Recently I received a cheery email titled NPR Announces Summer Podcast Lineup. Without a doubt, NPR is the nations leader in podcasts publishing. According to the April Podtrac podcast rankings (chart posted below), NPR owns 8 of the top 20 podcasts, 40% of the top performers.
Anya Grundmann, NPR’s VP for Programming and Audience Development, announced the new litter of podcasts with impressive fanfare:
"We are expanding the range of our programming by giving a platform to new voices, sharing a fun new side of favorite contributors, and doubling down on immersive stories and journalism. Your favorite NPR voices, and new ones you'll come to love, are coming to your ears this summer.”
Anya is right about “your favorite NPR voices.” In the Summer Podcast Lineup I saw new work by Guy Raz, Paula Poundstone, Alix Spiegel, Hanna Rosin and NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner and others. These are all bankable names no matter what platform they are on. This is good news.
The bad news is that almost none of these new podcasts have any tie to the broadcast platform, still the way the vast majority of listeners hear, love and support NPR programming. When was the last time NPR announced any new programming for the broadcast platform?
I call this the bad news because broadcast radio is a “use it or loose it” proposition. On Monday I reported that the majority of NPR News stations are holding their audience after November’s record listening numbers.
We are at a time when NPR and other producers and distributors have VIRTUALY ZERO new programming in the pipeline. This means NPR is ringing the “new bell” less often at a time when they should be bold, fresh and new. Ultimately, the lack of new programming will hurt public radio stations, the folks who still pay the bills.
NEW RESEARCH INDICATES THAT TWO-THIRDS OF PODCAST TIME-SPENT-LISTENING COMES FROM BROADCAST RADIO
Earlier this week All Access reported [link] on new research presented at the recent Worldwide Radio Summit in LA dealing with common traits of podcast listeners. NuVoodoo [link], a research company with a dreadful name, presented results for two proprietary new studies based on almost 8,000 respondents.
NuVoodoo’s research found:
|Charts courtesy of NuVoodoo|
• Podcast listening most often comes at the expense of listening to broadcast radio. Two-thirds of podcast listeners, ages 14-54, report that they listen less to FM radio.
Nearly two in five respondents say they listen less to AM radio since listening to podcasts. NuVooDoo says the 14-54 age segment contains the fastest growing number of new podcast listeners.
• Ten percent of NuVoodoo survey respondents in the 14-54 cohort 10% report they listen to podcasts an hour a day or more. This number jumps to 14% among Men 35-44 and 22% among Men 25-34.
• Lots of podcast listening occurs at times and in places where broadcast radio has had a strong foothold for a while such as while driving and working.
• Many respondents speak about podcasts as "radio."
A few respondents refer to podcasts as “audio-on-demand.”
THIS AMERICAN LIFE, SERIAL & S-TOWN LEAD PODTRAC’S APRIL RANKINGS