Through rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling, NPR connects with people across platforms: 28.9M million radio listeners each week, 38.8 million at NPR.org each month, 17.9 million monthly podcast users, and audiences across emerging platforms. Today, people connect with NPR through voice-activated smart speakers -- where NPR delivers 9.3M monthly downloads – wearables, connected cars, events, social media and mobile apps. NPR continues to define the future of listening with its commitment to taking audio everywhere.
Four years ago, the promise of smart speakers was exciting, but the voice assistant tech that powered them was still nascent and offered a clunky, inconsistent user experience. As more consumer research has surfaced, the tech is slowly changing and enabling a new wave of design and experimentation from organizations like NPR, which just last month released its latest smart speaker offering, the "Wait Wait Quiz." Based on NPR's popular podcast, "Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me!," the interactive quiz challenges the audience's knowledge of news and quirky headlines and reflects NPR's commitment to creating content native to voice-activated devices. It's also a show of National Public Media's (NPM) commitment to supporting NPR sponsors entering the voice ecosystem with innovative sponsorships that capitalize on the devices' interactive capabilities and NPR's growing reach on the platform.
Podcast conferences and events are increasing almost as quickly as the uptake of the medium itself. For this special two-part episode of Insider InSites, I went coast-to-coast to attend the Winter Podfront in Los Angeles, the On Air Fest in Brooklyn and the RAIN Podcast Business Summit in Manhattan to gather insights from heads of networks, agencies and sales organizations to the podcast makers themselves. You'll want to listen to Part 1 to hear from Bryan Moffett, the Chief Operating Officer of NPR's National Public Media; Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn (pictured above, left); Design Matters host Debbie Millman (with her guest, Roxane Gay, pictured above with Millman), and Gary Reisman, former head of the LEAP audience targeting firm. He explains why he made the jump to launch a different kind of podcast network.
As podcasting gains popularity with listeners and brands, one hit NPR podcast is thinking about how to support the community that has developed around it. NPR's popular entrepreneur podcast, How I Built This, inspired the inaugural How I Built This Summit, a business-focused live event designed to unite, engage and empower entrepreneurs.