Emmis Radio is the 9th largest radio group in the United States (based on listeners) and owns twenty-three niche brands in the following media markets: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute. These brands provide listeners with a radio experience that honors the lifestyles inspired by an array of genres, such as hip hop, rock, news and sports. Emmis has also been voted the Most Respected Radio Company in poll of industry CEO’s and is committed to continuing to enrich the experience of their listeners.
Every Emmis radio station communicates a unique brand. This means every station requires flexibility to showcase its brand on its own website, while adhering to Emmis’ company guidelines. Like radio itself, the sites must be flexible enough to meet listeners wherever they are, now and in the future. Emmis determined that in order to expand their traditional business of radio, it needed a new digital environment that made content the priority.
Emmis was originally on a homegrown Content Management System, which fulfilled its digital needs for a period of time. However, Emmis needed a cohesive technical system that would allow each unique brand to easily share on-demand audio, video, and social conversation all on one platform. Content creation and distribution needed to be easy, governance simplified, and site reliability was a must.
With Acquia Cloud Site Factory, Emmis developed a collection of scalable mutlisites to simplify governance requirements and guarantee site reliability. With three site templates to support all twenty-three radio stations, Acquia Cloud Site Factory enables each station to maintain their unique brand. Now, the teams at Emmis were able to focus on their primary goal: producing good radio.
In partnership with Acquia and the digital development agency FFW, Emmis was able to build a series of custom modules, pages, and mobile applications that continue to integrate the role of digital into the medium of radio. Emmis elevated the role of content for each brand by creating custom Spotlight pages for all of their radio personalities and events. Spotlight Pages now provide radio personalities and events with the landing pages required to embed, share and publish podcasts, videos, pictures and all other content that is relevant to their brand. With the ability to deliver online content to more than 1 million fans, Emmis’ brand is now global.
The flexibility of Drupal allowed Emmis to also build a custom User Generated Content Module (UGC) solution that truly fit its needs. Previously, content managers had to refer to third party vendors in order to publish and run their contests. Now Emmis’ custom UGC module streamlines workflows and puts control back into the hands of the content managers.
Finally, two of Emmis’ most popular radio brands exist on rival coasts and represent the distinct Hip Hip dynasties of the East and West. When Emmis wanted to unite Los Angeles’ Power 106 and New York City’s Hot 97, it looked to Acquia and FFW to develop a mobile application to connect the aggregate feeds of both Power 106 and Hot 97. The Where Hip Hop Lives App was born and emerged as the ultimate authority on Hip Hop music. Where Hip Hop Lives is able to pull content that is produced from both Power 106 and Hot 97’s sites. Because these Drupal sites are feed-based, it was easy for Emmis’ digital teams to develop a feed aggregator that publishes directly to the app in real time. Due to Drupal’s ability to create dynamic mobile applications through feed-based aggregators, Emmis was able to quickly deploy Where Hip Hop Lives instead of having to build a new CMS inside a mobile application.
With the support of Acquia, Emmis was able to replatform its entire content management system, migrate an extensive repertoire of content, and bring a new digital ecosystem to market in under a year.
- Within 10 months, Emmis was able to plan, build and roll out content driven sites for all 23 radio brands.
- Each station manager migrated 10 years of relevant content to Acquia Cloud.
- Aggregating video, content, blogs, photos, and advertisements all in the same place has created three new revenue streams.
- To date, the Where Hip Hop Lives app has 235,000 downloads and 100,000 monthly active users.
Since moving to the Acquia Platform, Emmis has created a collection of dynamic and engaging sites that elevate the traditional medium of radio and support the lifestyles of each brand. Emmis has taken advantage of both the simplicity of governance provided by Acquia Cloud Site Factory, in addition to the flexibility of Drupal to customize modules in order to create a digital experience that is truly unique. By leveraging the power of digital, Emmis has redefined what it means to broadcast radio.