Warner Bros. + Reprise Records
How does Warner Bros. Records work with Drupal?
Warner Bros. Records uses Drupal as the basis for our entire Artist Service Platform (called internally The Platform). The Platform encompasses the artist website, a middleware system we call Digital Detail and a few other associated systems for things like store-fronts and widget content management systems. At the core of everything we do online as a record label is Drupal.
How did you first start working with Drupal?
I started using Drupal in graduate school as a way of making collaborative websites for the classes I was teaching. When I started at Warners in 2005, we looked at a lot of different application frameworks and content management systems including Drupal, Joomla/Mambo, Ruby on Rails and others before deciding to go with Drupal. We have been continually developing The Platform since then, launching sites on it (over 100 so far) as well as developing the middle-ware, commerce and analytics platforms.
We currently average launching two sites weekly on Drupal and as of today, have 101 sites active running Drupal in some fashion, plus the Digital Detail system which is the “brain” to the sites “faces.”
Can you tell us a bit about a recent Drupal site you all launched that was particularly interesting?
There are two that are pretty interesting to me from a systems and product level. Mission Metallica (www.missionmetallica.com) was launched last summer as a six month leadup to the record release. This site had to power a Flash front-end, support commerce from thirty different retailers, be highly dynamic and scale to hundreds of thousands of users. Not to mention the requirements for the site changed continually with the band, label and manager’s needs. It ended up being extremely successful for the band, and proved how Drupal can be adjusted on-the-fly to changing requirements without huge amounts of effort.
The other is our first Drupal 6 launch for My Chemical Romance (www.mychemicalromance.com). This site is consistently our best performing site, and uses many of the Drupal 6 additions such as memcached support and block cache to scale appropriately. I’m proud of this one because it was done entirely in-house by Sara Robertson (www.melodramatic.com) in a very short period of time, and helped empower the band to take over their own site. Since this site, we’ve launched a few more Drupal 6 sites, and have refined our development method based on lessons Sara learned with this one.
What are you most looking forward to at DrupalCon DC?
Three of us are going to DrupalCon this year, myself (www.blackrimglasses.com), Shaun Haber (www.srhaber.com) who’s our lead engineer and Sara Robertson (www.melodramatic.com) who is our lead in user-experience and the front-facing Drupal side of things. I wish we could take the entire team (including Josh Creter, ecommerce development lead and Shayna Schlofelt, product manager), next year possibly.
I’m looking forward to seeing people I’m used to only talking to in Skype rooms on a daily basis, as well as working to advocate the role of open-source and Drupal in the entertainment and music industry. I think its more important than ever to promote the sense of collaboration between different industries through the use of open-source software. I love the fact that a major record label can share code with a small retail shop across the world, and yet make it work.
Drupal is helping us drive into the future of being a music entertainment company, and it will be good to see what others are doing in their respective industries with the same tools.
If you’d like more information, get in touch with Ethan Kaplan, vice president of technology at Warner Bros Records: