‘NPR Mobile’ Launches

Ten non-commercial stations are taking part in the launch of NPR Mobile for both Web and voice.
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Ten non-commercial stations are taking part in the launch of NPR Mobile for both Web and voice.

These are new co-branded services that bring local and national public radio content to users of mobile phones and handheld devices.

NPR Mobile Web uses a wireless access protocol to deliver audio, text, pictures and video to handheld mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs. Users access a Web site through their mobile device, one that is optimized for small screens and formatted for each device’s capabilities. Neither NPR nor stations charge for the service.

Using NPR Mobile Voice, consumers can make a phone call to access their local station and NPR content through a menu using interactive voice response (IVR) technology. The phone number works on any type of mobile phone, regardless of carrier, as well as through landlines.

The project is interesting because it enables stations to diversify their distribution platforms and feeds into the “I want my news and entertainment wherever and whenever I want” mantra expressed by the youth that radio’s trying to recapture these days.

NPR member stations taking part in the project are Capital Public Radio, Sacramento; KPBS, San Diego; KPCC, Los Angeles; KPLU, Seattle/Tacoma; KQED, San Francisco; KUT, Austin, Texas; Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland, Ore.; WAMU, Washington; WFAE, Charlotte, N.C. and WUNC, Chapel Hill, N.C.

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