Podcasts: What you’re demanding

July 9, 2015 01:30

By Amy Tardif, RTDNA Chair

Public radio stations are being advised to leverage their local podcasts and to turn other content into podcasts because on-demand audio listening is on the rise. Senior director of audience insights for NPR Steve Mulder told folks at the Public Radio News Directors Inc. conference June 26 in Salt Lake City, Utah to invest in on-demand.

“NPR podcasts have almost doubled in total downloaded hours since a year ago,” he said in an article at NPR Digital Service’s website. “Stations such as WBUR are also seeing large growth. And this growth isn't just the same old listeners. Unique users who download NPR podcasts are up 29% in a year.”

Mulder said 46 million Americans or 17% of the population is listening to podcasts. And he added that podcasts are causing people to listen to more AM/FM radio especially 25 to 34-year-olds who say they listen 54% more to terrestrial radio because they started listening to podcasts.

So if on demand audio is a third of all digital listening on public radio stations (those being measured by Mulder’s group) stations have some creative thinking to do to start distributing and promoting local content that way.

I’ve already got one idea for my poetry segment “Versed in Florida."

Angela Nguyen also wrote about the growth of podcasts for the PRNDI website, and offers some ideas stations should consider when putting together podcasts to reach new audiences.

Amy Tardif is Chair of RTDNA and is station manager and news director of National Public Radio affiliiate WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida.