Washington Post considers licensing its CMS

It's a sign of the newspaper's creative approach to digital strategy under the auspices of its new owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The Washington Post building. (Photo by Flickr user Dion Hinchcliffe, used under a Creative Commons license)

The Washington Post might begin licensing its in-house CMS software for an extra source of revenue, the Financial Times reports (paywall):

Developing a licensing business would be a further step in the Post’s efforts to generate digital profits as its print business shrinks. It also comes as changing media consumption habits and pressure from new competitors are pushing news organisations to invest in beefing up their technological prowess.

Since its $250 million acquisition in 2013 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the newspaper has sharpened its online content, a strategy that seems to be bearing fruit. According to the Financial Times, the number of unique visitors on the website increased by 62 percent between Nov. 2013 and Nov. 2014.
The licensing of proprietary software as a parallel product, the FT reports, might have been inspired by Amazon’s own business model:

The Post hired 20 engineers in 2014, and now employs 225, split between developers working on its digital initiatives and more traditional IT functions at its printing plant and human resources, sales and advertising departments.

Mr Prakash said he was “borrowing a page out of Amazon” in developing software that both suits the Post’s needs and could be opened up to other users. Amazon Web Services, which provides cloud computing to customers from the CIA to Netflix, has become the ecommerce company’s fastest-growing division.

“Technology is core to our business,” Mr Prakash said of the push to develop more software in-house. “You wouldn’t outsource the business plan or the revenue plant. Why would you outsource technology?”

The CMS is already being used on a trial basis by the school newspapers of Yale University, Columbia University and the University of Maryland.
(h/t CMS Wire)

Companies: The Washington Post

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