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WoodWing

WoodWing Studio, Assets, Connect

Long-time InDesign tool maker and publishing platform has transitioned to digital, but recent corporate sale and realignment may bode changes ahead

  • For digital, the firm licenses a "headless" Content Management System (CMS) and separate Digital Asset Management (DAM) module
  • WoodWing is best suited to digital-first publishers that still maintain a vested interest in multiple print publications and need to rationalize cost of print
  • Customers include Der Spiegel (Germany), DPG (Belgium/The Netherlands), Hearst Magazines (US) and BuzzFeed (for asset management)

Likely fit

WoodWing is most suitable to large publishers with revenue streams from a large number of print publications and can help reduce cost and optimize digital to print workflows. Woodwing is less suited to small- and medium-sized publishers when there are no adequate integrator or in-house resources to create and maintain a digital front-end.

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

24h

Officially Supported Languages for User Interface

CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, JP, KO, NL, PL, PT, RU, CN, TW, FI

Third-party Language Support Available?

No

License Model

Subscription based on number of monthly active users (SaaS)

Scope Summary

Emphasis on digital-first content production with print integration; offers no front-end experience or revenue generation functionality

Tech Base

PHP, SOLR

Cloud Model

SaaS or self-hosted

Headquarters

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Head Count

200

What customers report

  • Modern editorial interface optimized for news production
  • Good functionality to share and re-purpose content across multiple publications
  • Capable DAM with good rights management
  • Well-suited to rationalizing workflows to print in multiple publications
  • Large media licensees have experienced performance issues in various parts of the platform, and it is presently difficult to resolve these via cloud deployments
  • The vendor seems slow to take on board customer feedback — “it sometimes feels they’re not really listening to us” — and then act upon it
  • Automation of print workflows works well for simpler designs (such as local newspapers), but less suited for complicated publications like magazines

Background

WoodWing was founded in 2000 in Zaandam, The Netherlands, with offices in the U.S. and Malaysia, and claims customers (with support by local partners) in more than 60 countries. The company originally focused on plug-ins and tools around Adobe InDesign. This evolved over the years into a complete digital publishing system, including helping media companies publish to the iPad (later to Apple News); the company still offers outsourced publishing services in Malaysia.

The key products are:

  • WoodWing Studio (the editorial environment)
  • WoodWing Assets (a DAM)

WoodWing Studio can organize content in “Dossiers,” which can include articles and images, but also background documents like Word files. WoodWing Studio offers a componentized editorial interface, where articles are constructed of blocks of text, images, and other content (e.g., quotes).

Note that WoodWing doesn’t offer a digital front-end. So customers typically employ another CMS (such as WordPress or Drupal, both reviewed elsewhere in this report) or build their own to feed websites. Print is supported through integration with InDesign. However, WoodWing now focuses on a digital-first workflow, where print is secondary and optimized for cost and efficiency.

Existing customers tend to mostly run the software on-premise, though WoodWing has been making efforts to shift to cloud and a SaaS model. WoodWing offers perpetual licenses based on number of concurrent users, subscriptions based on concurrent, or monthly active users but does not divulge cost indications.

Taken together, this platform best supports mid-sized (or larger) chains that remain heavily print-centric and are willing to invest in a more custom web publishing operation.

Note that WoodWing's founders sold the company in 2020 to Main Capital Partners, a “private equity firm focused on building healthy software groups.” While it’s too early to tell what influence this will have on the direction of WoodWing, the firm has since then acquired a document management and a knowledge management company (Xtendis and Scienta), which may indicate a shift in the company's focus.

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
Tak
Basic digital / voice / media asset management
Tak
Support print publishing
Tak
Simple social media re-publishing
Nie
3rd Party
Optional modules: forms / polls / social widgets / etc
Niestandardowy
Connector library (OOTB connectors, APIs, etc.)
Tak
Bundled CDN (with DDOS protection)
Nie
3rd Party
User registration
Nie
3rd Party
Subscription management and fulfillment - digital
Nie
3rd Party
Subskrypcja
Nie
3rd Party
Personalizacja
Nie
3rd Party
Ad management - digital
Nie
3rd Party
Ad management - print
Nie
3rd Party
Zarządzanie treścią
Tak
Badania
Nie
3rd Party
Zarządzanie treścią
Nie
3rd Party
Video management / OVP
Nie
3rd Party
Audio management / podcasting
Nie
3rd Party
Dziennikarstwo oparte na danych i wizualizacja
Nie
3rd Party
Classifieds
Nie
3rd Party
Commenting / community features/
Nie
3rd Party
Newsletter production and management
Nie
3rd Party
Notifications and alerts
Nie
3rd Party
A/B testing
Nie
3rd Party
SEO
Nie
3rd Party
Multi-title management with variable inheritance
Nie
Tak
Complex layout and subsite / subsection cloning
Nie
Tak
AR- / VR- enhanced services
Nie
3rd Party
Segmentacja odbiorców
Tak
Online user / partner forums
Tak
Regular user group meetings
Tak
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