Every month, NPR connects with 132M Americans on air and online, and via screened devices and smart speakers, to explore the news, ideas and what it means to be human. With more than 24M monthly podcast listeners and 8 of the top 20 podcasts, NPR’s diverse mix of programming – including programs such as Up First, Planet Money and The NPR Politics Podcast – are accessible across a range of platforms to meet the listening audience where they are. The content on one of NPR’s most popular morning shows, All Things Considered, is now used to create a daily afternoon podcast called ‘Consider This’.

The Challenge

In early 2020, NPR launched Consider This, a daily podcast released every weekday afternoon, and is NPR’s fastest growing podcast to date. The podcast helps listeners consider the major stories of the day in less than 15 minutes. Though the podcast is produced nationally, NPR also wanted to incorporate local news to make the podcast more relevant for the local listener, and also enable opportunities for the member radio stations to include local sponsors for the nationally produced podcast. Since these shows are produced daily, a scalable underlying technology solution would be needed that can manage programmatic content and sponsorships that includes up-to-the-minute local news that will be different based on the local market, and can be easily updated and changed.

How AdsWizz Helped

AdsWizz and NPR have been working together since the first half of 2019. The teams worked together to define a new project, based on AdsWizz tech, that would allow NPR Local Affiliate Stations to traffic local news content and local sponsorships on Consider This, the NPR national podcast show. Using the AdsWizz programmatic stack to connect NPR’s podcasts to local station ad servers, NPR was able to create a richer listening experience that combined more relevant local news with the nationally produced daily content. Not only that, local member stations could also provide sponsorship opportunities that were more locally relevant.

The results

NPR announced this capability at the IAB Podcast Upfronts on September 9, 2020. Listeners in or near ten regions — Boston (WBUR and GBH), New York (WNYC), Philadelphia (WHYY), Washington, D.C. (WAMU), Chicago (WBEZ), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MPR), Dallas (KERA), Los Angeles (KPCC and KCRW), San Francisco (KQED), and Portland, OR (OPB) — will hear a version of Consider This with reporting on their community from their community, alongside a national view from NPR to help listeners make sense of the day. This national/local on-demand experience is a first not just for public radio but for the podcast industry as a whole.

Technology for a sound world.

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