NPR’s work on the new Content API

Dec 30, 2016

As a follow up to our spring post about the NPR’s *API work, it’s time to talk more about our progress, goals and methodologies, and how this new content API will impact your work.

As many of you know, NPR has been working to replace the much loved and used Story API with an enhanced version of the Public Media Platform. Our goal remains--this new API will serve as a central repository for all public media content, including content from NPR, its member stations, and other public media organizations. NPR will utilize this new API for its own digital content distribution, replacing the existing Story API as the technology that distributes content to all digital properties. This process ensures the API will be performant and support features that matter to a broad range of organizations.

We are excited to build an API which has a single concern, the maintaining and management of story content, removing coupling with the NPR website, and other business logic.

High-level Preview of New Features

Over the next year we will be adding new features to the API as well as integrating it with NPR products, stressing the API with our own user base. A number of these features are also driven by what we learned from the original PMP, notably the need for a publishing spec to make it easier for organizations to publish stories and story analytics, so content producers can have greater views into the distribution and performance of their stories.  

Here is a look at some of the features we are building:

Salesforce-based permissions layer to provide “single point of truth” for business relationships, including open-source web hooks for other organizations to integrate with their CRMs.

Asset-level rights management to enable publishers to license content with confidence and to guard against liability concerns.

Asset presentation data and publishing spec to provide guidance on presenting content cross-platform.

Analytics tracking via a designated PMP Google Analytics account for distribution to content publishers.

High-level Preview of Technical Changes

After the initial PMP build, many lessons were learned. Our team has taken that information to improve the API and enable a number of the features we want to build.

How does this affect current PMP users?

If you interact with the PMP API via Core Publisher or one of Digital Services’ provided plugins or modules, those tools will implement the necessary changes for you. Clients who have integrated directly with PMP V1 will want to look at the changes we are making. Timelines for needing to move to the new version of the API are quite long and much documentation will be provided in order to make the necessary changes. Here is an overview of the technical changes we are making to the API: PMP Changes.

Our current plan is to have the new API ready for third-party integrations in the fall of 2017.

How you can be involved

It is important for us to find ways to communicate with you about where we are in the development of this API over the next year. To facilitate that communication we have created a survey for you to complete, so we can understand how you are using PMP today or how you would like to use PMP in the future. Please take a moment to fill this out: SURVEY

In addition we have created a Slack community where stations, NPR, and other public media organizations talk across a broad range of subjects including PMP in the #PMP channel. Join to stay up on the conversation.  

Here’s to a great future of content discovery and distribution with our flexible an enhanced new API! We look forward to talking more about this over the next few quarters.

*An API is a controlled way for people to push and pull information between applications like websites and content management systems for greater ease in distribution of that content. For more about APIs, read: http://www.apiacademy.co/resources/api-strategy-lesson-101-what-is-an-api/