NPR's podcast efforts have increasingly revolved around its paid, ad-free NPR+ service, and now it's offering stronger incentives to spend money. Axios reports the organization will offer content available solely to NPR+ subscribers. The new show The Limits with Jay Williams, for instance, will offer a separate content release in its feed. NPR VP Joel Sucherman also said NPR might test perks like unedited interviews and member-only events.
You'll also have extra motivation to support local stations. NPR will launch a subscription podcast bundle in the second half of 2022 that gives station members wider access to an on-demand podcast library and other content. It's similar to PBS Passport, Sucherman said. The company is also adding more shows to NPR+.
The public broadcaster isn't ditching free, ad-supported podcasts any time soon. However, the shift isn't surprising. Podcasts help bring in a younger, more diverse audience than conventional radio, Axios said. A subscription drive like this could maintain listenership and funding even if fewer people tune into live programming.