AWS for M&E Blog

Headless Content Management: Why does it matter in digital publishing?

The demand for Headless Content Management Systems (CMS) has grown steadily over the past five years and the trend is expected to continue. According to Future Marketing Insights, the 2022 market for headless CMS was $605 million and will grow to approximately $3.8 billion by 2032.

A traditional CMS like WordPress or Drupal is a single integrated system that ties together the web front end (or head) with the backend content management functions. This works well if you are only creating content for a single channel—the website. In today’s environment, however, you need to create and distribute content to a wide variety of channels: single page applications, smart devices, wearables, social media sites, and syndication platforms, to name only a few. This is the purpose of a headless CMS. Using an API-first approach, a headless CMS is decoupled from any specific presentation layer.

Freedom of cloud-based services

You can run a headless CMS yourself by downloading the code, deploying it, and operating it.  You monitor how well the servers are working, scale the system when needed, and apply patches when necessary. If the headless CMS does not have the functionality you need, your developers can create new modules to extend its capability.

However, at Amazon Web Services (AWS), we urge customers to unburden themselves from undifferentiated work that does not add value to the business. For example, running and maintaining your own infrastructure can limit your ability to create the new content and new products that your customers demand.

Toward this end, AWS sees value in adopting a cloud-based headless CMS. With this approach, you are no longer responsible for operating the content management system. Instead, you rely on your provider to run the system and scale it as needed. The provider also offers a wide range of functionality that is tailored to digital publishing requirements, thus reducing the need for your own custom development.

To summarize the advantages of a cloud-based, headless CMS:

  • User experience: Developers can create a wide range of user experiences, using technologies best suit their needs and skills, independent of the CMS
  • Scalability: The CMS provider is responsible for scaling the system to meet the demands of a distributed global audience
  • Agility: Freedom from the need to perform routine operations and maintenance, developers can experiment and iterate new products to add value to your business

AWS and headless CMS

AWS works backwards to identify customer needs and determine the best solutions. For our digital publishing customers, we identify partners who offer cloud-based headless CMS solutions that support a wide range of functionality. Each solution has different capabilities and pricing models, allowing you to determine what best matches your content management needs.

Examples of using headless CMS

Cloud-based, headless CMS solutions enable publishers to deliver a wide range of content to multiple channels by relying on built-in capabilities rather than new development.

Graham Media Group (GMG), for example, wanted to integrate live broadcast video across multiple channels. GMG turned to AWS Partner Arc XP for a robust solution that created a unified video backend built on AWS services.

When a major daily newspaper in the United Kingdom decided to launch a new product, it turned to Glide Publishing, another AWS Partner. The new digital product publishes news, live video, podcasts, puzzles, live reports, and other features that are updated each day. The site went from concept to production within a few months and in the intervening time has grown subscriber numbers by nearly 400%. Such rapid development was possible because the news site used the extensive publisher-ready built-in functionality of the Glide platform, and particularly its robust editorial workflow processes.

Ring Publishing, an AWS Partner, provides the platform that one of the largest news providers in central Europe relies on to serve personalized content to its users. Ring Publishing’s SaaS solution automatically creates homepages that are personalized to each user, while still allowing editorial teams to curate content when necessary.

To learn more about the advantages of cloud-based, headless CMS, reach out to one the AWS partners listed below or contact your AWS account team today.

Headless CMS solutions

Arc XP

Arc XP is a cloud-native digital experience platform built on AWS that enables content creation and distribution, digital commerce, and the delivery of powerful multichannel experiences. The Arc XP headless content management system and fully hosted, modern front-end experience platform are loosely coupled yet tightly integrated to allow our customers to shift their focus from day-to-day operations to delivering digital experiences that drive deeper, more valuable audience relationships.

Contact Arc XP

Glide Publishing Platform

Glide is a scalable AWS-native SaaS content management and publishing platform that enables publishers and other businesses to focus on their customers and products rather than managing the CMS. With Glide, companies can invest in what makes their business unique.

Contact Glide Publishing

Ring Publishing

Ring Publishing is a modular platform for publishers and media to create and deliver the right content to the right audiences. The platform provides a pure SaaS experience, relieving the client of the burden of all tasks related to development, maintenance, and support and enabling them to focus on core business activity, such as creating great stories for the readers. The guiding principle of the platform is to provide smart assistants and analytics, automating editors’ tasks at every stage of their work, such as guiding SEO, tagging, finding related articles, and more. All Ring Publishing modules can be used separately in Headless/API mode or integrated together. Ring Publishing is used by more than 60 brands and digital market leaders in Europe, Africa, and the US. Contact Ring Publishing

Demian Hess

Demian Hess

Demian Hess is a Sr Partner Solutions Architect at AWS, focusing on Digital Publishing. With over 18 years of experience in the publishing industry, Demian has written extensively on Digital Asset Management, Content Management, and flexible metadata schemes using NoSQL and Semantic Web technologies.