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NPR unveils new "responsive design" homepage

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 1:20pm

NPR today relaunched its NPR.org homepage with a fully "responsive design" approach to optimize the site for different device screens.

With what it calls the "Listen drawer" (pictured), NPR offers quick access to the most recent newscast and program, plus links to apps for iPhone, iPad and Android, and podcasts.

"Our online audience is engaging with NPR on a growing number of devices, from small-screen phones to big-screen TVs," said Kinsey Wilson, NPR Chief Content Officer. "With this redesign, we’re able to give the audience the optimum NPR experience no matter where they encounter us."

NPR says the new site increases connection to NPR Member stations by allowing visitors to select a favorite station, then "auto-localizing" as a default.

NPR explains more here and here.

The Media Audit report shows public radio websites power stations' metro reach

Friday, July 12, 2013 - 7:00am

Adding the unique visitors of public radio KQED-FM's website over the past 30 days to the station's listening audience over the past seven days, says The Media Audit, "results in a 28.6% total unduplicated reach for the combined radio and website audiences -- the highest of any public radio station measured."

The figures come from The Media Audit's latest National Radio Format Report.

KOBP-FM has the second highest unduplicated radio/web reach, 27.4% of the Portland, OR metro. Its website alone, says The Media Audit, reaches nearly 22% of the Portland metro population monthly. This makes it tops among public radio websites. KQED's site reaches 18.5% of San Jose's metro population every month, and nearly 19% of San Francisco's.

With 19.9% of the Salt Lake City metro area's population having visited its site in the past 30 days is KBYU-FM. Adding the station's past 7-day listening audience gives KBYU a nearly 24% total unduplicated reach for the combined radio and website audiences.

See more from The Media Audit here.

Local content hubs earned top rankings in January, according to comScore

Monday, March 12, 2012 - 11:35am

CBS Radio's Philadelphia web portalCBS Radio has found success with its 30 local web portals: comScore ranked them as some of the top local websites online in January. Now the broadcaster plans to take what it's learned and remake its music radio station websites.

CBS began launching local website hubs in 2010, aggregating content from local TV stations, sports radio stations and talk/news stations (RAIN coverage here; see an example portal for Philadelphia here).

"While some radio companies are doubling down on streaming or daily deals, CBS has opted for a more diversified digital business model," writes Inside Radio. "The diversification strategy is paying off."

In January, the network ranked first in Time Spent among regional local media sites, according to comScore. CBS' portals also ranked second in page views, fifth in unique visitosr and visits. "The rankings are especially noteworthy in light of the fact that CBS Local operates in just 30 markets compared to many of its competitors [AOL Patch, MSN Local, Yelp, Yahoo Local and CityGrid], which operate in as many as 150-200 markets," observes Inside Radio.

CBS says unique visitors grew 43% last year ("the fastest growth in our entire peer group," according to CEO Les Moonves). The local hubs are also generating new revenue for CBS, tapping into daily deals, online directories, ecommerce, affinity clubs, performance advertising and other services. "There are real dollars we’re going to start seeing," said Moonves.

CBS Radio's 97.1 new website

Now CBS is "taking a lot of the best practices and strategies we learned... from CBS Local Digital Media and applying them to the music business," according to CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz. Specifically, its music radio station websites.

CBS moved its music radio stations to the Local Digital Media division in December, away from CBS Interactive Music Group. Last week CBS began rennovating its music radio station websites -- starting with CHR stations -- looking to add a unified design, social media integration, video, improved advertising and tie-ins with Last.fm, Local Offers and Metro Lyrics.

Inside Radio points to 97.1 KAMP (here and pictured left) as an example of the new website design: archived video interviews, embedded Twitter feeds and easy access to either buy songs recently played on-air or build custom Last.fm stations.

You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletters here.

Social media exec asks, "Why are we sending listeners to Facebook's party?"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 11:35am

Jim Roberts is with Commotion, a subsidiary of Broadcast Electronics which specializes in social media and audience interactivity tools for radio. He says radio needs to re-discover its websites as a source of ad revenue, by using social tools like Facebook and Twitter not as a desination for content, but to pull listeners in.

"If you look at your competition today, it's no longer just the station across town. It's Spotify, Pandora, Slacker, or other services that are causing the disintermediation of music discovery (and even news) from radio and making music consumption much more interactive," Roberts writes in Radio Ink today. "We need our websites to save radio from new threats that are offering something that radio has lost -- interactivity."

He recommends: 

  • Using social media to promote contests and events, but to keep all the relevant content on the website
  • Using the crowdsource power of social media for insight when programming music; and 
  • Getting back to advertising on your site -- it's the only reason Facebook wants your listeners in the first place.

Read Roberts' essay in Radio Ink here.

Constantly-updated fresh content is gold for delivering online audience growth, says STL public radio

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 1:00pm

St. Louis Public Radio's digital media manager credits the station's significant audience growth to -- what else?? -- frequently-updated fresh and unique online content.

The station's digital platforms enjoyed a 90% increase in unique visitors in January over last year, and the streaming audience has more than doubled, with a 152% increase in unique listeners.

Digital media manager Madalyn Painter wrote, "We have to attribute much of our success to our increased focus on frequent online news updates... (the site's) main function is to deliver content — not content promoting the station, but our award-winning regional news coverage and programming."

The site was deisgned using NPR Digital Services Core Publisher tool. Digital Services' Keith Hopper stresses that stations that don't showcase new and changing news content "will struggle to grow online audience and won’t capture the kind of larger market share that other online news providers command."

St. Louis Public Radio is part of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and operates KWMU, KWMU.org, and HD stations KWMU-2 and KWMU-3. Read the InsideSTLPublicRadio blog here. Read NPR's Digital Services blog here.

PANDORA CUTS 40-HOUR LISTENING CAP AS IT LAUNCHES NEW HTML5 SITE

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 11:00am

Pandora today launchedPandora's new HTML5-powered website its new redesigned website to all users while removing its 40-hour per month listening cap.

The new site is faster (thanks to swapping out Adobe's Flash technology for HTML5), includes a strong focus on social media and better organizes the service's features. It rolled out to Pandora One premium subscribers in July. Pandora CTO Tom Conrad says the company has been working on the redesign for "more than a year."

You can read more about Pandora's new website in our review here and our original coverage here.

Conrad also announced today that Pandora has removed its 40-hour listening cap for free users. You can find his blog post here.

For more analysis, check out Elliot Van Buskirk's article in Evolver.fm (here) in which he ponders how the new Pandora will work with Facebook's coming music announcement.

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