A Look Behind SourceMedia's New Digital Publishing Platform

Share |

This week, SourceMedia launched a new digital publishing platform and state-of-the-art content management system offering an improved user experience by delivering superior cross-platform and native advertising integration, better mobile viewing and seamless integration of content feeds, events promotion and other services into the reader workflow.


The platform went live with three brands (Health Data Management, Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser) and will roll out to all Source products, including flagships American Banker, Financial Planning and Accounting Day.


Many of Source’s back-end functions from sales to audience database are integrated under the new platform. “The platform is built so that we can push something out to all of our sites but going forward what this will enable us to do is innovate faster and push products out faster and better and think about things in a much more holistic way,” says SourceMedia chief digital and marketing officer Minna Rhee.


“Context” is the key for delivering both edit and native advertising on the new Source platform. “We are always trying to make sure that it makes to the user, but also allow advertisers to target things to the users as much as possible contextually to what they’re reading and looking at,” says Rhee.


That includes “day-parting” specific content that’s most relevant to different parts of the reader’s workday. Health Data Management’s homepage delivers “Morning Rounds” that offer the most critical stories to start the reader’s day. As the workday progresses, “Morning Rounds” gives way to different topic areas and headlines. When readers are in an article, the platform will serve a “’Reading List” of similar topics. While that idea is fairly standard for most CMS, the Source platform does it in a way that puts highly targeted content (no “25 Hottest NFL Cheerleaders” slipping in here) at the reader’s fingertips without being too intrusive.



Sponsored content is woven into the fabric of the site (while still clearly labeled as content). An IBM white paper is served seamlessly into the homepage without disrupting the flow of dedicated editorial articles.



The development took about six months, with website and content management system designed by Eston, VA based Perfect Sense and the user experience designed by digital agency Work & Co.


All stakeholders had input, from edit to audience to sales. “The reality is, this effort incorporates most of the company,” says Rhee. “We partnered closely with [Source chief content officer] David Longobardi because content is so important here. The core team on a day-to-day basis includes design, tech management and product management. But when we designed, we thought about how would this work for subscribers and we brought in audience development. When we thought about how we would inject sponsored content and advertising content, we brought in the product and sales teams. We had representatives from every group of the company involved in this process.” 

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.