As more people return to the office, NBC hopes they will take the “Today” show habit they may have picked up during their work-from-home year with them. NBC on Monday began making all four hours of its flagship morning show available as a podcast. And rather than some time-shifted content, NBC is not sitting on “Today” show. After each hour wraps on the East Coast, it will make that hour available shortly thereafter.
NBC is also launching the podcast version of “Today” just ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, hoping that its exclusive content will reach a larger audience that will stick with the podcast habit once the games are over.
Each hour of the Today show podcast runs a little more than a half hour – after local news cut-ins and the television commercial load are removed. The podcast will have pre-roll and post-roll ads as well as two mid-roll breaks.
The podcast segments will not only include the first three hours of the main show but also the fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. “Listeners can tune in to the entire show from start to finish, meaning you won't miss a news story, a headline, an interview or chats between your favorite morning show family,” the network said in the announcement.
The “Today” show has already had an audio extension beyond television. Its show has aired on its dedicated channel on SiriusXM.
“There are a lot of podcast-only audiences these days, people who are interested in audio. We are hoping to gain some new listeners in audio as well as in the news and lifestyle space,” NBC News SVP Libby Leist told Variety. She also dismissed the idea that the podcast could cannibalize the show’s linear TV audience. “I think we are living in a world where people want options on how to consume their content, and this gives commuters and people running around their kitchens who may have missed the 7am hour a quick opportunity to catch up to it,” she said.
The “Today” show is locked in a tight battle with ABC’s “Good Morning America” which does not offer a podcast. And while “CBS This Morning” does have a podcast, its content is typically extended versions of interviews that air on the television show.
Kantar Media says “Today” remains a huge money maker for NBC parent Comcast. It estimated the show brought in $357.6 million in ad revenue in 2020.