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NPR's Digital Distribution and Mobile Strategy


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The NPR API has been the great enabler to achieve rapid development in the mobile space. That is, because we have our rich and powerful API, our mobile team is free to pursue the development of their mobile products without being encumbered by limited internal development resources. The touch-point between the mobile product and our content is fixed which means the mobile team can focus on design and usability for the specific platform.

Published in: Technology
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NPR's Digital Distribution and Mobile Strategy

  1. 1. NPR's Distribution and Mobile Strategy <ul><li>By Daniel Jacobson and Demian Perry </li></ul><ul><li>National Public Radio </li></ul><ul><li>June 25, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Media Conference </li></ul>
  2. 2. Who is NPR? <ul><li>National Public Radio (now known as NPR) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leading producer and distributor of radio programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All Things Considered , Morning Edition , Fresh Air , Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me , Car Talk , etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadcasted on over 800 local radio stations nationwide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NPR Digital Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Website ( with audio content from radio programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web-Only content including blogs, video, slideshows, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile properties including iPhone app, iPad app, Android app, mobile site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API, RSS, podcasts and other syndication </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Architectural Philosophies <ul><li>Build Content Management tools, not Web Publishing tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>COPE (Create Once Publish Everywhere) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate content/data from display/presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content is modular/portable – separate markup from content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand Your Atom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story is the Atom of NPR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories contain ‘Assets’ (e.g. images, text, audio, video, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories belong to ‘Lists’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>API: Better to be incomplete than inaccurate </li></ul>
  4. 4. System Architecture Supporting COPE
  5. 5. System Architecture Supporting COPE
  6. 6. Target Audiences for the API <ul><li>NPR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports the entire infrastructure of our sites and apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product owners can quickly build products without internal dev resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stations gain easier access to NPR content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stations are better able to serve their communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes partner integration much easier for both parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generates new opportunities! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engages the community – part of NPR’s Public Service Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes viral distribution of public media content </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Features of the API <ul><li>Over 400,000 stories from </li></ul><ul><li>Access to our extensive audio repository, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 500,000 audio files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 30,000 hours of programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 12TB of audio files, in MP3, WMA, RM and AAC formats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transcript API, including nearly 100,000 transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 30,000 blog posts from 33 blogs on </li></ul><ul><li>Over 7,000 categories </li></ul><ul><li>Content from dozens of NPR member stations </li></ul><ul><li>Information and programming for over 800 NPR stations </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive rights management system </li></ul>
  8. 8. In Other Words… <ul><li>Virtually everything that is on that we have the rights to redistribute. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lifecycle of an NPR story From CMS to API to Presentation Layers
  10. 10. NPR CMS
  11. 11. NPR API
  12. 12.
  13. 13. NPR iPad/Tablet Site
  14. 14. Audio Player
  15. 15. NPR News iPhone App
  16. 16. NPR Mobile Site
  17. 17. NPR Addict iPhone App
  18. 18. NPR Android App
  19. 19. Google Chrome Extension
  20. 20. iGoogle Gadget
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25. NewsMap
  26. 26. Station Content Ingest
  27. 27. Station Content in the NPR API (today)
  28. 28. KLCC Displaying N3 Stories from NPR API
  29. 29. WBUR Displaying N3 Story from NPR API
  30. 30. API Metrics
  31. 31. NPR API : Requests per Month - About 20 requests to the Story API every second
  32. 32. - NPR API delivers almost 400 stories delivered every second Slide provided by John Musser of ProgrammableWeb
  33. 33. WBUR Growth : With NPR API Content
  34. 34. The Future of the API <ul><li>Video and multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Improved image availability and sizing capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>More station content </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media API </li></ul><ul><li>Public Media Platform! </li></ul>
  35. 35. Public Media Content in the PMP (future)
  36. 36. Mobile
  37. 37. Short-Term Mobile Strategy <ul><li>iPhone Apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to develop and support NPR News and Music apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify new app opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Android Apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to develop and support NPR News app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify new app and widget opportunities, such as Music and stations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to grow mobile site </li></ul></ul>Long-Term Mobile Strategy <ul><li>Focus attention on scalable mobile site and apps solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use technologies such as HTML5 to build robust site solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bundle site solutions into wrappers for app distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build specialized apps as appropriate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify key strategic platforms and opportunities </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. New Platforms
  39. 39. NPR Music iPhone App LAUNCHED WEDNESDAY
  40. 40. Mobile Metrics
  41. 41. Distribution of Page Views About 60% of monthly page views are on, which means almost 40% of NPR’s total traffic is on mobile. About 20% is on the iPhone app.
  42. 42. Page Views per Monthly Unique Visitor
  43. 43. Conclusions <ul><li>Our API allows NPR to: </li></ul><ul><li>Build fast </li></ul><ul><li>Build for multiple platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Score contributions from individuals and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Spend less brain power on technology and more on strategy </li></ul>
  44. 44. Questions? <ul><li>To see the API: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>To follow NPR developments: </li></ul><ul><li>To follow NPR on Twitter: @NPRTechTeam </li></ul>Demian Perry [email_address] Daniel Jacobson [email_address] Twitter: @daniel_jacobson