NPR at the 2023 IAB Podcast Upfront

May 2023

This May, NPR took the stage in NYC as the IAB Podcast Upfront returned for a one-day, in-person event. NPR joined some of the other biggest podcast publishers to highlight why NPR has been a pioneer in the podcast industry from the very beginning. 

Learn more about NPR’s presentation including:

  1. New series and coverage on the topics and issues most important to its listeners
  2. How NPR is investing in new voices who create powerful connections with audiences
  3. How NPR makes an impact for its brand sponsors

New Programming Initiatives

Tech & “Body Electric”

Manoush Zomorodi, host of 2023 Ambie winner TED Radio Hour, has been a tech journalist for decades, hosting TED talks, doing listener experiments and exploring our relationship with technology. And now, Zomorodi is turning her attention to another thorny tech problem: The relationship between our technology and our bodies. Body Electric is a new series that will investigate how our bodies are adapting, even evolving to meet the demands of the Information Age. 

Zomorodi also announced that NPR will be piloting groundbreaking tech coverage that will push the envelope around how we live with our technology. Audiences can expect more of what NPR does best: breaking down complex topics into relevant and real stories that are fun to listen to and helpful. Stay tuned for more details on tech content from NPR.

Spirituality & Morality with Rachel Martin

Following tech announcements, long-time correspondent and host Rachel Martin dove into a new project she’s exploring around spirituality and morality, and what it means to be human in an increasingly complicated world. Still in development, Martin hopes to bring audiences intimate conversations with people who are building their own spiritual identities – trying to find their own answers to help them lead more meaningful lives. 

“NPR is the perfect place for these conversations because unlike other news networks or podcast companies, our mission is to reflect the totality of the human experience,” said Martin.

Check out a recent sit-down with Bono, where the pair discusses the spiritual underpinnings of U2’s music. More to come soon on Rachel Martin’s new project.

Climate & NPR

Last year, NPR launched a desk solely focused on climate change and telling human-centered stories, with a goal of more depth and more coordination than ever before. Chief Climate Editor Andrea Kissack joined the Upfront to share more about the newly formed desk, saying “NPR is a firm believer that this is the most pressing issue of our time.”

Kissack also announced that this October, NPR is featuring a special week on climate solutions, bringing reporting and conversations from all over the network into programming on-air, online and across digital platforms. The NPR Climate Desk is setting out on a journey around the US and the world to find the innovators: the people behind the big and small ideas that are trying to solve the devastating effects of our warming planet.

New Voices

In addition to new content initiatives, NPR also spotlighted just a few of the new voices that have joined the organization in the past year. Code Switch co-hosts Lori Lizarraga and B.A. Parker shared why they chose NPR to tell essential stories about race and culture.

“What I love about public media and NPR in particular, is that we’re allowed to make the personal universal and really connect with our listeners,” said Parker.

The new hosts of The Indicator, Adrian Ma, Darian Woods & Wailin Wong, also took the stage with their usual charm and banter, delighting the audience with their fun, easy to understand approach to the economy. The Indicator is one of NPR’s most popular daily podcasts, just one among a lineup of more daily podcasts than any other publisher.

Trusted, Loved & Brand Safe

National Public Media President & CEO Gina Garrubbo highlighted the special space NPR occupies in the podcasting ecosystem, having a 50-year heritage in audio journalism and story-telling.  

With newsrooms around the world, hundreds of member stations and a large team of talented journalists, NPR brings high quality, brand safe content that audiences love and trust.  

That trust was confirmed in a recent study conducted in partnership with Neuro-Insight called the Transference of Trust. The study found that trust in NPR drives affinity and purchase intent for our sponsors. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Transference of Trust report.

To wrap up the presentation, NPM SVP Corporate Sponsorship Scott Davis welcomed client Cassandra LaPrairie of Wise to discuss how Wise uses audio in their media mix, the importance of audio measurement and attribution, and their continued partnership with NPR.

“There’s a certain consistency of quality that permeates throughout NPR’s portfolio of programming no matter if the category is news, finance, science or pop culture. That in addition to NPR’s huge following means we’re aligning with brand appropriate content and we’re reaching listeners at scale. That’s a powerful ad environment, and it’s what we’re trying to seek out elsewhere in the industry,” said LaPrairie. 

With exciting content initiatives, new hosts and a brand safe environment, there’s a reason NPR is ranked the #1 news brand for trust and quality by E-Poll.

To learn more about NPR sponsorship, reach out to your NPR rep or contact us.

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