Over the past few months, we've been actively working on our HTTPS transition for streams and podcasts and we're thrilled to report 95% of all podcast listening in NPR One is now secure. 

Thanks to the massive effort from our station community, we are confident that we can complete the transition by the end of this summer.

On August 31, we will remove all insecure podcasts and streams from NPR One, npr.org and the NPR News App. 

Throughout the past year, alongside the NPR-Member Station Compact process, we’ve worked to define and enact a collective strategy to digitally transform public radio.

Core to this strategy is the development of a Digital Network: an integrated system of tools and services designed to enable more coherent and scalable experiences for our audiences, reduce redundancies across organizations, and support a more collaborative culture of innovation, where groundbreaking work from NPR and stations can be more easily shared.

Twice a year we step back and look at the overall digital trends in public media. When we last looked at websites, in the fall of 2016, we saw that station sites were under performing the growth we saw in other local news sites. More recently we see that station sites are experiencing some growth while other local news sites decline, but none of them are seeing the tremendous growth experienced by NPR.org. 

Until now, promotional and branding messages from stations to listeners in NPR One had been limited to short clips called Sonic IDs. While the original intent of Sonic IDs was to reinforce station presence and connection within NPR One, data told us that Sonic IDs were not solving the problem: these messages were infrequently updated and often skipped by users.

Over the past few years, many digital news organizations have been observing increases in visitors coming to our sites via story pages, and only story pages. Some have debated the death of the homepage, amid strong engagement persisting for those that do land on the homepage first. Keeping this increasing trend towards Post Pages in mind (accounting for over 50% of visits), we’ve been working to improve the user experience of the Post Pages on Core Publisher and promoted sustained engagement.

What if you could find out more about how your members use your website? You could learn whether they prefer to read or stream audio content, how they get to your site and what programs they love. You could find out what emails they find most interesting and what types of gifts they want with their membership. If you are already tracking pledges using eCommerce tagging they you can learn how to use segments and standard Google analytics report. If you aren't tracking eCommerce yet, you can find tips and guidance on how to get started.

In late 2015, we began an effort to reassess NPR’s flagship mobile app, NPR News. After two years of only modest improvements, NPR News had fallen behind many of our other digital platforms in terms of ease of use and access to content. Despite the lack of significant improvements, the audience actually experienced meaningful growth. However, because the app had not been updated with the latest analytics software, we knew very little about the behaviors and interests of this new audience. 

Users count on Core Publisher to provide a simple way to deliver digital content to station audiences and the public media system. With so much content flowing through the CMS, fully functional data processing and storage is a prerequisite to meeting user expectations. As a Drupal installation, the heart of Core Publisher is its relational database.  More than anything else, the database is responsible for performance, data replication (to a disaster recovery site), and transactional consistency.

Over the last few months, one of the priorities of the NPR Digital team has been to present station brands more consistently. For stations within networks, this meant updates to StationConnect designed to streamline workflow and make updates easily. 

Tomorrow, we'll take this a step farther. In an effort to present the best possible station brand data, we've updated NPR.org to use larger logo format, currently managed in StationConnect.

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Read the Latest from Digital Services

Now launching: New StationConnect logic for more consistent branding and workflow improvements

As we’ve worked to develop and improve Member Station presence across all NPR platforms, two important considerations have guided our decision-making: what value will this have for both stations and end users, and what impact will it have on station workflow? Today, we’re launching new logic in StationConnect designed to make your workflow much more efficient, ease the burden of updates, present your brand more consistently, and further foster strong relationships between your listeners and...

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Measuring your audience and engagement: Updates from Analytics team

Last week was our monthly analytics webinar, where we gather together the top insights across the system on both audience and engagement. As you might expect, election coverage was a big focus for the system this month, and we broke down audience consumption of election coverage, as well as its impact on retention rate. And the results are significant: politics and election coverage had more than double the one-week retention rate of the previous 12 weeks. We also launched two big features to...

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4 Lessons I Learned on Creating Podcasts as Managing Editor of NPR One

As more and more people create podcasts, there’s a lot of competition for people’s ears. But, there’s a reason so many public radio producers are finding success in the podcasting space - we know how to tell a good story! Platforms like NPR One also help provide clues and recommendations for how you can hook your potential podcast audience. Start strong. We can’t understate how important the start of a podcast is. NPR One’s Innovation Accountant Nick DePrey examined the data and found a...

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