the process of creating publications or Web sites. It allows the same content to be published across multiple channels in a single program, eliminate the hassle of cutting-and-pasting and additional steps, says Mark Walter, director of business development at Managing Editor Inc., which markets the K4 CMS used by Conde Nast and Hearst, and magazines such as PC World, Computerworld and Atlantic Monthly.
With 16 branded magazines, numerous Web sites, mobile sites and custom publishing offerings, the U.S. division of Hachette Filipacchi spent the past two years identifying and selecting both a content management system and a digital asset management system. Whereas, the CMS controls Web content, the DAM standardizes content across all of the company’s products, says Philippe Guelton, Hachette’s chief operating officer.
Once fully implement, the system will allow Hachette to protect its content and use it more efficiently. “The DAM is key because attached to it is a rights management system that allows us to track the copyrights on all of our content. It will also be integrated with our editorial production systems. In that regard, the DAM is the cornerstone of the multiplatform brand strategy because it will allow us to produce multiple outputs all centered around our brands production. And the CMS helps use leverage and produce that content most efficiently.”
At Time Inc., the content management system was integrated in pieces over time. “It is a system where all the pieces play well together,” says Paul Zazzera, senior vice president and chief information officer for Time Inc. “We have more of a mix of various systems. Some of the systems are designed for our bigger Web and magazine titles. And some are for our smaller publications. In putting together a digital asset management system, we wanted to keep it simple so that the small publications would get the same benefits, without the complexity that the bigger publications have.”
Content and digital asset management systems vary in price and size. Whereas, a large publisher, like Time, might spend millions of dollars over time to integrate all of its products and publications into a single CMS and DAM, a smaller publication may spend as little as $25,000 to do the same. “Our least expensive product costs about 25,000 and a lot of publications get by on just that,” Walter says. “It depends on the scale of the project.”
For more on content management systems, see Folio:’s October issue.