Headless CMS in action: Lionsgate’s relaunch is a bicoastal success

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In earlier posts, we've described the flexibility inherent in a content management system that's headless compared with traditional CMS architecture. A recent Brightspot implementation for the entertainment company Lionsgate offers a prime example of this flexibility and how it can accelerate a project, particularly when there are other vendors involved.

As a leading global entertainment provider that produces movies, TV shows and digital content, Lionsgate needed a refreshed corporate website that reflected its diverse, modern presence. The company already had a long-term partnership with a Los Angeles-based digital agency, which they had tapped to design and build the user interface of their new site.

Lionsgate and their agency had come up with a flashy, dynamic front-end experience, but the company still needed a CMS to power that experience. That's where headless came in.

The front end of the site is decoupled from the back end in a headless implementation, meaning the CMS is used only for storing and managing content. The CMS solely provides raw data that a separate downstream system then renders for the audience.

In addition to a back-end content management system that could bring their designers into the framework, Lionsgate needed the flexibility to call styles and modules for the editors and content team and reduce the dependence on IT. A headless implementation of Brightspot gave the company precisely what it was looking for.

While Lionsgate's external agency on the West Coast designed and built out the entire front end, the East Coast-based Brightspot team worked in parallel, modeling the content and building the API for the front end to consume. As with any headless project, the Lionsgate site required experienced developers and a clear agreement on the requirements for the back end and front end together. With that in place, the process was seamless.

"It was completely separate teams, just communicating with each other on the plan every now and then," says Axel Tarnvik, a Brightspot software engineer who worked on the project. "When we connected the front and back ends together, it just worked."

As a result, Lionsgate now has increased brand consistency across all digital experiences, and it has been able to streamline its editorial processes. Even as the company sunsets its old CMS, its headless instance of Brightspot enables new sites to be spun up quickly and easily.

Still have questions about headless CMS architecture? Watch our informative webinars or contact us.


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