More from the NPR CEO who’s advice to content creators is to find your own voice. Mohn told a story about how he grew up listening to the great Dan Ingram in New York City. He even imitated him when he had his own radio shift. Then he was hired by WABC to do afternoon drive and got crushed in the ratings, because the real Dan Ingram was already on the air.
Mohn says very few podcasters cut through the clutter and are unique, despite the fact that a lot of people are interested in being podcasters. “Great podcasts sound effortless even though they take a lot of work and a lot of editing.” Mohn says great podcasts do not have to be filled with a lot of production. “We have some that are informal and some that are slick. It’s whatever moves the story forward.”
In fact, Mohn says, the informal sound of podcasting is going to be how NPR sounds in the future. They are already starting to slowly make that transition. “There’s been a real change in the way we sound.” And, he believes that is the reason he’s starting to see the demos coming down for NPR.”
Mohn called podcasting a giant feeder system into the NPR network. “Podcasting is a gateway drug.” According to Mohn, NPR has 40 million listeners through NPR.org, 30 million via the network and 17-18 million who listen on podcasts.
His advice to broadcasters pursuing podcasting is to consider a consortium. “If they are serious…individual platforms for each company is inefficient.”