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NPR Podcast Ad Sales Tracking 30% Above A Year Ago.

National Public Media, the public radio arm that handles underwriting and advertising sales for NPR, is seeing demand rebounding for its podcast inventory. Speaking at the LATAM Media Leaders eSummit, National Public Media COO Bryan Moffet reportedly said they expect podcast revenue to be up 30% during the current fiscal year.

“It has rebounded, and it’s definitely where we see the most growth in the future,” said Moffet, according to a report by the World Association of News Publishers. He told the virtual conference that NPR now gets more than half of its advertising revenue from podcasts with network radio making up the rest.

NPR was one of the first networks working to monetize podcasts, selling its first spot in the medium in 2005. But it only offered pre-roll ads until 2012. Today, Moffet said it is the mid-roll ads that are the biggest portion of their business.

“This is because in a longer show you can get two breaks,” Moffet told the eSummit. “During 30 minutes of content, we’ll put two 30-second mid-rolls in each break. So that’s four 30-second mid-rolls we can sell in each episode, which is a lot more than one pre-roll.” He said NPR has also begun producing branded podcasts.

In terms of content, Moffet reportedly told the conference that NPR is focused on making podcast listening part of consumers’ daily habits. It is why they have produced shorter-length series like Up First from the “Morning Edition” team; the business-focused The Indicator from the team that produces the “Planet Money” radio show and podcast; and the short-form science series Short Wave.

“The biggest thing we’ve done in the past three years is that we’ve formulated what we call our daily habit strategy,” said Moffet. “What we found from these are if you can get podcasting into a daily habit for people, something they do to start their day – just like radio has been for decades – that is a really powerful way to keep an audience engaged in a show. And frankly, they tend to be quite profitable shows because as a daily podcast you are generating a lot of downloads every day instead of just once a week.”

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