NPR One: How do I optimize my content to be heard in NPR One?

One of the most frequent NPR One questions we receive from stations is, “How can I be sure my local segmented stories are heard in the app?”
NPR has conducted extensive testing to find a flow that engages our users. While the user can alter the flow by “skipping” stories, the local content will always be available and offered when the local “bucket” surfaces in the flow.
We have learned from our users that they
  • Prefer shorter stories
  • Listen longest in the mornings
  • Listen an average of 30 minutes at a time
  • Listen 4-5 times a week if they are “heavy users” 

Where does my local segmented content fit into the flow? 

The national stories in the NPR One app are curated and categorized into collections, which are then accessed by the flow and delivered to you based on your preferences.

How can I ensure that my local segmented stories surface in the flow?

To ensure that your content surfaces in the flow, it must meet the following technical and editorial guidelines.
  • Your audio must meet the technical format of HE-ACC/.MP4
  • Limit some of your segmented audio to four minutes or less
    • The first local bucket in the flow has a 4 minute story time limit - consider editing your more engaging local stories to 4 minutes and under to ensure they are featured early in the flow.
    • The second local bucket has a local story time limit of 9 minutes and occurs just before the Pledge Audio.
    • The third local bucket has a local story time limit of 12 minutes.
    • Keep in mind that audio that is longer than 12 minutes will not make it into the local stories bucket. If you have stories that are longer than 12 minutes you should add it into NPR One as a podcast.  See podcast link here.

How do I know what local stories my station is adding to the app?

You can find out what stories are getting added into NPR One by visiting There is a "Stories" tab in the NPR One section of StationConnect where you can: see a list of local stories your station has flagged for NPR One, when the story was last edited, listen to each story, and set expiration dates for when you want it to stop showing up in the app.

How do I know if anyone is listening to my local segmented content?

In the Station Analytics System there is an NPR One tab where you can view what listeners have been listening to:
  • The titles of stories listened to
  • The source of the story
  • The number of times the story was “started”
  • How many times it was marked as interesting
  • How many times it was shared
  • How many times it was skipped 

Strategies for Engaging Your Listeners

Create and Upload a Custom Station “Hello”

Your station “Hello” played every time the app is launched and is an instant local connection to your station. Learn more about adding your station “Hello” audio

Upload Local Newscasts in the Mornings

Research shows that listeners use the app the most in the morning and that the national newscast is the least skipped segment in the app. If your station can only manage a couple of local newscasts per day, then add your newscast at 7am and 9am to gain the most exposure to your audience. The local newscast is strongly related to user retention. Learn more about adding your local newscast.

Upload Your Local Donation Ask Audio and Pledge URL

Your local donation ask audio is featured after the second local bucket. Take advantage of this and upload donation ask audio. Even if the listener skips your local story, they will still hear the donation ask.

Learn how to upload your Donation Ask and Pledge URL

Curate Your Local Stories

NPR listens to each and every one of their National stories and decides which ones to feature in the flow, ensuring that only the best stories get in. By choosing the best of your local stories and setting later expiration dates, you are more likely to reach more listeners and engage them longer. 
Learn how to set the expiration dates on your local stories for Core Publisher and Non-CP stations.
Learn how to curate your local stories in Core Publisher.

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