NPR Music a growing, thriving musical showcase created by radio

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Issue Date: 
Mar 19 2013 - 1:00pm

From Issue:

The Wall Street Journal calls NPR Music -- the music-centric website and multi-media service from NPR -- "a sought-after stop for both aspiring and established artists. More broadly, it has become a rising power in the music industry... (and a) serious contender for the ears and eyeballs of music lovers on the Web."

Given what's said about traditonal radio companies and their utility as a source of new music curation these days, that's quite a compliment.

The service boasts 2.7 million unique monthly visitors, 1.4 million podcast downloads every four weeks, plus 1.4 million iPhone and iPad apps installations. And the service nearly breaks even on its $3 million annual budget.

NPR Music features include the "Tiny Desk Concert" series, "First Listen" streams of forthcoming albums in their entirety, the "Live in Concert" series, and the weekly "All Songs Considered," a 6- to 8-song playlist of its hosts' favorite new music. NPR Music also plans to launch "personal music streams" created by DJs from NPR affiliate stations and throughout the public radio system, as a way to "corral the music discovery that's happening on the station level."

The five-year-old NPR Music service is "the closest thing we have to a pure startup inside what is now a 40-plus- year-old institution," NPR EVP/Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson told The Journal."This group of now roughly 20 people has had an opportunity to invent something from scratch."

NPR.org, the parent website, is currently sixth for online-listening among Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics rankings. NPR Music accounts for 15% of NPR's streaming audience.

Read The Wall Street Journal's profile of NPR Music here.

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NPR Radio

I disagree with "Rick" concerning NPR having an unfair advantage over other music outlets. NPR is not "competing with him or anyone in "free enterprise". They are providing a mostly open opportunity for the artist to be heard without having to be famous or a money machine in the so-called free enterprise system. They don't survive on tax-payer funds alone, but on contributions from like-minded listeners who want to hear what they're playing. If your online station isn't making the grade, maybe you should play programming the people want to hear instead of what you or the free-enterprise system wants to restrict us to. As a singer-songwriter-musician that produces decent material worth listening to, I detest the glass wall, created by mainstream media, that keeps me silent.

NPR Radio

NPR has an unfair advantage competing with other music outlets. I pay all expenses for the online station I operate out of my own funds. NPR competes with me but they are funded by taxpayer money. I don't get taxpayer money for what I do. That is inherently contrary to the free enterprise system. NPR should get private funding if they want to compete with us. Matter of fact, they should be unfunded. Very few people even listen to them.

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