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The state of content (mis) management

 A new white paper from Chorus by Vox Media and Digiday

Text-only graphic showing the Chorus logo in orange, the Digiday logo in white, separated by a multiplication symbol. Logos are placed on a purple background.

Today, Chorus by Vox Media and Digiday unveiled a new report, The state of content (mis) management. The report — unveiled at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Key Biscayne, FL before an audience of ~250 industry leaders — finds that digital media professionals are beginning to grow frustrated when it comes finding a publishing platform that addresses their content creation, distribution, and revenue needs. They are working with a limited range of content management systems (CMS) that they are not satisfied with, are slow to switch platforms, and are only becoming more dissatisfied as their time increases on their platforms.

This outcome is rare in the media industry. Broadcasters would go out of business if they relied on satellites that were satisfactory 50% of the time, and newspaper publishers would replace a press if it only printed papers half of the week. Still, digital publishers remain committed to systems that fall short of expectations.

In light of the report’s stark findings, Chorus by Vox Media is prepared to challenge the industry to examine this complacency and demand more to ensure publishers have access to tools that support content creation, audience development, and revenue growth.

Through Chorus’s enterprise SaaS publishing platform, Vox Media offers media companies an ecosystem of strength that allows them to focus on creating great content and driving revenue, including through Concert, the largest high-quality ad marketplace.

These business initiatives are aligned with Vox Media’s thesis that it is critical for publishers to come together to build efficiencies in order to overcome the challenges they face today.

Key findings of the report include that:

The primary function of a CMS is to publish content, but content creators, don’t believe their publishing platforms perform even this baseline task very well.

  • Only a quarter (28 percent) of media professionals say their publishing platform allows them to draft stories concurrently with others — collaboration core to any modern-day editorial or writing staff — accomplish very or somewhat well.
  • Of the 116 respondents who said that content creation or editing were among their responsibilities, only 31 percent said their CMS enables easy maintenance and content updates very well.

Analytics capabilities are failing to meet the expectations of content creators who are keen to respond and adapt to data on audience behavior.

  • Among content creators, only 21 percent say their platform’s analytics tools track site traffic very well.
  • 30 percent say their CMS’s analytics tools allows them to view version history very well.

Publishing platforms are not adapting to the distribution expectations of today’s publishers

  • Only 45 percent of media professionals say their CMS allows them to distribute stories across multiple platforms somewhat or very well.
  • Only 45 percent of media professionals say that their CMS directly enables them to launch a new content section, or new satellite sites, somewhat or very well.
  • Only 36 percent of content creators say their CMS is innovative.

Revenue capabilities are often inhibited, not enhanced by publishing platforms.

  • Only 45 percent of media professionals say their CMS performs somewhat or very well when it comes to programmatic capabilities and performance.
  • Only 38 percent of media professionals definitively agree with the statement “My CMS integrates ads well for the user.”
  • Only 34 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “My CMS presents advertising experiences in formats that feel seamless and non-intrusive,” either somewhat or strongly.

Digiday received more than one thousand responses to its survey, of which it examined data from a sub- sample of 154 media professionals who identify as either publishers or content creators for this research.