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CMS Vendors
Eidosmedia

Eidosmedia

Méthode and Cobalt

Eidosmedia is a long-standing print Content Management System (CMS) vendor that has made impressive strides on the digital side, but still lags a bit in terms of architecture and technical debt.

  • Eidosmedia’s CMS consists of several pieces: the Methóde CMS and Cobalt digital publishing framework; the Swing browser-based interface; and/or Prime Windows client application
  • Eidosmedia is best suited to mid-sized chain of news organizations and large news organizations in North America and EMEA that are digital-first but still publish print, or publish highly structured content streams (such as newswires).
  • Customers include Le Monde and Figaro (France), The Times and Financial Times (UK), the Frankfurter Algemeine (Germany), The Boston Globe (US), and The Washington Post (US) — the latter two just for print

Likely fit

Eidosmedia is best suited to mid-sized chain of news organizations and large news organizations in North America and EMEA that are digital-first but still publish print, and who want to enable more editorial control over digital page and screen lay-out than most pure “headless” CMS would offer.

At a glance

Primary Customer Fit

Mid-Sized Chain Of News Organizations

Secondary Fit

Large News Organization

Most Active Geographies

EMEA, North America

Official Support Hours

365x24x7

Officially Supported Languages for User Interface

EN, IT, NL-FL, FR, ES, DE, JA, ZH-CN

Third-party Language Support Available?

No

License Model

Not disclosed by vendor

Scope Summary

Focused on (digital) content creation with support for print; optionally includes management of front-end experiences even for headless application, but lacks revenue generation features (paywall, subscriptions, ads)

Tech Base

AWS, Java, React, PostgreSQL, OpenSearch

Cloud Model

Single-tenant SaaS

Headquarters

Milan, Italy

Head Count

228

What customers report

  • Considered a very stable system with few issues or outages, if any
  • Can deal with large numbers of concurrent editorial users
  • Highly productized, but customers report the company is very flexible with requested product enhancements
  • Not well suited to content other than text and images, e.g., poor video support
  • Dearth of insights in editorial analytics such as schedules and productivity
  • Rapid regular release schedule not always adequately documented for those still running on-premise
  • The company itself feels opaque sometimes, especially around road maps and concealing technical debt, and seems less forthcoming and less open to sharing among licensees

Background

  • Eidosmedia was founded in 1999 in Milan, Italy. Since 2010, it has been majority-owned by a series of different investment funds (presently Paris-based CAPZA), though management has retained a stake in ownership. The company has offices in Italy, Germany, U.S., France, UK, China, and Australia, with a development hub in Porto, Portugal.
  • The core Eidosmedia CMS is called Methóde, with Cobalt as the digital publishing component. The company also supports print with Methóde Layout and Planning. Editors historically worked in the “Prime” Windows client, and many newsrooms still do, with editors having grown accustomed to the conveniences of a desktop client. However, customers have been shifting away to the “Swing” browser-based interface (which doesn’t require deployment on client machines).
  • In Swing, editors can arrange their own dashboards to keep the most used functionality at hand. Unlike page-based systems (c.f., Arc XP), articles get created as componentized content (built up in paragraphs), and a variety of rich content blocks can be inserted (such as images, polls, and social media). Eidosmedia has paid attention to collaborative features, and editors can add notes and annotations; the CMS also has its own integrated chat functionality. This kind of component-based authoring allows for finer-grained re-use, but likely at a cost of some editorial overhead and complexity, especially for authors.
  • Web and print variants get created through “channels,” which create a snapshot of the content that can then be edited separately (but is still linked to the original article). A common use case is digital-first content creation, where the digital content is on a “continuous deadline” (and updated as a story evolves). For print, an editor takes a snapshot, which does not contain digital media such as video and can then be further adapted to the page layout. The same mechanism can also be employed for different editions or languages of the content.
  • Cobalt started out as a complete website solution (with templating in the common Freemarker framework), though according to Eidosmedia, the CMS is increasingly used “headless”, through the API only. Eidosmedia provides a proof of concept front-end built in React using the APIs. This effectively gives you an optional page/screen builder, even when used headless.
  • Note that Methóde and Cobalt were originally designed to get deployed on-premise, on a Java server architecture, however Eidosmedia has begun to offer it as SaaS, hosted on AWS.
  • Eidosmedia’s bread and butter is still in news media, though the company has also added financial services companies as an important group of customers, and several corporate/government organizations (such as Union of European Football Associations and the Library of Congress).
  • The partner ecosystem remains relatively thin, with two main external integration partners to implement projects. Whether this will be enough to sustain growth remains to be seen, but the company is committed to reinvesting 15% of revenues into R&D and recently opened a development center in Portugal. However, much of that effort seems to have been invested in modernizing the underlying architecture (and moving to SaaS), rather than revolutionizing the user-facing editorial interfaces.

Package scope (as reported by vendor)

Core platform - i.e., bundled in product (yes/no/beta) Add-On (yes/custom/3rd party)
Content lifecycle: author / classify / edit / approve / publish / re-purpose / archive / dispose
Basic digital / voice / media asset management
Support print publishing
Simple social media re-publishing
Optional modules: forms / polls / social widgets / etc
3rd Party
Connector library (OOTB connectors, APIs, etc.)
Bundled CDN (with DDOS protection)
아니요
3rd Party
User registration
아니요
3rd Party
Subscription management and fulfillment - digital
아니요
3rd Party
구독 또는 멤버십
아니요
3rd Party
맞춤설정
아니요
3rd Party
Ad management - digital
아니요
3rd Party
Ad management - print
아니요
콘텐츠 관리
조사
콘텐츠 관리
Video management / OVP
아니요
3rd Party
Audio management / podcasting
아니요
3rd Party
데이터 저널리즘 및 시각화
아니요
3rd Party
Classifieds
아니요
3rd Party
Commenting / community features/
아니요
3rd Party
Newsletter production and management
아니요
3rd Party
Notifications and alerts
A/B testing
아니요
3rd Party
SEO
Multi-title management with variable inheritance
Complex layout and subsite / subsection cloning
AR- / VR- enhanced services
아니요
3rd Party
잠재고객 분류
아니요
Online user / partner forums
Regular user group meetings
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