Top Takeaways from NPR at the IAB Podcast Upfront

May 2021

A long-time leader in the podcast industry, NPR and its sponsorship division National Public Media joined this year’s IAB Podcast Upfront to explore the power of podcasting in today’s media landscape and to showcase NPR’s unparalleled content, highly engaged audience and custom sponsorship offerings. If you missed it, you can check out NPR’s full 20-minute presentation below plus click here to watch a special “State of Audio” session featuring NPM President & CEO Gina Garrubbo, Edison Research SVP Tom Webster and Horizon Media EVP Lauren Russo.

Here are the five things you need to know:

  1. Despite the disruptions of 2020, NPR is reaching more people than ever before: 163M people listen to, read and watch NPR content across platforms each month.¹ As an audio-first media partner, NPR podcasts reach 22M people each month, and NPR has more top 20 podcasts than any other publisher, including fan favorites like Up First, Fresh Air, Planet Money and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! ²
  2. NPR is the only podcaster with six short form daily podcasts, an hourly on-demand newscast and two award-winning daily news conversation programs. NPR’s mission has always been to create a more informed public. With that mission in mind, NPR has developed an entire suite of daily podcasts, making NPR a daily essential for listeners. And that daily podcast audience continues to grow: downloads across the daily programming are up 12% year-over-year.³
  1. Podcasts are a vital piece of the ongoing goal to diversify NPR’s audience: NPR’s podcast audience is 42% people of color, and the majority are between the ages of 18 and 44.⁴ Along with diversifying NPR’s audiences, NPR podcasts continually strive to elevate a mix of voices and tell stories you won’t hear anywhere else.
  2. Sponsorship across NPR’s podcast portfolio is both effective and efficient for brands. In 2020, NPR’s podcast campaigns performed 40% higher than industry benchmarks in return on ad spend.⁵
  3. There are more opportunities than ever for your brand to align with NPR’s top-notch content. At National Public Media, we have a suite of custom audio products that fit into NPR’s style and tone. Our custom offerings include host read Product Inspiration Mid-rolls, Spotlight Mid-rolls that can include a sponsor’s voice and, of course, our signature Brand Soundscapes product.

Whether you’re interested in exploring our custom audio products, or you’re looking for turn-key opportunities like pre-, mid- and post-roll spots, NPR podcast sponsorship has a high quality solution for every campaign.

To learn more about NPR podcast sponsorship opportunities, connect with our team.

Missed our live session? Watch the full presentation now.

  1. ACT 1 based on Nielsen Nationwide, Fall 2020, Persons 12+, based on program broadcast times, Mon-Sun Midnight-Midnight; Google Analytics, 09/10/20 – 12/02/20; Splunk, 09/10/20 – 12/02/20; overlap calculated based on comScore data
  2. Podtrac, March 2021, US unique monthly audience and Top 20 Podcasts
  3. Splunk, April 2021
  4. Nielsen Scarborough Podcast Buying Power, Rel 1, 2020
  5. Podsights, 2020


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