Why NPR Podcasting Income Will Outweigh Radio in 2020


PodMov Daily: Friday, August 21

Episode 269: Week Download Complete

Why NPR Podcasting Income Will Outweigh Radio in 2020

This year, for the first time, NPR will make more money from underwriting on podcasts than on its radio shows. This is bigger than the lost commute, explains Sarah Scire of Nieman Lab. “The dip in radio listenership — 22 percent — has coincided with a record number of people turning to NPR on virtually every other platform.”

This shift is not a rejection: NPR’s content reaches 10% more people than it did at this time last year. Scire quotes Tamar Charney, who leads NPR’s digital strategy: “We have great journalism content, and it’s about getting it to the people we want to serve on the devices they’re on.” Right now, those are Spotify, YouTube, and TikTok.

The need to adapt isn't new, but its urgency is. “NPR’s leaders have […] seen the studies showing younger generations overwhelmingly use the internet and their phones (not radios) for audio,” Scire says. “In other words, they knew this shift was coming. They just didn’t know it would happen all at once.”

Misha Euceph on POC Podcasters and IP Ownership

Discrimination and restrictive contracts have been a consistent problem for POC podcast creators. Skye Pillsbury of Inside Podcasting dove into the conversation with award-winning host and producer Misha Euceph. Before founding her own company, Euceph dealt with unjust treatment that’s become normalized.

Why was her acclaimed podcast Tell Them, I Am met with tokenism and downplaying by KPCC and LAist Studios? She describes how its all-Muslim cast, a central premise, was treated like something that needed a disclaimer. Pillsbury’s insightful questions address Euceph’s recent public comments about her experiences. 

The outspokenness of Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu (Another Round) and Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings (The Nod) encouraged Euceph to fight for her intellectual property, and much more: “To know it's a pattern across the industry and that other people have felt similarly emotional about it was so liberating.”

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Always more: If your show isn’t listed on Podcast Addict, says Matthew McLean of The Podcast Host, now’s the time. McLean gives a detailed rundown of how to run ad campaigns on the massive platform. However, as Podnews points out, Google is yet again giving PA a hard time.
  • Visitor lounge: Danielle Desir, the founder and CEO of WOC Podcasters, has been a guest on over 60 podcasts. Desir outlines the major benefits of guesting, which expands your network and is “an incredible way to boost your reputation and to be seen as an expert in your niche.”
  • Space bar: Echoverse, a “first-of-its-kind podcast studio focusing on science fiction, supernatural, and fantasy audio experiences,” has launched with Mark Stern at the helm. Previously, Stern developed and produced shows including Battlestar Galactica and Ghost Hunters at Syfy.

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