NPR Sponsorship Results for Outschool

September 2020

“NPR presented an opportunity to share our mission and speak directly with audiences we are looking to serve. The campaign met our core objectives in reaching audiences that could benefit from our platform and communicating with them in their native environment – while casually listening to a podcast. The NPR Sponsorship team was an extension of our team and were exceptional to work with. The result was an easy and fun experience that felt like a true partnership.”
— Jeevan Balani, Growth Advisor, Outschool

With continued school closures and fall semester approaching, parents have turned online for resources to continue their children’s education in safe and engaging ways. And now, the online learning market is estimated to grow $12.3 billion by 2024¹. Enter Outschool. Since 2015, the online marketplace has aimed to build the future of k-12 learning, virtually. At a time when many parents are looking for support, Outschool fulfills a need intensified by COVID-19: accessible, engaging remote learning. 

To grow its virtual classrooms, Outschool turned to audio marketing and a campaign with NPR to drive brand awareness and connect parents to their content. Their campaign hit the mark, bringing 105% lift in page views — 20% new buyers — to Outschool’s platform. In addition, the insights into campaign attribution from Podsights gave Outschool the confidence they needed to forecast for long-term efficacy and to scale their audio marketing according to data.


Increase brand awareness and attract new platform-wide users, particularly parents and women 30+.


Outschool’s NPR campaign included dynamically placed run of network pre-roll and mid-roll messages across NPR’s business and innovation podcasts, including How I Built This, Planet Money, and TED Radio Hour. NPM further tailored the media plan to Outschool’s audience with additional shows. NPR’s podcast for curious kids, Wow in the World, was a natural fit, while Life Kit’s helpful, ‘how-to’ content aligned with Outschool’s topics, from drawing to mindfulness.

Outschool also utilized Podsights, a podcast attribution tool offered by National Public Media, to gain insight into how specific podcasts and episodes performed in driving users to their platform.

Listen to Outschool’s sponsorship mid-roll:


Outschool saw great results from their campaign. Along with seeing lift in page views, NPR sponsorship drove 135% lift in purchases. Of those purchases, the NPR campaign was more effective at driving higher AOV (average order value), compared to other paid marketing channels. Messages in Wow in the World were particularly effective: despite accounting for the smallest number of impressions, they drove the largest number of visitors across the entire campaign, and at a conversion rate 6x greater than NPR average.


greater conversion rate than NPR average


lift in purchases


gross return on ad spend

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Sources: 1. Technavio, July 2020. Performance data from Outschool and Podsights, 2020.

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