Podcasting is not a threat to NPR station fundraising: Wired News has a headline on a story today implying a negative impact of NPR podcasting on the fund-raising efforts of local NPR affiliates. Despite having a name for the threat (bypassing), the story contains no actual evidence of that happening, other than an anecdote of a lady in Las Vegas who listens to podcasts instead of fundraising, and includes ways (some of which are really bad) that podcasting may, indeed, help fundraising efforts.
My opinion: The availability of podcasts is in no way a threat to NPR local affiliates. As local affiliates choose the week and method of their fundraising efforts, anyone with Internet access can stream another NPR affiliate: My favorite non-Nashville NPR source that has a different fundraising week from the station I’m a member of: KQED. Also, the NPR “killer app” for me is live news. There is no radio news organization in the U.S. that can come anywhere close to matching the resources of NPR (nor do they care to). Local stations that follow in this tradition build a wall around their franchise as no other radio sources will actually “cover” local news these days — they’ll read headlines from the local paper or wire service.
Also, if you don’t like fundraising, you’re going to listen to another station anyway. Podcasting is not going to change your decision to move the dial.
That said, if you’re an NPR listener and you don’t support your local affiliate, you’re a weasel. Did I mention it’s Spring membership week at WPLN?