NPR is great. I like NPR. The people who don’t like NPR have either never listened, are wrapped up in political agendas and hegemony, are twelve, or have taste that would conflict with what I consider to be good.
Now I worked in public radio where I not only produced NPR-type shows, but regularly poached Terry Gross’s guests from its home station, WHYY in Philadelphia. I was immersed in the sometimes blindly liberal, but uniquely insightful broadcasts. In fact, that was where I was introduced to the logistic aspects of RSS feeds and podcast uploads.
NPR, in many ways, spearheaded the podcast movement as a means of selective distribution and hyper-targeting before any other national outfit. I was able to access the entire This American Life archive via podcast. I would’ve never heard episode 15 were it not for NPR’s willingness to embrace the medium.
As it stands, the top five podcasts on Stitcher radio are all NPR programs–they hold at least three of the top five spots in iTunes on any given day. Suffice it say, they’re on their game as far as programming is concerned. So here’s my question:
It seems, at the very least, offering a delivery system (a podcast app) that could house third party funding or offer remnant inventory to ad networks would be ideal for the sometimes “strapped” media outlet.
…just isn’t going to cut anymore.
Maybe this is a matter of core capabilities. Maybe NPR is merely catering to its strengths–quality programming. Why build an app when your strong suit is broadcasting, and why pay someone to build something that entrepreneurs, like Instacast, will build for you?
But anyone can create an app these days. Just hire some developers fresh out a college, and pay them for the build. Then call it a day. It doesn’t even have to work well. Just sayin’.