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Gen-Z, Millennial Media Opps: NPR focuses on podcasts, paid media to reach younger audiences (Score 63)
Shortly after naming CMO Michael Smith National Public Radio (NPR) has started utilizing podcasts more to reach younger listeners and call back to its public media roots. NPR has reimagined its content over the past several years to appeal to digital-first audiences, and now, its average monthly downloads are reportedly up 24% YOY across all podcast titles. Smith told AdExchanger that the company is particularly focused on socially engaged Gen-Z and millennials, who tend to listen to podcasts via digital platforms such Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
NPR is also focused on sponsorships, allowing advertisers space on their podcasts to reach younger listeners; Smith said podcast listeners are between 15-20 years younger than average radio listeners. To accomplish this audience shift, NPR is investing more in paid media via Spotify, Apple podcasts, other digital audio content platforms and social media.
So far this year, Pathmatics estimates NPR has generated 18.7m impressions, spending $158.9k on desktop display ads (45%), Twitter ads (21%), Facebook ads (16%), desktop video ads (15%) and mobile display ads (3%). Most desktop display ads were placed site direct (88%) onto sites such as digiday.com (51%) and laist.com (44%). This YTD spend signals a smaller focus on Facebook ads (97% of ads placed by this point last year were via Facebook) and a significant drop from the $503.4k spent in the same 2019 timeframe. The company's full 2019 spend dropped by 9% to $580.1k from $636.7k in 2018.
We expect to see this decrease reverse once the pandemic dies down, readers. Remember, NPR's target demographic consists of Gen-Z and millennials. Kantar data reports it also utilizes OOH and local broadcast but (at least as of Q1 2020) has not invested in print media since last year. Since the increased focus on social media Smith mentioned hasn't yet been reflected in the spend Pathmatics reports, the company is likely focused on earned media at the moment; it may also be using digital channels such as podcast and/or OTT.
Agency & martech readers - Continue reaching out for work at this vulnerable account. In the past, Winmo states NPR has worked with Kelliher Samets Volk (media buying and planning).