NPR CEO: Internet Radio Will Replace Terrestrial Within 10 Years
June 3, 2010

Speaking at the D: All Things Digital conference in California, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller predicted that Internet radio could replace traditional, terrestrial radio as soon as five years from now. Schiller said that over the next 5-10 years, Internet radio will take terrestrial radio's place, but for now, it is adding to their total audience. According to Barron's, Schiller said that online listening is not cannibalizing their on-air listenership and the idea is to simply have the widest reach. She added that she expects all cars to offer Internet radio in some form.

Schiller also noted that the company simply calls itself "NPR" now, not National Public Radio. NPR has no plans to charge listeners for online content. If the content becomes profitable online, stations could possibly be charged at some point, but the end user will never be charged.

Schiller revealed that the NPR app for the iPad has been a huge success, downloaded almost 300,000 times already. This is an impressive number, considering Apple just revealed that two million iPads were sold in the past two months, putting NPR on almost one in seven iPads out there.

Schiller also said that while she doesn't like doing pledge drives, and that no one really likes them, the tactic works and NPR raises $300 million a year from them. Only ten percent of NPR listeners currently contribute financially.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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