NPR and WNYC’s Radiolab won top honors at the 8th Annual Radio Internet Radio Awards September 6th at the RAIN Summit in Austin, Texas. The RAIN Summit runs concurrent with the NAB Radio Show.
NPR won for Best Overall Digital Strategy. RAIN judges said NPR is the nation’s best implementor of overall digital strategy.
Radiolab and WNYC won for the Best Podcast, for Radiolab’s Most Perfect series of programs/podcasts. Most Perfect is about how Supreme Court decisions affect science and technology.
WHY THE RAIN AWARDS MATTER
RAIN is the premier media information source for news about companies that are involved with broadcasting and digital services. RAIN – the acronym stands for Radio and Internet Newsletter – is the brainchild of consultant Kurt Hanson.
Hanson is the publisher of RAIN News [link] and CEO/Founder of AccuRadio [link]. AccuRadio was perhaps the nation’s first multi-channel streaming music service.
Hanson hosts several RAIN Summits each year in places around the globe. A RAIN Summit is typically held in conjunction with a business or entertainment conference. The Summits feature several speakers that are custom-tailored for the audience attending the larger event. Hanson hosts and provides context between speakers.
I have attended several past RAIN Summits and I high recommend them. The admittance fee is typically around $100 and it is worth every penny. Hanson combines frontline industry folks with representatives from digital communication companies.
Fred Jacobs named Kurt Hanson one of radio’s most innovative people. In a blog post, Jacobs quoted a news source that said of Hanson:
In 1999, cellphones didn’t have cameras, texting was brand new, and the first iPods were two years away. Yet, while the world was concerned about Y2K, Kurt Hanson launched RAIN, the first publication devoted to the world of streaming audio.
Then, to further illustrate his commitment to this new space, the following summer he began building AccuRadio, a multi-channel online music streaming service that in 2014 reached nearly a million unique listeners monthly. Hanson is considered one of the leading experts in the field of new delivery mechanisms for audio.
In other words, the RAIN Award is important because it comes from a pier who knows the combination of broadcasting, streaming and podcasting from the ground up.
WGBH, KUOW, KUHF, KCFR & KQED HAVE BIG INCREASES OF WEEKLY LISTENERS IN THREE YEAR TRENDS
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Perhaps the phenomenal growth in listening to NPR News stations has become “old news” but it remains one of the most important trends in the radio business. At a time when persons using radio declines one or two percent a year, 9 of the top 20 stations added 20% or more estimated weekly listeners.
On the left is a chart of twenty of the most listened-to NPR News stations. The data from Nielsen Audio compares results of August 2014 and August 2017 PPM surveys.
Nineteen of the 20 stations increased estimated weekly listeners. Only one station in the group, KERA, had fewer weekly listeners in August 2017 than they had in August 2014.
I follow the listening trends for all formats, commercial and noncom. I am not aware of any cohort of stations that is experiencing the type of growth in weekly listeners that matches NPR News station growth. Now lets turn these listeners into supporters!