Case story

National broadcaster RSI delivers on digital strategy by implementing the CUE media enterprise platform

February 06, 2024 – 7 min. read

With an implementation of CUE and a seamless integration to their in-house Media Asset Management (MAM) system, RSI sets new standards for online publishing and content creation for broadcasters. They have optimized their editorial workflows and now have a platform that helps them reach the goals of their digital strategy.

RSI, or “Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana”, founded in 1931, operates as the Italian-language division of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRG SSR. As Switzerland's public service broadcaster for Italian speakers, it offers television and radio programming, ranging from news and sports to culture and entertainment. As a business unit of SRG SSR, RSI delivers content across 3 radio channels, 2 television channels, Teletext, HbbTV, and various online channels;, Play RSI, apps, podcasts, and social media presences.

A user-centric strategy for digital back in 2012-2014

In 2012 RSI was in a critical situation with 7 different content management systems in use across RSI. It wasn’t easy to work with content distribution or reuse across digital endpoints. The workflows were cumbersome, and the effort needed to deliver online news was simply too big – and the potential for reuse of content was not being fulfilled.

The strategy Massimiliano Babbucci, Head of Innovation at RSI, and Ivan Canetti, Head of Online Technical Development, developed with their teams to overcome the digital transformation, centered around 2 main themes:

  1. The user is at the center of their offerings
  2. They will always value their editorial production.

In other words, they produce products focused on the user’s needs, while valuing their editorial production when exploiting technological innovation. The team wanted to consolidate. They demanded a platform that could serve as a single point of contact between content creation and distribution of content. They reached that goal in 2014 with Escenic, the ancestor to CUE, when they implemented a platform that together with a homegrown metadata processor and their current MAM made workflows across the organization simpler and the reuse of content easier.

A new MAM became the catalyst for the move to CUE

Six years later, in 2020 they found themselves outgrowing their original MAM system. The decision was made to build a new MAM in-house, called RSI Electra. RSI Electra was designed with user-friendliness in mind, allowing for quick onboarding through three brief instructional videos.

Since RSI had already decided to revisit their systems of records and opted to replace a current system, it was an opportunity to also look at the rest of the IT stack in play. For RSI it was a natural choice to upgrade Escenic to CUE and gain all the new features from the CUE platform, while also integrating RSI Electra into CUE.  

A solution that serves as THE platform for all digital offerings

The CUE platform serves as a multi-channel publishing tool, that delivers the flexibility to integrate a bi-directional workflow with RSI’s homegrown MAM, supporting the national media player, HbbTV, and apps through a strong API.

CUE manages content from both linear and non-linear broadcasting. The workflow is straightforward: first RSI Electra receives broadcast clips and metadata from the broadcasting crews. This is sent to CUE and metadata readied to be used in digital content distribution. It equips RSI to maintain real-time content distribution for digital channels upon or even during live TV and radio shows.

An example of how efficient this is can be witnessed in how information from live TV is transcribed and added automatically to content templates in CUE during the broadcast, making it possible for RSI to share news online from the live show, in real-time during the broadcast. This shortens the original workflow by miles.

Easy and fast reuse of broadcast content

Throughout the onboarding process, Stibo DX was able to provide a setup for an essential metadata migration from old content types and templates in Escenic into the flexibility of the CUE Storylines anatomy. This was paramount to RSI as they had to bring most of their content with them from Escenic to CUE.

The migration was well worth the effort put into it. The story anatomy behind CUE Storylines is more granular than for most CMSs and provides great creative possibilities for storytelling. Basically, it breaks up the content into smaller pieces and uses them for the selected endpoints, in this case, all of RSI's digital offerings.

Here another great example of seamless integration becomes clear: when content creators search for clips from RSI Electra within their CUE platform by using the broadcast title or MAM ID, the steps needed to use this broadcast content on an app, social media channel or website is incredibly easy and fast. The endpoint is secondary, as the CUE story anatomy allows the content creators to think story-first, before letting the platform adapt the format to the different digital endpoints.

This gives RSI the technological innovation possibilities they need to stay on top of user-centric products while keeping their editorial production at its finest.

So, what are the results?

A swift training of users

While the CUE platform is much more advanced than Escenic in its offering, it builds on the familiar logic of Escenic, which made the training of all RSI content creators much easier than anticipated. Ivan Canetti estimates that an onboarding to CUE of a previous Escenic user takes about half a day. He estimates a completely new user can be onboarded within a day. And overall, everyone is happy with CUE as their new platform for content creation:

“I did a tour of our newsrooms. We now have a 360-degree editorial process with content creators working together on video, audio, and text. And overall, everyone is happy with CUE.” – Ivan Canetti, Head of Online Technical Development

A platform that aligns with the strategic vision

The CUE solution built together with RSI has successfully created a digital offering that aligns with RSI’s strategic vision for digital transformation. The users are at the center of their offerings and the value of the editorial production is secured as they exploit technological innovation through the flexibility and extensibility of the platform.

"Now, we can develop the digital offerings we want, aligned with our strategy. Creating and managing content for a new website has become effortless. With CUE, we can easily assign and manage content for both our website and app, which are seamlessly integrated with CUE. It works like a charm – one tool for all our needs” – Massimiliano Babbucci, Head of Innovation, RSI.

Content quality and creativity

The CUE platform ensures a consistent audience experience across content formats and with the semantic analysis tool that RSI developed with the University of Ticino integrated into CUE, automatic tagging and content recommendation as never been easier.

The integration opportunities in CUE remove administrative tasks from journalists, so they can allocate more time to focusing on creating the stories and enhancing the journalistic quality. CUE Storylines also empowers the newsrooms to be creative and suggest new product formats to be developed:

"The usage of CUE and the storyline capabilities are valuable to us. It gives us a lot of new possibilities to implement new elements in our article and make a better audience experience. One of our goals for the future is to analyze which new storyline elements should be implemented to improve the quality of our articles the most." – Ivan Canetti, Head of Online Technical Development

Simpler workflows for faster publishing

The workflows across the organization have been optimized and simplified as newsrooms now can point out clips in RSI Electra and find them easily in CUE. It makes it easier for content creators to connect broadcast content to content created for publishing on digital channels, minimizing the time between a live event happening on broadcast and the online news coverage of that same event.