NPR Launches Multimedia Music Site

Nov 6th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, Internet TV

NPR logoNPR and 12 NPR Member stations recognized for music programming have launched NPR Music, a new, free, comprehensive multimedia music discovery Web site. The site features on-air and online content aggregated from NPR and the participating stations as well as original-to-NPR Music materials such as interviews, reviews, blogs and live performances.

The site is already impressive and could easily become a destination site for music, especially for fans of NPRs coverage of classical and alternative. We were surprised that the site doesn’t have a section for electronica or even its popular Hearts Of Space ambient program, though. Instead, it appears to be going with its strengths, classical, jazz & blues, world, alternative and urban.

The NPR Music service also enables partner stations and other NPR Member stations to incorporate a variety of modular content offerings, including RSS feeds and Javascript modules, into their own Web sites.

NPR Music also offers original video and audio features. Along with the Artist Index, some of the new elements are:

  • ‚ÄúProject Song‚Äù ‚Äì a video feature challenging songwriters to write and record an original song in two days at the NPR studios. The first participant is songwriter Stephin Merritt, to be followed by indie band Georgie James
  • ‚ÄúStudio Sessions‚Äù ‚Äì in-studio video performances recorded at NPR and Member stations
  • ‚ÄúDiscover Songs‚Äù ‚Äì audio stories about, and recommendations for, individual songs
  • ‚ÄúMusic Lists‚Äù ‚Äì five-song listening sets curated by musicians and public radio music personalities
  • The site also features two new blogs. The ‚ÄúAll Songs Considered‚Äù blog, written by the weekly music show‚Äôs producers Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, goes behind the scenes. ‚ÄúMonitor Mix‚Äù offers music picks and industry news from writer and musician Carrie Brownstein, formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney.

Coinciding with the launch of NPR Music is an NPR media player. The player allows users to create a playlist for video and audio (dating from May 2005 to present) on the site and makes dynamic recommendations for related content depending on a user’s selections.

The playlist also offers links to NPR’s 24-hour stream and the NPR News Summary.
NPR Music is a collaboration between NPR and KEXP and KPLU Seattle; KUT Austin; WBGO Newark; WDUQ Pittsburgh; WFUV and WNYC New York; WGBH Boston; WGUC Cincinnati; WKSU/Folk Alley Kent, Ohio; WXPN Philadelphia; and American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio. All partners will provide content including live concerts, studio sessions, features and reviews. NPR Music also links to the live broadcast music streams of all participating stations. Additional stations and producers will join in the coming months.

“Since its inception, public radio has played a vital public service role in bringing all genres of music – and non-mainstream artists – to its listeners. The new NPR Music evolves the high-quality music journalism, performance and presentation that have been the longtime trademark of NPR, our 12 launch partners and public radio overall,” said Maria Thomas, Senior Vice President, NPR Digital Media. “With this site, we can serve millions of music fans through a content-rich single destination that not only unifies the breadth of music programming produced by influential public radio producers around the country, but also acts as a launchpad for original audio, video and expert opinion.“NPR and a strong network of public radio music stations have engaged in a variety of collaborative content projects over the past year that were well-received by listeners and served as the foundation for a larger shared effort. The new NPR Music service is the latest expression of that partnership and we’re delighted to be associated with these 12 station leaders.”

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