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Ebner Media scales global digital publishing with Contentstack

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50%
faster time to market
50%
less developer resources
1
source of truth for localized content
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Ebner Media was looking to evolve dozens of print publications to online digital magazines, and move away from WordPress’ CMS to a platform that provided flexibility, agility and scale. By adopting Contentstack’s headless CMS, Ebner Media can now launch new products in a fraction of the time without relying heavily on developer resources. With Contentstack’s out-of-the-box localization tools, the business has created a new direct revenue stream where content can be licensed anywhere, and easily adapted for a global audience.

The challenge

Ebner Media is a German publishing house with a wide range of magazine publications across industries like luxury goods, media and music. As a leader in their space, Ebner Media has their finger on the pulse of the publishing industry, and quickly identified that readers had less interest in subscribing to physical magazines. As part of a wider digital transformation journey, the publishing house was looking to digitize many of its publications to reach a wider audience. 

Additional goals for Ebner Media were to reduce development time and resources, which were outsized with their legacy tech stack. Many websites were powered by WordPress, and maintaining and updating content took hours, days — or sometimes even weeks. 

“When evaluating solutions, the back end technology was very important,” Álvaro Ruiz, Head of Technology, Ebner Media said. “We needed the editors to be able to use it to model whatever they wanted, and we wanted to be able to quickly develop new products. We chose Contentstack for its flexibility and agility.”

The solution

After choosing Contentstack’s headless CMS to power its digital transformation, Ebner Media now has multiple products that they create and manage within the Contentstack platform. 

Digital products that used to be built on WordPress or other legacy CMS solutions are now built quickly and easily on Contentstack, with new features or integrations added as necessary. Ebner Media has transformed several in-print periodicals, previously released three or four times each year, to digital channels, copying over the design and branding to keep the same look and feel, allowing subscribers to interact with, and subscribe to, either or both of the digital and print versions. 

“Digital has become a direct sales channel for us,” Ruiz said. “A place where we can sell exclusive content. Paper costs are expensive, and by moving to digital, we can reduce those costs, perhaps having one magazine in-print, and the rest online with the same feel and the same audience engagement.” 

By moving to Contentstack, Ebner Media has been able to leverage localization tools to launch a new business model through licensing fees. “Partners pay for the license, and we can easily translate content with AI allowing people to access the digital magazine globally,” Ruiz said. “We’ve launched in Europe and Germany, and the plan is to expand into America, then Mexico, and keep going from there.”

Ebner Media now leverages AI for a wide range of tasks, including translating content, managing Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and qualifying and categorizing news articles. Teams enjoy the ability to schedule content publication ahead of time, and regularly make use of Live Preview and Messaging features for better content creation. “There are a lot of really useful features,” Ruiz said. “One example is how reading length is calculated and updated automatically. So every time someone publishes content, a program checks the article, and calculates ‘ok, this will take five minutes to read’ and then updates that information.”

One specific project that Ebner Media has launched using Contentstack is watchtime.net, a concierge-style digital experience for customers interested in luxury watches. The publication was converted from its legacy WordPress infrastructure to Contentstack’s composable CMS and now combines three separate magazines into one highly customizable digital version to reduce print production. The digital publication offers localized content to effectively deliver a regionalized version of the magazines globally. It also allows printing partners to license Contentstack to launch custom digital magazines all over the world.  

“Previously, we would need to pay a lot of money for each new design,” Ruiz said. “With Contentstack we can be really flexible about branding and colors, keep it true to the sector, and use the right content to appeal to the audience with clean designs, high-quality photos and articles. Most importantly, we can write once and then populate a number of websites globally.”

The results

We’ve managed to develop so fast, we’ve created new products that weren’t even in our original plan. We’ve made new products, and transformed what we were already offering. With the agility and speed unlocked by Contentstack, we’ve been driven in new directions we weren’t even expecting.

Álvaro Ruiz | Head of Technology

As well as continuing licensing content to new regions globally, and experimenting further with AI, Ebner Media is considering moving towards digital events, to allow customers to take part in live videos, webinars or networking events, managed with the help of integration to email lists and other marketing tools behind the scenes. 

Ebner Media’s key wins with Contentstack include:

  • Reduced developer resources: Ebner Media reduced its time to market using half of the time and developer resources. With a headless solution, everything can be API-based, so developers have the autonomy to focus on more strategic work elsewhere, without needing to work inside the CMS on repetitive tasks. 
  • Unlimited scale: Scale has been one of Ebner Media’s greatest payoffs for content production. The workflows in the architecture can be created once, and then applied to all objects and projects very quickly. 
  • A modern technology stack: Ebner Media was able to migrate off different legacy systems in a quick and effective way, saving support and hosting costs and minimizing security issues. In the legacy stack, changes took a prohibitive amount of time, and Ebner Media was managing heavy technical debt. The new architecture makes development simple, and the legacy system is no longer touched at all. 
  • Global expansion: With a single source of truth for content, Ebner Media can publish once and localize anywhere, creating license-driven content at global scale. With the power of Contentstack headless CMS, Ebner Media has been able to create new products in different languages and test in-market quickly, supporting the business in expanding to new regions.

Company

Ebner Verlag (Ebner Media Group) prints and publishes journals, technical periodicals, and special interest magazines. Its publications include, Chronos, Film & TV Kameramann, Naturstein, Gitarre&Bass, Page and WatchTime. The company is headquartered in Ulm, Germany and has 18 locations in Germany, Europe, the US and Asia.

Industry

PublishingMedia & entertainment

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