(NEWSER) – With people stuck at home for months on end and hungry for news, this could have been a golden time for radio – but NPR ratings took a dive this spring as the pandemic stopped people from commuting. Ratings for most of its shows are down by around a quarter year-on-year, with people who already listened from home still tuning in but former commuters failing to do so, writes media reporter David Folkenflik.
Some stations, however, including Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit, bucked the trend with a sharp rise in home listening. Lori Kaplan, the network's senior director of audience insights, says the pandemic has accelerated a "sea change" that was already taking place. More people have turned to the network's digital offerings and this year, NPR expects to generate more revenue from podcast sponsorship than radio sponsorship for the first time.