Why top NPR shows are using VoxPop to engage audiences

VoxPop managed to get the attention of NPR’s then-Director Mobile, Demian Perry, back in 2017, who was inspired by our concept of a speech-text audience engagement platform that delivered studio quality audio from audiences.

He connected us with Gabe Bullard from a new start-up radio show 1A on WAMU in Washington, D.C., which had just taken over from the legendary The Diane Rehm Show. 1A continued the call in format, but the old way of doing things with a telephone number had major frustrations.

Telephone voicemail recordings were often of poor quality and at times unusable. Staff would spend hours listening back to voicemails.

Perry, Bullard and 1A Founder and Executive Producer, Rupert Allman, could all see how our platform would make it easier for audiences to interact using voice, save time for staff with voice-text transcripts and improve the show’s sound quality. So they took a chance on a New Zealand start-up, born from public broadcaster RNZ, and we built prototype 1A VoxPop apps for iOS and Android. They haven’t looked back.

Allman said working with VoxPop has deepened the show’s relationship with the people who matter most – the listeners.

“Whether they are hearing the show live, on-demand or on a device – folks are one tap away from leaving us a message in studio quality. It has made a huge difference to the sound of the program, an on-air reminder that we are ready to meet our audience wherever they are and whenever they choose. We could not be happier with the app and our work with its development team,” said Allman.

“From a production point of view, the VoxPop app gives producers an easy interface that saves time and makes call selection a doddle. The app is popular, fun to use and has quickly established itself as a key tool in driving deep audience engagement,” said Allman.

In addition to on-air callouts, 1A sends notifications to audiences daily on topics for upcoming shows, inviting the audience to record their thoughts. VoxPop offers a safe place to share deeply personal stories, without fear of being trolled. Because the apps can utilize the smart phone’s microphone, the recording is production quality. It’s so good, other shows and stations have contacted us to get their own platform.

Once you realize everyone is walking around with a radio studio in their pocket, there are endless possibilities. And from these beginnings 5 years ago as a single purpose speech-text audience engagement platform, we have developed a suite of pioneering features for radio shows, podcasts and newsrooms:

Browser recording

We want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to engage using voice, so our latest innovation is a web browser recording function, connected to the platform’s voice-text content management system.

Q&A’s and AMA’s

Do you run a call in show – questions about pets, cars, home improvements or gardening? We have developed a companion platform where the Q&A can continue when you go off air and offers sponsorship and new content creation opportunities.

This video gives an overview of how the Q&A feature works:

Pandemic Solution

When the pandemic hit in 2020, NZ’s network of community radio stations were unable to use studios and make shows. Our solution was to create a simple portable recording studio on mobile devices.  It worked so well, it is now part of their everyday operations.

Slack Integration

If your team uses Slack, we can use Webhooks to integrate speech-text transcripts and audio as well as other engagement data.

RNZ’s Zoe George invited kids to use RNZ VoxPop to submit questions for Frozen star Jonathan Groff with great results

Our software team, led by Co-founder Andrew McMillan, specializes in turning digital audio products you can imagine into reality.   But we are much more than a software company. Co-founder, Peter Fowler, is an award-winning public radio journalist and presenter. We both understand and support the mission of public media.

A barrier to stations or shows getting an app store presence is cost, so part of our company mission is to make our world leading platform affordable for public broadcasters.

We enjoy working with clients to push the boundaries and find solutions to strengthening the relationship with your audience, and we would be thrilled to have you join the VoxPop family.

For more information contact [email protected] or use our contact form

Visit our website and see client case studies here

Explore more VoxPop innovations:

Let your audience customize news bulletins 

Speech-Text Q&A/AMA Platforms

VoxPop used as Pandemic recording studio