NPR’s long-awaited mobile app NPR One launched yesterday, allowing iPhone and Android users to tune into a stream of curated and algorithm-powered newscasts, segments, podcasts and local content.
After a brief introduction from NPR host Guy Raz, NPR One prompts users to log in using Google, Facebook or NPR accounts. The app allows users to choose a local station, search for stories and programs and donate via voice-activated prompts.
NPR is delaying a marketing push for the app until the fall, after station pledge drives, but eager users are already downloading NPR One and giving it a test run. At Nieman Lab, news analyst Ken Doctor discussed NPR’s aim to appeal to younger audiences and the risk NPR One might pose to stations.
“NPR is sending its content directly to listeners, potentially bypassing the stations and their earlier quasi-monopoly in bringing it to us,” Doctor writes. “The local branding is the tradeoff. Like all tradeoffs, it won’t be exactly 50-50.”
The app's login requirements feeds listener data to NPR, and TechCrunch notes the network will “be able to research listener habits and gather feedback that will likely influence future program[s]– which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this is a sign that NPR is very much concerned with what future iterations of public radio (or its online equivalent) will look like, and being able to contribute to that project is no small thing.”
NPR One's early adopters took to Twitter to share their reactions Monday. A sampling:
Step 1: Download new NPR One app Step 2: Open…wait where is it? Step 3: Discover Schroedinger’s app. Ugh can’t uninstall or install
— Gerald Rich (@gerald_arthur) July 28, 2014
More excited than I should be about the new NPR One radio app - http://t.co/lisvHZiKVe
— Aaron Gotwalt (@gotwalt) July 28, 2014
— Jonathan S. (@DesignUXUI) July 28, 2014
I would love to know what sort of algorithm is at work for @NPR One. It’s likely minimal, but still marketing genius.
— Matthew Straub (@matthewmagellan) July 28, 2014
— Jay Brodsky (@jbrodsky) July 28, 2014
Checking out NPR One…doesn't really explain how it how it works or how it's different…but I'll wait! Love you NPR! http://t.co/ITFwABql9e
— Meighan L. O'Toole (@meigs) July 28, 2014
NPR One http://t.co/LvfDfT0OIo I'll definitely be using this. 3 walks a day with a border collie requires 90 mins of content a day.
— Tony Marks (@tonymarks__) July 28, 2014
It's been true for a while, but local NPR stations who don't produce much/any original content are so screwed.
— Adam Schweigert (@aschweig) July 28, 2014
— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) July 28, 2014
How do you like NPR One so far? Leave a comment or email us.