What Does Podcasting Mean To NPR?


It’s a way to hook in younger listeners, according to CEO Jarl Mohn, who was interviewed by Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein at the NAB Show, Monday. The average age of an NPR podcast listener is 33 according to Mohn. Not a bad entry point to NPR when you consider the average age of a listener coming through NPR.org is 43 and the average age of a listener to the network is 53.

Mohn said podcasting is a high-growth area for NPR. The company has been in the space now for 14 years. “We believe in podcasting and we invest a lot of money in podcasting. We can build our brand with podcasting. There’s a terrific upside. Podcasts offer us a great opportunity to cross-promote.”

Mohn says research he’s looked at shows that listeners to podcasts listen to seven shows per week, on average.  

Mohn did not say much about NPR’s rating service RAD (Remote Audio Data), which is technology that is supposed to be able to show advertisers whether their ads are actually being listened to. Are the ads being skipped? Are listeners actually tuned in to the ads advertisers and brands are paying for? The RAD technology is supposed to address all that by being installed by podcast listening apps, capturing data after the download from the player, and sending that data back to the hosting company where those details stats could be posted.

However, it’s been slow to hit the market and there has been some pushback over privacy concerns from the companies that would need to deploy the technology.  

Mohn says advertisers are looking for a good currency they can use and downloads are not the answer because they do not tell you if ads are being played and listened to.

He says the technology will be rolling out later this year.


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