Update on NPR Digital Services

May 5, 2016

In the last four years, NPR Digital Services has launched a joint partnership to invest in a suite of tools and services to serve Member stations' digital strategies. After those four years of building, rolling out, and upgrading tools, it's time to focus on portfolio maintenance to prepare for our next leap forward together.

Rest assured, our job remains the same: to help public media pursue its mission, and to help our station partners grow audience and revenue, and extend the public radio brand across the digital landscape. Now, we'd like to update you on what we at DS will focus on for the remainder of 2016.

Based on your vital feedback through conversations at conferences, phone calls, emails, tickets, and surveys, our focused themes for 2016 will be improving service and communication, growing audience and revenue with product enhancements, and researching where to take our portfolio next. And under new digital leadership, we are working more closely with Digital Media, News, Marketing, and Audience Development on initiatives that help us live a true national local partnership in the digital landscape to reach new audiences and connect them to Member stations.

Below is a list of details on what we have been working on and plan to do:

  • We are improving the performance of the systems our products use to function. Some of this is routine maintenance work, just like taking care of a car. But if we don't do the preventive maintenance and tune up work for all of our systems - eventually they break down.
  • We are addressing defects many of you have found in our existing products, specifically Core Publisher, DS Marketing Forms, and Composer 2.
  • We are actively pursuing solutions to make a significant improvement to the DS Streaming Service and provide paths for monetizing your audio assets.
  • We will also update and enrich the documentation within our new Help Center to provide better access to FAQs and how to's for our products so you have solutions at your fingertips.
  • We will communicate and engage with you more frequently and transparently. You may have seen our Inside/Out project blog posts chronicling our station visits to allow DS employees an opportunity to learn how our products fit into station life.
  • We will be developing a series of new advisory groups and mechanisms to allow stations a way to provide more explicit feedback about products and experiences we want to improve.
  • Any new features we develop will be designed to help increase audience engagement, or revenue. Our new Community Calendar for Core Publisher is the next new offering we are bringing to stations. We also have a third party option if you need more than what the Community Calendar offers. In addition, the Analytics Service will add program-level reporting on your podcast metrics and continue researching what drives loyalty and membership.
  • We have been working with Digital Media to rebuild the NPR Content API and unify it with the Public Media Platform. Rebuilding and updating the tools using the API will address many concerns about how content is presented across the ecosystem.
  • NPR One continues to be important to our collective future, and there's tremendous value in the Membership Leads Engine, which captures audience data from the app. We will continue to improve the local experience, and are thrilled to have Tamar Charney dedicated to the local content experience.
  • We're also partnering with platforms like Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, among others to experiment with and negotiate opportunities for stations.

Want more? Click on the links below to get more details about the interesting and important work we are doing with and for stations:

We look forward to continuing this journey together, and we thank you for your support and continued enthusiasm and feedback. If you have questions about our efforts outlined above, please contact your Member Partnership colleague or email info@ds.npr.org.