NPR One: Tips for Programming Local Content

NPR One is more than an app on our listeners’ phones. It is the engine that is driving digital listening experiences on various emerging platforms from smart speakers to smart TVs, including the refreshed news experience on Alexa. Using the tools, data and editorial judgment that form the backbone of NPR One, NPR is creating localized and curated flows of content that meet listeners wherever they are and deliver the local-national blend of content that we know the value. With this work, NPR One serves as a gateway to deliver your local content in new ways and creates opportunities for stations to expand their reach on smart speakers, phones, TVs and more.

As the audiences on platforms that are powered by the NPR One engine grow, we want to be sure your station knows how to make the most of this opportunity. Here are some NPR One pro tips to make sure listeners are hearing the best of what your station creates on the platforms of the future.

To start, here are some basic tips to keep in mind when programming your station’s presence on all the platforms NPR One powers. If you’re interested in editorial best practices, head over to this article.
  • Tip #1 - Be sure to have fresh newscasts uploaded at peak listening times for your time zone - generally between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 pm. Newscasts that are less than 5 minutes long perform best in NPR One.
  • Tip #2 - Reach the most listeners with your content by having plenty of shorter stories in NPR One. The first local story slot in the newsflow looks for stories that are under 4 minutes long (5 minutes if you’ve prioritized them). Longer stories will play later.
  • Tip #3 - Don’t include your podcast content as story segments in NPR One. That could cause your listeners to hear both versions in their newsflow, creating a bad listening experience.  Podcasts will be pulled into NPR One from their RSS feeds that you enter through StationConnect.
  • Tip #4 -Make good use of local curation tools. That means be diligent about expiration dates. Make sure content isn’t lingering when it feels dated while letting evergreen stories that are performing well have a long life on NPR One. It also means featuring (star in StationConnect) podcasts that are your station’s priorities. New episodes of those shows will be fed to your local listeners in their newsflow. Be sure to include shows with a variety of lengths and formats. Too many starred daily shows will overwhelm listeners’ newsflows.

  • Tip #5 - Use the “Messages” section in Station Connect to deepen your listeners’ engagement with your station by letting them know about upcoming events, newsletter sign-ups, new podcasts or any other local priority.  Record and upload messages that are up to 30 seconds long.

The NPR One Editorial Team is here to help your station make the most of your presence on NPR One and all of the on-demand audio platforms we support. If you have any editorial questions or concerns please reach out to our Content Partner Lead, Emily Barocas or our Managing Editor, Tamar Charney

If your station doesn’t currently participate in NPR One, but you are interested in getting started, reach out to our Station Relations Team at

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