Audio Innovation

We wanted to share with you an experiment that Facebook is introducing today that brings audio previews to Facebook posts. Arising from our ongoing conversations with Facebook, NPR agreed to partner on this experiment as we believe it fits within our overall digital strategy of reaching new audiences, increasing engagement, and ensuring connection back to Member Stations.

How To Create Audio For Social Media [VIDEO]

Sep 10, 2014
Russ Gossett

Audio stories are full of interesting moments, but we rarely see those moments shared widely on social media. In a webinar on September 11, 2014, we talked about how NPR Digital Services and stations are experimenting to create shareable sound. We also heard from Nashville Public Radio's Mack Linebaugh and Emily Siner about how their newsroom creates social audio.

Watch the webinar below:

Training on Demand: Audio Innovation

Apr 2, 2014
Andy Bowers

We are pleased to share with you the next series of webinars in our Training on Demand Series. This round is all about audio innovation. 

These webinars tackle the question: what’s next for audio? We have conversations with radio innovators 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars and the Executive Producer of Slate Podcasts Andy Bowers , as well as insight on the future of mobile audio from former Marketplace Digital Director Matt Berger and station wide innovation from WNYC’s Dean Cappello

As a way to make it easier to digest these webinars efficiently, each has been timestamped to highlight the key takeaways. While they complement each other, they are not intended to be consumed in a particular order. 

Rich Black / http://rblack.org/

There are lots of tools you can use to experiment with audio storytelling – radio, digital, social, community engagement, quizzes. With Audiograph, KALW found a way to combine all of that into into one unique project.

Audiograph is a weekly feature at KALW. It uses "the sounds of voices, nature, industry, and music to tell the story of" the Bay Area.

Viral Audio: Experiments In Making Sound Spread

Feb 5, 2014
Russ Gossett

By now you’ve likely come across Digg’s terrific piece on viral audio. And if you haven’t ventured beyond the headline, it’s worth a read. The piece picks apart this question: How come audio never goes viral?

That’s a question we’ve been exploring over the past year here at NPR Digital Services. We set out to solve the viral audio challenge and we’ve discovered a few things worth adding to the conversation

(Keep in mind: these finding are based on a small sample size.)

Making the Most of Your Audio in the Mobile Age [VIDEO]

Dec 10, 2013
Jolie Myers

American Public Media’s Marketplace has successfully increased its digital audience for audio by following a simple but effective strategy: it has tailored content to meet the needs of its digital audience, and it has pushed that content to as many relevant platforms as possible.

WNYC

We've been hosting a series of conversations about audio innovation over the past few weeks, including webinars with Andy Bowers of Slate and Roman Mars, creator of 99% Invisible. Earlier this week, I spoke with Dean Cappello, the Chief Content Officer of WNYC/New York Public Radio. I wanted his perspective as someone who has years of experience producing audio, as well as overseeing the work of others, including successful shows like Here's the Thing, Radiolab, Studio 360, and On the Media.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch it here. But if you don't have an hour, here are my takeaways from the conversation with Cappello; the paraphrasing is my own.

WNYC

Fostering new ideas from concept to reality brings rewards, but it's not without risk.

We talked to Dean Cappello, Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President of Programming at WNYC about how the station has become a leader in innovative storytelling on multiple platforms. 

Slate

In the early days, Slate’s podcasts amounted to Andy Bowers reading web articles into a mic. Podcasting has come a long way and has seen its share of experiments. Slate's podcasts, in particular, now have a unique sound that fans love. Their popular podcasts include Political GabfestCulture GabfestHang Up and ListenThe Audio Book Club, and many others. 

I reached out to Andy to talk about innovation in digital audio because the sound of Slate's success is so different from what I hear from traditional public broadcasters. Much of the public radio podcasting space consists of repurposed broadcasts. But if you take a listen to some of the other successful podcasters, you too will hear a difference in sound. There is room on the internet for all varieties. 

Andy Bowers outlined the extraordinary development of Slate's Podcasts in our innovations in digital audio webinar

Raymond Ahner

 99% Invisible, the radio program about design and architecture, has not only developed a growing listener base for the audio, but has a considerable following online for the program's visual experience.

We interviewed 99% Invisible host and producer Roman Mars about the challenge of visualizing sound in a webinar on February 14.

The Podcast is Dead. Long Live the Podcast! [VIDEO]

Feb 5, 2013

Join us this week as we kick off our new weekly webinar series. 

This Thursday, February 7:   The Podcast is Dead. Long Live the Podcast! The podcast is experiencing a renaissance.  Slate has been exceptional in this field, developing a large and loyal following.  Andy Bowers, Executive Producer of Slate Podcast, will explain how he developed the right sound for Slate's podcasts. 

The Wall Street Journal’s report that Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 software release will include a standalone podcast app for all iPhone users is another shot across the bow when it comes to live radio listening, but it’s potentially a boon to public radio stations that produce great podcasts. Update on June 26, 2012: the app is now available in the Apps Store.