To improve the monetization of its podcasts and other audio content, NPR has created a Network Growth team that will focus on increasing both revenue and audience for its on-demand audio products. Leading the team is National Public Media COO Bryan Moffett, who has been tapped for the new role of NPR Senior VP of Network Growth. Moffett will also continue in his current role at NPM, the ad-selling arm for public radio. Joel Sucherman has been named VP of Audio Platform Strategy.
“This new team's work is a key aspect of accelerating NPR's engagement with younger and more diverse audiences,” the network said in an announcement that called finding younger and diverse listeners the “North Star” in NPR’s Strategic Plan. “The Network Growth team will oversee the business strategies for expanding the NPR+ podcast subscription service and the NPR+ Bundle to grow station membership and revenue,” it said.
Moffett joined NPR in 2005 as a digital media analyst and led the rebuilding of NPM's regional sales model with member stations. He has been COO of National Public Media since November 2016.
Sucherman most recently oversaw the launch of NPR's podcast subscription service. In his new role Sucherman will lead a newly formed Audio Platform Team in the new Network Growth division. In his 12 years at NPR, Sucherman has worked on several digital strategic initiatives, including creating a team that brought public radio to Alexa and Google Home devices, the build and launch of NPR's personalized news platform NPR One, and the effort to introduce blogging and digital journalism to many of NPR's largest member stations.
In addition to growing revenue, NPR says the Network Growth team will ensure there is “strategic alignment” across the various projects that the public media network is working on. It will also look at potential podcast opportunities between NPR and its member stations.
NPR has been among the podcast creators most aggressively embracing subscription offerings. It was one of the first publishers onboard as Apple announced last April that it was adding a subscription option to Apple Podcasts. It then launched the $3 a month or $30 per year NPR+ option that gave listeners the option to become subscribers regardless of the app they use with ad-free access to shows including Code Switch, Fresh Air, How I Built This, It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders, Planet Money and Short Wave. Then in October it teamed up with the subscription podcast platform Luminary to launch a new Guy Raz-hosted series, Wisdom from the Top.