The NPR News audience | News & Notes 6

Tyler Moody

There was a lot of news this week, but nothing seemed to have more ripple effect across audio than the study on NPR News listeners.

We learned that the NPR News audience is shrinking, and digital listening isn’t enough to cover the loss.

And there are lessons in there for commercial radio too:

Among all radio stations, AQH for listeners 54 years old and younger dropped from spring 2012 to spring 2015. News and talk stations, both commercial and noncommercial, saw AQH decline in all age groups — most dramatically among 45- to 54-year-olds, for which AQH dropped 24 percent.

So what are the solutions? Despite the fact that today’s digital listening isn’t making up for the broadcast loss, I still believe digital is where the answer is. How many of you still wake up to an alarm clock/radio? Do you think anyone under 30 does? “Digital” is an overused buzzword that is easy for me to just say “digital is the answer.” What does that really mean? You have to up your game to produce compelling, relevant, entertaining content to compete for audience against more than just other radio stations & products.

Great content, distribution, measurement and monetization. It’s always that simple, right?

I think trends like this NPR News decline are a part of the reason WNYC announced their WNYC Studios plan. But if you’re looking for solutions outside of streaming and podcasts, Mark Ramsey has some ideas for you.

A LOT of people listen to radio everyday. Which is great, and will also feed stories like this for a long time to come because radio’s reach is so big it really doesn’t have room to grow. It’s something like more than 90% listen to radio an hour each day. Broadcast radio can maintain, maybe grow a little, but really it seems logical that it will shrink.

In other News & Notes:

I want to include something I forgot last week. Perry Simon tells podcasters to quit all the preamble and get right to your show. I say “hear hear” get rid of all the rambling at the start please.

HotPod went into more detail about WNYC studios. And it’s a good insight into WNYC’s plans. I actually reached out to Nick about one quote in the piece that said “we see HBO going into the podcast business” referring to Bill Simmons. While I work at Time Warner I don’t know about this deal, but I doubt HBO is getting into the podcast business. I think HBO is in the Bill Simmons business and he’s not giving up his podcast.

Coca-Cola gets into podcasting. Really? yep:

“Storytelling is what a brand like Coca-Cola is all about,” said Joe Belliotti, head of global music marketing, Coca-Cola.

And you thought Coca-Cola was a beverage company.

New CEO Mary Berner says Cumulus has what it takes to be a winner.

And a little announcement from the world of digital video: CNN’s Great Big StoryOH YEAH!

What did I get right? What did I get wrong? Your comments are welcome.

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