How we consume public radio is changing. From tube sets the size of an oven, to car radios, portable stereos, and now smartphones, broadcasters must continuously evolve to maintain and expand on their listener base.
What started in 1970 as a group of public radio stations has grown into the number one podcaster publisher in the U.S. and the publisher with the highest number of global unique streams and downloads. National Public Radio (NPR) is a non-profit multimedia powerhouse with 128.5M monthly visits to NPR digital properties.
As the world changes how it consumes audio content, NPR One wanted to change how it’s delivered. Recognizing the on-demand convenience of podcasts, NPR quickly adopted the medium and is now the premier content producer, offering more episodes than any other source. Even with one billion downloads, NPR chose to find new ways to reach audiences and extend the time current listeners engage.
Leveraging user research and our unique flavor of design thinking, we discovered that content consumption habits form around daily commutes, travel and out-of-home experiences. Listening to and from work, or while exercising or on the go, listeners were not in the home environment. How could we make NPR accessible wherever the listener might be? We partnered with Apple in time for the release of the new Apple TV and made NPR One the first third-party app available at launch.
The ability to move from mobile to TV allowed loyal users to continue listening as they got settled in after the day. Also, with 21.5 million Apple TV users in 2017 (and 1.4 billion as of January 2019), there was plenty of room for others to discover their new favorite channels. As if the seamless experience and new audience weren’t enough, NPR One also included a powerful recommendation engine that tailored suggestions for each user. The more they listened, the more it knew what they cared about—ultimately providing a unique, personalized listening experience for each listener.
For Bottle Rocket, we like to think of it as a homecoming of sorts. Our work with NPR over the years, including the design and development of the media giant’s mobile and iPad apps, has allowed us to bring our passion for the brand to life and demonstrate our continued leadership in the world of mobile experiences. We believe the launch of this new Apple TV app will further bring important, relevant and timely news to more and more households around the country and we couldn’t be more excited and proud to have been a part of this journey.
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