National Public Radio (NPR), the media organisation, is tapping the power of podcasting to meet the dual needs of serving consumers where they are and representing the voices of diverse communities.

Michael Smith, the CMO of National Public Radio (NPR), discussed this subject during the Podcast Upfront event held by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

“The two biggest challenges facing everyone in the media industry today are the changing ways people consume content and how audiences are getting so much more diverse,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How NPR is using podcasts to achieve cultural (and digital) relevance.)

One area of emphasis for NPR are “daily-habit” shows that are produced from Monday to Friday, from current affairs shows like “Up First” to the science-themed “Shot Wave” and the “Pop Culture Happy Hour”.

Equally, it has a broad range of weekly shows and limited-run series – with the latter category including the recent “No Compromise”, a six-episode show focused on a group of controversial siblings in the gun-rights space.

Neal Carruth, NPR’s senior director/on-demand news programming, further noted that podcasts are a valuable way to represent – and reach – a wide range of communities.

“We want our podcasts to serve the many different needs and aspirations of our audiences,” he said. “And we have some really popular podcasts created by people of color.”

One example is “Radio Ambulante”, NPR’s first Spanish-language podcast, which tells long-form stories about the history of Latin America.

Further cases in point include “It’s Been a Minute”, a culture-led weekly show, the history-focused “Throughline”, and the forthcoming “Louder Than a Riot”, a series addressing the connected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration.

Another illustration is “Code Switch”, a weekly podcast about race and identity that dates back to 2016, and that has seen downloads and weekly usage surge in 2020.

“‘Code Switch’ has been indispensable listening during this period of racial reckoning,” Carruth said. “We’re very proud that it has recently seen audience growth of more than 200%.”

Sourced from WARC