Highlights 

Client: Entercom Communications

Entercom Communications case study

Situation: Entercom offers listeners everything from rock to country to gospel to sports talk, and each radio station has a unique brand. This means every station requires flexibility to showcase its brand on its own website while adhering to Entercom’s company guidelines.

Challenge: The clock was ticking for Entercom Communications’ digital team. Its eight members were tasked with moving 85 sites to a new platform in just in six months. If they were even one day late, Entercom would have to pay for another quarter of hosting fees for sites that didn’t work.

Our Solution: Acquia Cloud Site Factory, Acquia Lift (Content Hub)

Results:

  • Sites launched on time: 85
  • Site launch time: Reduced by more than 60 percent.
  • Display advertising revenue: Increased by 25 percent.
  • Web traffic: Increased more than 18 percent.
  • Unique visitor traffic: Increased 14 percent.

 


The Client  

You may not have heard of Entercom, but you’ve likely listened to what they do. Today, the Philadelphia-based company reaches an audience of more than 40 million people a week across the country’s top-rated radio stations1.  

Entercom Communications stations

Entercom’s stations are devoted to everything from rock to country to news to sports talk and much more, and include top-rated stations, such as WFAN New York City, KAMP Los Angeles, WBBM Chicago, KCBS San Francisco, KLUV Dallas, WVEE Atlanta, WIP Philadelphia, WEEI Boston, and WLYF Miami.

The Situation

Every Entercom radio station communicates a unique brand. This means every station requires flexibility to showcase its brand on its own website, while adhering to Entercom’s company guidelines. Like radio itself, the sites must be flexible enough to meet listeners wherever they are, now and in the future. This includes generating a huge amounts of in-house and third-party content. And in the world of radio, everything is time sensitive.

“We had been using a proprietary CMS but it was old and it was no longer meeting our needs,” said Amy Van Hook, director of digital operations at Entercom. “It would take us literally several months to launch one site. We needed to move faster, to launch stations faster. We needed everything to happen faster, and we had zero control over that.”

Under the old system there was one CMS for uploading video, another for uploading audio, and still another to manage the website itself. And there was no way to host third-party content. For example, a site visitor clicking on a news headline would be taken to the Associated Press site to read the article. This interfered with the brand experience, in addition to losing advertising revenue. The old system was not mobile friendly, which limited the number and size of ads.

“The impetus for the change was literally the pain that we were feeling with not being able to control our destiny, our roadmap, the timing of launches and the ability to manipulate our website in almost any way,” Van Hook said. “It was bad.”

The Challenge

The clock was ticking for Entercom Communications’ digital team. Its eight members were tasked with moving 85 sites to a new platform in just in six months. If they were even one day late, Entercom would have to pay for another quarter of hosting fees for sites that didn’t work.

Van Hook and her eight-person team had to resolve other obstacles before they could even start website redesign. These challenges included getting buy-in from multiple corporate and local stakeholders, who often had different objectives and needs. The content migration process would also include accommodating inconsistent content practices from local content contributors.

After interviewing more than 30 stakeholders from the corporate and local sales, programming, promotions, and digital teams, Van Hook and her team pinpointed three primary goals for their new system:

  1. Consolidate the tech stack to streamline content publishing for local radio station teams, while improving governance through consistent content publishing practices, brand identities, and design. Supporting local branding and voice was also a must.
  2. Reducing long-term costs of web production, maintenance, and innovation.
  3. Set up Entercom for long-term success in digital efforts by building a platform that could grow with its ever-changing needs in the media space.

The Solution

The six-month clock started ticking in January 2016. Van Hook did some investigating, and even though her team didn’t have much development experience with Drupal, she realized that Acquia Cloud Site Factory was the way to go.

They went with the Acquia Platform because “it gives us the ability to have several pieces of key functionality under one roof with one partner,” she said. “This allows us to more easily coordinate the rollout, changes or to troubleshoot.”

Working with Acquia Professional Services allowed Entercom to better define its development process and needs. Acquia Cloud Site Factory let them establish a repetitive launch process for individual radio stations to follow when launching their sites. After launching the initial half-dozen sites, the team created a “clone” site with many Drupal UI configurables preset and ready to go.

Having these “grab-and-go” sites made the entire process faster. With the addition of Acquia Lift’s content syndication capability, the team can now create the content once and publish it to all the sites on the platform with a push of a button.

“This significantly reduced the amount of time it took to build a site,” Van Hook said. “In fact, we reduced time to launch by 60 percent once we had our process honed. What used to take several months now takes just a few days.”

Because their old system was plagued by frequent outages and poor performance, Van Hook also chose to deploy Acquia Cloud Edge CDN, which enabled Entercom to deliver a fast, reliable and protected experience.

Finally, Entercom has also been able to streamline its advertising operations by automating the process. That, along with the new modern IAB ad sizes and the addition of a responsive template, has more than doubled the available inventory for display ads. The result: a 25 percent increase in display advertising revenue.

The Results

We helped Entercom create and launch all 80 websites on time. Van Hook and her team were also able to launch additional websites for 27 Entercom stations in just one month. Just like the first 85 site launches, this wouldn’t have been possible without the factory process and technology of Acquia Cloud Site Factory.

  • Site launched on time: 85.
  • Site launch time: Reduced by more than 60 percent. .
  • Display advertising revenue: Increased by 25 percent.
  • Web traffic: Increased more than 18 percent.
  • Unique visitor traffic: Increased 14 percent.
  • Built-in SEO capabilities, better social sharing capabilities and improved UI and design.
  • Drupal’s content creation supports new event pages, audio channels, and photo galleries.

“It’s not surprising that we increased our traffic with the move from the old, outdated sites to our new, modern sites,” Van Hook said. “What’s really important, though, is that we continue to increase traffic on the new platform at a steady pace.”

Van Hook and team will get the opportunity to launch more sites in 2018. “With the CBS merger, our platform was the choice to continue with and we now have 120 sites to migrate between January and March. It’s a tall order, but with Site Factory we know it’s possible.”

 


1In November of 2017 Entercom became the second-largest radio station owner in the U.S. following a merger with CBS Radio. Today it has 235 stations and reaches more than 100 million people weekly.

Entercom Communications
The Philadelphia-based company reaches an audience of more than 40 million people a week across the country’s top-rated radio stations.
Using Acquia Since
2010
Using Drupal Since
2010
Number of Employees
1683

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