Feb. 27, 2019; Washington D.C. NPR has launched the Public Radio Incubation Lab, a rotating team dedicated to developing and testing solutions to some of the network's most urgent strategic and practical challenges. With a mandate to innovate, the Lab's teams will be charged with advancing actionable, real-world solutions that can benefit the entire digital network of public radio. NPR Foundation Trustee Emeritus Bill Poorvu is the lead donor for this project.
"Public radio's future depends on its ability to adapt. Facing an increasingly dynamic and crowded media landscape, rapid changes in the needs and behaviors of audiences, and the need to find new ways to fortify the revenue models of public radio, NPR and Member stations face complex challenges and, too often, limited resources and short-term deadlines," said Thomas Hjelm, NPR's Chief Digital Officer. "The Public Radio Incubation Lab will develop ideas that enable NPR and Member stations to reach and engage new audiences, create new audience experiences, and support public radio's long-term financial sustainability."
Working under the strategic direction of NPR Creative Director Liz Danzico, the Public Radio Incubation Lab will operate in four-month rotations, during which small teams of digital practitioners, including product managers, designers and technologists from NPR and Member stations, will develop specific solutions to one of public radio's most pressing challenges, with the goal of producing solutions that can be shared and quickly taken to scale.
The Public Radio Incubation Lab will apply this proven approach to some of the most pressing challenges that NPR and Member stations face. The working topics for the three rotations are:
- Leveraging Digital Scale to Drive Station Membership: Exploring ways to deepen engagement on NPR.org and other digital platforms in order to provide stations with leads for donations and membership.
- Working Better Together: Developing tools and practices that enable stations to collaborate with one another and NPR.
- The New Frontier of Audio Discovery: Helping public radio strengthen its leadership position in the delivery, discovery and monetization of on-demand audio.
The first rotation, "Leveraging Digital Scale to Drive Station Membership," begins March 11.
Millions of people depend on public radio each day for news, storytelling and cultural discovery. The Public Radio Incubation Lab will ensure that public radio remains a vital public service for many years to come.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans everyday—on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public—one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. Learn more at npr.org/about or by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Isabel Lara, NPR Media Relations