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Petit Press

Petit Press saves time and money with cloud-based digital asset management

Petit Press built an open-source publishing system that enables newsrooms to more efficiently manage, store, and distribute digital content.

Streamlining digital media asset management

Although one of the biggest and most popular print and digital media publishers in Slovakia, Petit Press’s outdated tech stack hindered their newsroom operations. Their online news portal, SME.sk, attracts more than 2.6 million monthly visitors and 60,000 paid subscribers. Each month, the publisher garners 3.5 million podcast plays and 1.5 million video views, and displays a total of 1.5 million original images in their articles.

With such a vast output of content, Petit Press struggled to manage millions of images, audio, and video assets that power their media. They used a “patchwork of solutions” that was not only expensive to maintain but also difficult and time-consuming for journalists, especially when manually distributing and archiving assets, which led to lost content.

In May 2022, as part of their ongoing digital transformation, Petit Press partnered with the Google News Initiative (GNI) to build an open-source digital asset management (DAM) system to help their 250-person team more efficiently store, manage, and distribute media-rich assets.

Michal Stanko
The open-source project encouraged collaboration, skill development, and a strong sense of purpose. GNI inspired our team members to work together in a positive and supportive environment.
Head of News Product, Petit Press

Saving time and money with a cloud digital-first infrastructure

“Building the DAM allowed us to address both the needs of the newsroom and business,” says Petit Press Deputy Editor-in-Chief Ondrej Podstupka. “By automating mundane repetitive tasks normally done by journalists, we’re able to streamline workloads and give people time to focus on more strategic work. From a business side, the DAM is a much cheaper infrastructure for our content.” He estimates approximately 90 percent of their projects are run on the Google Cloud Platform.

The DAM serves as a distribution platform, asset delivery service, and long-term archive. Journalists can upload data straight into the DAM, which then automates asset delivery across all of Petit Press’s platforms. The DAM distributes assets to their external video hosting service (JW Player) and YouTube, and creates articles in their CMS.

By using Google Cloud to build the DAM, the team completed the project in just six months — 2X faster than the estimated timeline for another solution. The DAM is also a time and money saver. Podstupka estimates the system is about 30-percent cheaper compared to previous infrastructure and saves between 15-20 minutes per piece of content produced, translating to a 5-10-percent productivity boost for video and audio producers. Petit Press a.s. recently completed a year-long cloud transformation for all systems that run sme.sk, resulting in cost savings of more than 30 percent.

  • 30% cost reduction compared to previous legacy on-premise infrastructure
  • 15-20 minutes saved per piece of content produced
  • 90% run on Google Cloud

Creating a more sustainable industry with open-source

Aiming to help other publishers keep up with the rapidly evolving digital landscape and solve common challenges related to cost and efficiency, Petit Press decided early on to build an open-source DAM. This would allow other small and medium-sized publishers to integrate the digital-first infrastructure into their tech stack, thus helping to create a more economically sustainable publishing ecosystem.

“GNI has enabled our organization to make our code freely available so other media houses can benefit from it. By making our code open source, we are helping to create a more collaborative and innovative environment in the media industry,” says Michal Stanko, Head of News Product at Petit Press.

While building an open-source platform for the first time presented some product challenges, Petit Press is already seeing the benefits of a more flexible, interoperable, and universal system. “Developing the DAM as open-source, it was crucial that we created a platform that was user-friendly and flexible enough to distribute every asset type for adoption purposes,” says Igor Petriska, Head of Development and Infrastructure at Petit Press.

He adds that GNI played a crucial role in Petit Press’s development success. “By creating an open-source project that encouraged collaboration, skill development, and a strong sense of purpose, GNI inspired team members to work together in a positive and supportive environment,” says Stanko. “This increased motivation translated into higher productivity and greater innovation, as developers felt more engaged and committed to the project's success.”

The team is currently working on the final stage of the project — integrating their new CMS with the DAM. Once that is complete, they hope that other publishers, both nationally and abroad, will widely adopt the DAM. Not only will this help to transform newsrooms globally, but also establish Petit Press as a digital-first industry leader.

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