Audience Estimates

NPR's Hour-By-Hour Audience By Platform

Ever wonder what our audience looks like by the hour? Probably not... but we have! So we compiled some information just to see how our audience engages with NPR content on an average weekday, Saturday, and Sunday across all platforms: radio, the web, and our various mobile applications.

Please note the two different axes for NPR.org (in red) and NPR Stations (in blue).

During the week, NPR programming on the air is consumed most during the morning (6-9 AM) and evening (4-6 PM) "drive times." These are also the times that most NPR Member stations air Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

NPR.org, on the other hand, has the most users during the day when people are out of their cars and, in many cases, in front of computers at work. The sweet spot seems to be mid-afternoon, with visitor levels winding down as the workday comes to a close.

As for mobile platforms, the NPR News iPhone app has a slight bump in traffic in the mid-morning and evens out throughout the day. Curiously, this is a unique pattern among NPR mobile platforms, and may indicate a strong use of that particular app during the morning commute. (How much of that use is taking place in cars is not something we have a strong sense of yet. The latest "Infinite Dial" research (.pdf) indicates that 6% of American cell phone owners have streamed audio through their phone to their car stereo.) The Android app, iPad app and mobile website all see more steady use throughout the day until late evening, when the mobile site and iPad app experience a bit of a second wind of traffic, perhaps as people get their last dose of news before bed.

The weekend usage patterns show that people are joining NPR across platforms a bit later in the day. On the radio, the Saturday staples Car Talk and Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! are responsible for a mid-morning spike before listening tapers off into the evening. The website and mobile platforms generally see a similar pattern: people access NPR the most in mid-morning and then a bit less, though more steadily than on the radio, throughout the rest of the day.

You can see more in the slides above. If you see any stories of your own listening to or use of NPR in these charts, let us know in the comments.

Meredith Heard is the Data Analyst for Corporate Sponsorship and Development in NPR's Audience Insight & Research group.

Web Metrics Analyst Sondra Russell and Digital Research Manager Matt Gallivan contributed to this post.

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