November 5, 2007
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

NEW “NPR MUSIC” MULTIMEDIA SITE LAUNCHES TODAY

NPR and NPR Member Stations Introduce Premier Online Destination
for Music Discovery

Site Offers Concert and Studio Performances, Interviews, News, Reviews, Blogs, Podcasts and Artist Index

Launch Includes Exclusive New NPR.org Media Player
with Playlist Capacity


November 5, 2007; Washington, DC - From rock to jazz…classical to urban…folk to world…NPR and NPR Member public radio stations, on-air and online, have been leaders in music discovery and arbiters of musical tastes and artists. Today, NPR and 12 NPR Member stations recognized for music programming are launching NPR Music, a new, free, comprehensive multimedia music discovery Web site. Featuring on-air and online content aggregated from NPR and the participating stations as well as original-to-NPR Music materials such as interviews, reviews, blogs and live performances, www.NPR.org/music permits users to explore, experience and enjoy all the music genres that are found on public radio.

NPR Music is a collaboration between NPR and KEXP and KPLU Seattle; KUT Austin; WBGO Newark; WDUQ Pittsburgh; WFUV and WNYC New York; WGBH Boston; WGUC Cincinnati; WKSU/Folk Alley Kent, Ohio; WXPN Philadelphia; and American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio. All partners will provide content including live concerts, studio sessions, features and reviews. NPR Music also links to the live broadcast music streams of all participating stations. Additional stations and producers will join in the coming months.

Specific sections of the site are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. In each genre, program and subject area, users can explore NPR’s and the stations’ renowned music journalism; intimate interviews and studio sessions with artists and bands; NPR’s and stations’ popular national and regional web concerts; reviews and news; original blogs from critics, experts and artists; and podcasts. The site culls from NPR’s and the stations’ extensive music archives to present thousands of features; at launch, the site’s Artist Index alone, an A to Z artist directory, offers content about more than 2000 performers. More than 200 new features will be added from NPR and the stations monthly, joining thousands of hours of archived concert, story, review and interview pieces.

NPR Music also offers original video and audio features. Along with the Artist Index, some of the new elements are:

“Project Song” – a video feature challenging songwriters to write and record an original song in two days at the NPR studios. The first participant is songwriter Stephin Merritt, to be followed by indie band Georgie James

“Studio Sessions” – in-studio video performances recorded at NPR and Member stations

“Discover Songs” – audio stories about, and recommendations for, individual songs

“Music Lists” – five-song listening sets curated by musicians and public radio music personalities

The site also features two new blogs. The “All Songs Considered” blog, written by the weekly music show’s producers Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, goes behind the scenes. “Monitor Mix” offers music picks and industry news from writer and musician Carrie Brownstein, formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney.

Coinciding with the launch of NPR Music is a media player exclusive to NPR, available across www.NPR.org The player allows users to create a playlist for video and audio (dating from May 2005 to present) on the site and makes dynamic recommendations for related content depending on a user’s selections. The playlist also offers links to NPR’s 24-hour stream and the NPR News Summary.

“Since its inception, public radio has played a vital public service role in bringing all genres of music – and non-mainstream artists – to its listeners. The new NPR Music evolves the high-quality music journalism, performance and presentation that have been the longtime trademark of NPR, our 12 launch partners and public radio overall,” said Maria Thomas, Senior Vice President, NPR Digital Media. “With this site, we can serve millions of music fans through a content-rich single destination that not only unifies the breadth of music programming produced by influential public radio producers around the country, but also acts as a launchpad for original audio, video and expert opinion.

“NPR and a strong network of public radio music stations have engaged in a variety of collaborative content projects over the past year that were well-received by listeners and served as the foundation for a larger shared effort. The new NPR Music service is the latest expression of that partnership and we’re delighted to be associated with these 12 station leaders.”

The NPR Music service enables partner stations and other NPR Member stations to incorporate a variety of modular content offerings, including RSS feeds and Javascript modules, into their own Web sites.