How Radio Maria has improved user experience

Daniele Giordano
IT Manager @Radio Maria

Despite being one of the oldest means of mass communication, the radio has been able to adapt even in the digital revolution, to which it has answered with a rich offer of content, served on all channels. For more than thirty years Radio Maria has been the Christian cathedral in the air: one of the private Italian radios with the highest number of repeaters, more than 850, scattered throughout the country.

The broadcaster, founded in 1987 in the parish of Arcellasco in Erba, has been producing a lot of audio, video and text content for evangelization purposes and, given the quality of these materials, it expressed the desire to evolve its archive for audio preservation into a multimedia hub, available to users.

However, when content was uploaded to the website, in the appropriate section of the digital archive, the file size slowed the website down, making it very heavy and affecting the back-end infrastructure as well. Multimedia elements usually contribute to create an emotional contact with the users, engaging them, but in this case on the contrary it had a negative impact on user experience.

As a matter of fact, there’s a direct relationship between the experiences lived by users and their engagement: a study by Akamai has shown that users expect a page to load in two seconds or less. Impatience is a digital virtue, so a slow website is counterproductive if you don't want a user to leave your channel quickly.

Radio Maria’s solution

 

In Radio Maria, we wanted to optimize and make easily accessible thousands of pieces of content across all digital channels, and for this reason we have chosen the DAM (Digital Asset Management) THRON to distribute them on web, mobile devices, social networks, smart speakers and on all the new platforms that may appear.

The software is designed to create, store, manage and use digital content, by exploiting a cloud infrastructure to achieve top performance. The delivery of content is enhanced by a CDN (Content Delivery Network), so that when a visitor plays audio or video content they won’t have to face the odious buffering, because traffic is distributed across the free network nodes. This ensures maximum speed to the loading of playbacks, pages and published files.

THRON allowed us to considerably lighten our back-end and our hardware infrastructure, to better organize information and make it easily accessible to visitors of the website. It is conveniently integrated with all the tools we use, and its centralized management of content speeds up the work and makes it easier.

Thanks to the Elastic Media Delivery solution, it is possible to publish files on any platform directly from the DAM, the only source for all digital content. Once it is classified by Artificial Intelligence engines, which identifies the topics through metadata, content is made searchable and can be organized in folders with specific access rights, enabling shared workflows.

The delivery of content to the various channels is dynamic and adaptive: the system not only handles any traffic peak, but also guarantees to the users the best performance by automatically adapting content to the formats and quality required by the publishing channel and the device in use. Of course, the ease of use of the tool facilitates the work within Radio Maria, and operations that used to take several minutes are now done in a few clicks.

The result is a fluid and consistent user experience across the various channels, which favors customer retention.