Is Podcasting The Secret Weapon to Attract Young Listeners?


NPR CEO Jarl Mohr says it is. The former Top 40 DJ tells the L.A. Times 7.5 million people now listen to NPR’s podcasts each month, and NPR’s listening on terrestrial radio has also been trending up, with an overall gain of 16% for its signature news magazine programs. Mohr tells The Times that Podcasts are a very addictive product. “We’re seeing some very encouraging signs that younger people are coming into NPR that previously haven’t listened.”

Mohr tells The Times listeners get excited about a podcast and then start listening to NPR. “We hear versions of the same story – somebody listens to Invisibilia and we promote other podcasts heavily in it – some of which might be news. They might shift to the NPR Politics podcast or “The Hidden Brain” and know they can hear its host on “Morning Edition.”

Mohr also tells The Times that NPR is not offering the same content in podcasts as it does on terrestrial radio stations. And that to win you have to focus on live and local. “What we really advocate for member stations is “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” – they draw a massive audience in aggregate – 27 million people a week listen to NPR member stations for the news magazines. But we also advocate very strongly that our member stations really focus on being live and being local and cover what’s happening in their markets. Great local journalism mixed with our national and international journalism – you don’t go to a podcast for that. We think that’s the way to compete for the future. Local public radio has started adding local journalists. Nationally across our 264 members stations there are something like 1,600 producers and reporters.”

Read the entire L.A. Times story.


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