Blog Post

NPR’s Blueprint For Growth: New Music Service; Digital Distribution Consortium

NPR has come out with a “BBC’s Creative Future” type of a plan, called “Blueprint for Growth“…NPR said it will work with stations and other system partners to develop a “News Network of the Future,” a web-based music service and an infrastructure to support distribution of digital content.
Members of the public radio community must shift their focus from competing with each other to uniting against competition from other media, the blueprint says.
— The News Network combines and builds on NPR’s Local News Initiative, now getting off the ground, and something called the Newsroom of the Future. The Local News Initiative aims to strengthen reporting and news gathering at stations. NPR is also developing its Newsroom of the Future project. Senior network execs are considering ways to restructure NPR’s newsroom that would speed delivery of news to NPR.org.
— NPR execs are planning a multi-genre digital music service that “will make it easy for the audience to find, audition, explore, share, store and purchase music in all its forms,” the blueprint says. NPR and partners will design the service this year and launch it early next year.
— NPR has also formed a Digital Distribution Consortium, whose goal it is to develop a business plan for a digital distribution service for public media.
Also, an interview with Bill Marimow, VP for news at NPR, about the new digital newsroom initiatives.: “Next year’s proposed budget, which is now in rough draft, would create, if it’s approved, significantly more new jobs in the digital division than it adds in the news division.”
The PDF “Blueprint for Growth” is here for download (PDF file). This from the paper, about working with the audience: “With the audience at the center of our decision-making and engagement as a new fact of life, management of that relationship becomes a shared responsibility. Working across networks and with Member stations, public radio can ride the wave of user-generated content by creating and curating content that grows from the audiences’ interactions with each other. By encouraging audience engagement with content that informs and enriches their lives, public radio’s relationship with them will be strengthened”.