Helping Broadcasters Bloom with Magnolia: a CMS for the Broadcasting Media

Dec 09, 2008

The internet has forever changed how media is consumed--with one click of a mouse we can get breaking news and up-to-the-minute updates, making sitting down to watch the nightly news feel like old news. To help radio and TV broadcasters face increasing pressure to produce timely content as quickly as possible, Magnolia recently released Magnolia-on-Air--a content management system designed specifically for broadcasters and large organizations to manage their own broadcast content.  

In November of 2003, Obinary Ltd, a privately held Swiss software company, released Magnolia into the content management industry. In 2006 Obinary changed its company name to Magnolia International Ltd. Five years after its original release, Magnolia CMS has planted its roots firmly in the content management landscape, with an Enterprise Solution, a Community Solution, and now Magnolia-on-Air—released at the Gilbane Conference in Boston, MA held Dec. 2-4.

Magnolia began with a simple observation: "We saw an area in which there are not many players. Systems are either too complex or too simple," says Magnolia CEO Boris Kraft. "We wanted to finally provide something that was highly user friendly and enterprise ready." After seeing the success of its Enterprise Edition, an authoring interface that makes websites simple to manage along with its flexible software architecture, and its Community Edition, a free open-source content management system, Magnolia took one step further by creating a solution which caters specifically to broadcasters and their need to transfer rich-media content to the web.
Developed in conjunction with partner FutureLab, a development company with experience in the media, telecom, and cable businesses, Magnolia-On-Air offers broadcasters a content management solution that cuts out the complexities that come with transferring media to a website. Kraft explains: "What we see is a big need right now. The way broadcasters work today, it takes a few days before they can provide information on the web. It is a costly process and what Magnolia does is it simplifies the process so much a journalist doesn't have to go through the typical process."

The Magnolia-on-Air workflow allows users to capture broadcast content and repurpose it for publication on the web. Once installed, the Magnolia-on-Air solution provides authors and editors web page templates to facilitate their custom requirements. They can choose the template that fits their needs and start adding the media they want to publish on the web. The media browser within Magnolia-on-Air shows what content has been made available for publication and even synchs with a company’s archived content. The Magnolia media editor allows users to edit video streams, edit audio, create, and resize images, and produce headlines and accompanying stories from the surrounding metadata.

As Kraft explains, "normally [editors] need to know about formats. With Magnolia, a user doesn't have to know what format files come in." Magnolia does the worrying for them.  Aside from capturing multi-format content, Magnolia-on-Air also gives editors the option to add interactive capabilities for their viewers. Editors can extract comments from the web and add them to the broadcast environment, creating a complete dialogue with viewers. Magnolia-on-Air even allows viewers to add rich media content to the broadcasting content. This technology creates an interactive experience for viewers, something that was nearly impossible to accomplish with traditional media outlets such as television.

With Magnolia-on-Air, the goal is to simplify the process and thus give broadcasters the freedom to focus more creating the best content possible. As Kraft says, with Magnolia-on-Air on a journalist’s side, they can forget about complex procedures and instead, "focus on the story and the content and get the news out as soon as possible." In the media industry, content is king, and with Magnolia-on-Air, broadcasters have a new opportunity to create content in multiple forms without breaking their backs to do so.