Media General and the Local Media Puzzle

 

While of course we are really excited today to announce Media General as our newest customer, but equally excited to show how local media can solve the puzzle facing them in terms of the digital transition.

Media General is a classic cross platform media publisher, including television stations, newspapers, and magazines.  They produce a tremendous amount of content day in day out including audio, video, text and images.  This content production is largely a sunk cost activity.  Once you shoot the newsclip or write the story, you have invested virtually everything you are going to spend on that content object.  The question becomes, how do you leverage all of these asserts to deliver increased revenues over their useful life?  We’ve had the privilege to work with some of the best companies and people in the local media space including Cox, Entercom, and now Media General, and we have seen what works and what doesn’t.  Here’s a quick list:

    1. Common platforms: Common platforms drive cost efficiency and product development velocity:  Companies that have moved to a single CMS platform have reaped big benefits.  It is a difficult thing to pull off, as TV and Newspaper use cases are different, and media companies traditionally have run as decentralized models, but we’ve seen firsthand the product velocity it creates once implemented;
    2. Know what you have:  When we first start working with most customers, they have very little knowledge of the content they have, either in terms of volume or context.  A comprehensive indexing and tagging of all content across audio, video, text, and image content means content can be easily packaged and re-purposed easily and quickly.  RAMP’s MediaCloud helps create a continuous “master” index of customers’ content assets;
    3. Help users find it:  Once you know what you have, then it become much easier to deliver on the “right content/right user/right ad/right time” objective.  Also, you are in a much better position to guide users to the highest value content (video as an example).  RAMP’s Universal Site Search delivers a comprehensive search experience for media customers.
    4. Innovate:  Its not enough to deliver on the basic user expectations.  You have to find a way to continue to innovate quickly but cost effectively.  A unified approach to publishing and a normalized view of content unlocks huge possibilities from a product innovation perspective.  Media General has deployed RAMP’s MetaPlayer to create “lean-forward” video experiences for their users and have seen a dramatic increase in streams per user as a result.

Local remains one of the tougher transitions in the digital landscape, and these approaches are yielding the needed results.