From Attention to Action: Measuring the Power of NPR Podcasts

April 2024

What makes NPR stand out from other media partners? Its attentive, engaged audience. NPR listeners lean into the stories and programming heard on NPR, and that attentiveness transfers to the brands that support NPR and their sponsorship messages. 

“We have been exploring attention for over five years, starting with a Neuro-Insight study in 2018 that measured the memory impact of NPR sponsorship versus. commercial radio advertising,” said NPR Director of Audience Insights Susan Leland. “We followed that up with another Neuro-Insight study in 2022 exploring NPR audio messages versus video and we’ve regularly explored our audience’s perception of attention via survey research.”

Exploring attention with Adelaide

We were eager to build on that foundation by partnering with Adelaide to understand how NPR sponsorship performs on their omnichannel metrics that incorporate a range of factors that contribute to attention.

Last year, Adelaide assessed multiple campaigns running across more than 60 shows for various advertiser categories including CPG, auto, financial services and tech. Ad delivery and contextual data for specific episodes, like ad position and ad load, along with full-funnel outcome data including brand lift survey results and attributed site conversions were all processed by the AU model. This AU score, between 0-100, rates placement quality and enables an apples-to-apples comparison in media quality.

The results

Analysis demonstrated that NPR podcasts outperformed Adelaide’s podcast average by up to 10%. NPR’s above average performance is impressive considering podcasts as a whole already command one of the highest levels of attention across media channels. 

The study also found that shows with high AU scores delivered 30% higher site visitation than lower scoring AU shows, and saw brand lift across several metrics including 19% higher consideration

Since the initial analysis in 2023, Adelaide has measured several audio campaigns with NPR, including one for eBay, in which NPR shows performed 16% above their podcast benchmark.

As an Adelaide certified publisher, these performance metrics give us a way to demonstrate the value of NPR’s content and audience to brands, advertisers and the rest of the market. 

You can find more information on Adelaide’s AU metrics, tool for publishers and methodology here.

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