Public media audience expanded in 2017, with NPR digital pushing the growth

Pew Research Center has published its latest data on public media audience, including NPR, American Public Media, and Public Radio International. For most metrics, the three public media houses saw little to some growth, although NPR’s digital platforms continue to be top performers. The NPR News and NPR One apps both posted strong growth on Android and iPhone devices since 2014.

The top 20 public radio stations affiliated with NPR posted a weekly broadcast audience of about 11 million in 2017, compared with about 10 million in 2016. NPR had about 30 million average weekly listeners across its programming last year, staying about level with its 2016 rates.

PRI also saw static results, with its 2017 average weekly audience steady at about 9 million. APM did see growth for that metric, reaching about 20.5 million in 2017 compared with about 19.1 million in 2016.

The year showed financial growth overall for both NPR and APM. NPR’s total operating revenue at the national level grew 9% to $233 million. APM grew even more in 2017, up 33% to hit $168 million. PRI revenue dipped for 2017, falling 17% to $18 million.

Anna Washenko