Mediacorp’s editorial and digital teams needed a content management system (CMS) platform that would improve technical engineering efficiencies and editorial experiences while reducing operating costs.
Having multiple content management systems created issues for Mediacorp. Limited options for vendors resulted in high costs for implementation, licensing, and support, and the previous setup had rigid design architecture and poor scalability.
Drupal CMS, Acquia Cloud Platform
Since rebuilding their CMS using Drupal, Mediacorp has been able to streamline operations and support all users within their organization — developers, editors, and marketers — with one single system.
Mediacorp is Singapore’s largest content creator and national media network, operating six TV channels, 11 radio stations, and multiple digital platforms including CNA, Singapore's most used news app, and mewatch, its digital video platform. Its mission is to engage, entertain, and enrich audiences by harnessing the power of creativity.
Mediacorp pioneered the development of Singapore’s broadcasting industry, with radio broadcast in 1936 and television broadcast in 1963. Today, it reaches 98% of Singaporeans in four languages weekly and has a growing Asian audience base through CNA and entertainment content that is distributed across markets in the region. CNA content is consumed by 11 million unique visitors each month, generating about 75 million page views monthly. The channel also reaches more than 81 million households in 29 territories across Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
Mediacorp fully transitioned its print publications to the digital space in 2000. However, this transition resulted in multiple content management systems (CMS) across the organization, including an enterprise proprietary CMS platform. Although their CMS platforms had success in many areas, things were changing so rapidly that Mediacorp was experiencing more issues than ever before.
In order to improve platform stability, operational efficiency, user experience, and audience retention, Mediacorp made the decision to consolidate its four CMSs into a single solution. This move was crucial to streamline internal processes and overcome the challenges associated with managing content across multiple platforms.
Mediacorp faced limited options on CMS vendors, resulting in high cost of implementation, licensing, and support. The previous CMS provider had shifted their product roadmap to no longer be publishing-focused, resulting in a lack of support for Mediacorp’s growing requirements. These included a more complex workflow with content management, creation, curation, reusing, and sharing.
Additionally, engineering efficiencies were not met as Mediacorp was on a difficult path to upgrade their product version due to rigid design architecture and poor scalability. Limited support from professional services (including slow releases of new features and security updates that made them vulnerable to many issues) and the lack of community support also meant that intensive effort was needed for changes and customizations.
With the added complexity of managing four CMS platforms with diverse technology specifications and team requirements, Mediacorp knew it was time to look for a more robust CMS that was marketer-friendly, scalable, and provided customization capabilities. The team was determined to find one single CMS solution to meet their needs.
Mediacorp's process for evaluating CMSs was a joint effort by their digital and editorial teams. Mediacorp evaluated each vendor against their requirements for platform stability, editorial experience, and cost effectiveness.
After a thorough evaluation, Mediacorp chose Drupal as their single CMS, given its open source nature, highly flexible architecture, and platform stability.
In order to achieve their goals of platform stability, operational efficiency, and an improved user experience that enhances audience retention, Mediacorp selected Acquia as their digital experience platform (DXP) for its breadth of solutions and Drupal expertise.
Acquia Cloud Platform provides Mediacorp with a secure, reliable, and cloud-native platform that it needs to build, launch, manage, and optimize highly scalable and performant Drupal-based applications. In addition, Acquia Cloud Platform’s auto-scaling architecture is backed by a 99.95% SLA uptime.
As Mediacorp needed to ensure their site was fast and capable of handling extreme traffic bursts when breaking news hits, they turned to Acquia Cloud Next, an enterprise-grade, Kubernetes-native Drupal hosting platform. Acquia Cloud Next improves application performance with maximum uptime, scaling capabilities with elastic cloud capacity, and maximum security and resiliency features against unexpected risks.
Mediacorp started rebuilding on Drupal and Acquia in mid-2020. With a clear vision to improve engineering efficiencies, Mediacorp worked with its technical partner to adopt a “Develop once, use anywhere” strategy. By leveraging the EZContent Drupal distribution as a base, Mediacorp built its Core profile as a foundation to support various products in the areas of news and entertainment, with reusable components.
Being on a single platform with a common codebase means Mediacorp has the ability to build various components and capabilities leveraging Drupal's modularity and composability. With Drupal, Mediacorp has the power to create content (including news articles, images, videos, or audio) once and use it anywhere to support various product teams with the most up-to-date information.
It was a massive project. By early 2022, when Mediacorp finished this challenging journey, they accomplished more than 200,000 hours of development effort, over 80 reusable components built, 1,500,000 pages migrated and rebuilt, and eight overall products revamped.
Since then, Mediacorp’s team has successfully increased their operational efficiency, improved user experiences, and increased audience retention. They now serve over 11 million unique visitors and receive 73 million page views per month on CNA, which recently won the prestigious Best News Website or Mobile Service award from the WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide.
In addition, Mediacorp has established its own development capabilities, in partnership with Acquia's Technical Account Management (TAM) team, who offers effective governance, consultation, and recommendations, on top of application analysis, design, support, and infrastructure planning. With a complete technology switch from adopting Drupal, Mediacorp’s team leveraged the training and certification credits provided by Acquia, and now are well-equipped with enough expertise to become active contributors to the Drupal community. As a result, Mediacorp now has greater visibility and influence in Drupal's development roadmap.