Same Content, New Medium

Wired Magazine had a great write up about NPR and podcasting.  To put how far ahead NPR is in the podcasting realm, here’s the TOP podcasts at the moment:

1. This American Life npr-logo
2. The Late Show Podcast
3. Radiolab from WNYC npr-logo
4. TED Radio Hour npr-logo
5. Mystery Show
6. Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! npr-logo
7. Serial npr-logo
8. Lore
9. Freakonomics Radio npr-logo
10. The Moth Podcast

That’s 6 of the top 10 podcasts in the United States

The common trait for top podcasts?  Great storytelling.  From the article: “We don’t have to change the essence of who we are to get a younger audience. We just need to tell great stories,” Mohn told the AP.

NPR president / CEO Jarl Mohn said the medium of podcasting is how to reach a younger audience.  It’s the nature of who consumes that kind of content.  And it’s working.  “For the first time in six years, National Public Radio, better known as NPR, is on track to break even financially thanks in part to the rising popularity of podcasts.”

So how do you make money in podcasting?  First you need to get an audience.  The company has a calculator with some ballpark figures.  Let’s say you do 1 podcast a week, 52 weeks a year.  Here’s what it comes out to:


I think the key is getting to the 10,000 download a podcast level.  If you can hit 10,000 listens a podcast, and you can commit to 1 show a day, roughly 1 hour podcasts (250 shows a year)… that number goes up to 43-80K a year.

IF you get that popular, which is really hard to do… That’s the point where you consider adding a second show, and doubling that number.  Now you can understand why NPR is making so much money recycling their shows in podcast form.  For example, one of their podcasts, Serial has racked up 73 MILLION downloads.  We’re talking BIG ad dollars that can be drawn from advertisements.

Alex Blumberg told , “Now that everyone is walking around with a radio in their pocket at all times, and now that all cars are going to be connected, the form can flourish again.”

So the big question now is — what is your plan to flourish?

About Ryan Wrecker

I'm an award winning radio programmer, news anchor, talk show host, digital guru and problem that currently serves as a writer for Radio Ink Magazine. My blog ( is designed to help personalities advance themselves through content creation. Follow me on Twitter @RyanWrecker
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