87.9 F
Seattle
Sunday, June 26, 2022

NPR Listenership Plunges, KING-FM on the Rise, and Other Evolving Media Habits

NPR reports that listenership across its various shows has fallen precipitously — down 25 percent — since the pandemic lockdown. This follows a trend all across radio. People listen most to radio while they are in their cars driving to work, and with fewer car trips, the ratings have plunged. The same is true for podcasts. Podcasts were projected to continue their explosive growth of listenership this year, but the gains have slowed by about half.

Then there’s this interesting tidbit in the NPR story:

Ironically, this larger plunge in radio listenership has occurred even as a record number of people are turning to NPR for news and other content. More than 57 million people now consume the network’s offerings each week, whether on radio or its various digital platforms. That’s a rise of nearly 10% from last year, despite the severe drop in the broadcast audiences. Podcast downloads and the usage of NPR’s listening apps are up nearly a quarter, and there is a 76% increase in users of NPR.org as more people access the network’s content from home. Additionally, for the first time, NPR is on track to make more money from underwriting on podcasts than on its
conventional radio shows
, according to CEO John Lansing.

So that means radio is now not the primary business of NPR, validating its change of name from “National Public Radio” to “NPR” several years ago. Of course this is a transition other media companies have made long ago.

Years ago online readership outstripped the number of readers for newspaper’s print copies. Thus news “organizations” now instead of newspapers. According to a Pew Research study in 2019 of American news habits, more Americans get their news from social media than from newspapers.

Speaking of radio ratings. The latest Nielsens are out for the Seattle market, and yes KUOW ratings are down. But KING-FM is soaring, with a 5.3 share that puts it as the third-most-listened-to station in the market, after KIRO’s news talk format and KZOK’s classic rock.

So how has media consumption changed during lockdown? A recent global study reports:

35 percent of total respondents professing to have read more books or listened to more audiobooks at home and 18 percent having listened to more radio due to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst more than 40 percent of consumers spent longer on messaging services and social media. Interestingly, although at least 50 percent of respondents in most countries said that they were watching more news coverage, figures for Australia and the United States were lower, amounting to just 42 and 43 percent respectively.

Douglas McLennan
Douglas McLennanhttps://www.artsjournal.com
Doug is a longtime arts journalist, and the founder and editor of ArtsJournal.com, he's frequent keynoter on arts and digital issues, and works with a number of arts organizations nationally.

Post Alley welcomes comments to our articles. Our guidelines: no personal attacks, stay on topic, add something of value to the discussion. Our editors will edit comments for clarity and to conform with our guidelines. We encourage writers to use their full names.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

The Stones and Me: Close Encounters with Erratics

2
I like the idea of them as leftovers from the last ice age.  And I like coming upon the objects in places where I don’t expect to find them,

Dark Days: Supreme Court Overturns Roe

12
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling, takes away a right from all Americans. Five Post Alley contributors react.

Jim McDermott: The Good and Bad of Serving in Congress

2
The book is a sharp, spot-on critique of Capitol Hill’s current clumsy dysfunction. Congress used to be collegial, with friendships across the aisle and a transactional culture of accommodating varied interests. No more.

Is America Falling Behind?

2
Visiting our near neighbor reminds this on-edge American that it really doesn’t have to be this way.

For Your Approval: Does Seattle Need a New Way of Electing Its Leaders?

12
Seattle City Councilmembers now have to enact Approval Voting outright or place the issue on the ballot with or without an alternative measure.

TRENDING

The Stones and Me: Close Encounters with Erratics

2
I like the idea of them as leftovers from the last ice age.  And I like coming upon the objects in places where I don’t expect to find them,

Dark Days: Supreme Court Overturns Roe

12
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling, takes away a right from all Americans. Five Post Alley contributors react.

The Complicated Legacy of Julia Child

3
The show may be a fictionalized version of Child’s groundbreaking TV success, but it portrays struggles by women for recognition and equality that ring true to that era.

Jim McDermott: The Good and Bad of Serving in Congress

2
The book is a sharp, spot-on critique of Capitol Hill’s current clumsy dysfunction. Congress used to be collegial, with friendships across the aisle and a transactional culture of accommodating varied interests. No more.

The Supreme Court: Republican Majorities Since 1970

10
In fact, in every year since 1970, the majority of Supreme Court justices have been Republican appointees. Since the beginning of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s court until the death of Justice Ruth B. Ginsberg, there have been 31 Republican appointed-justices and 8 Democratic appointed-justices sitting on the Supreme Court.The Supreme