January 8, 2019

Remote Audio Data: The Next Generation of Podcast Analytics – The Innovation Engine Podcast, with Stacey Goers of NPR

For a special episode of The Innovation Engine, we talk about a new way of measuring podcast analytics that was recently unveiled by NPR called Remote Audio Data, or RAD for short. Among the topics we cover are why RAD was created, what the process was like for bringing it to life, and what comes next now that NPR is opening RAD up to the open source community.

Stacey Goers, a Product Manager for Podcasts and Social at NPR, joins us to discuss those topics and more. For the last year, Stacey has been leading the team responsible for developing RAD. That meant working with a wide range of podcast publishers and media companies to determine what RAD should become.

The media companies that support RAD and were instrumental in its development include Cadence13, Edison Research, ESPN, Google, iHeartMedia, Libsyn, The New York Times, New York Public Radio, Voxnest, and Wondery. There are also numerous organizations committed to using RAD, such as Acast, AdsWizz, Art19, AllSound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studio, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton Digital, WideOrbit, and Whooshkaa. Among the organizations responsible for helping bring RAD to life was 3Pillar.

For more information on RAD, you can read this blog post Stacey wrote on NPR’s website announcing RAD’s release.

Listen to the Episode

Tune in to the full episode of The Innovation Engine below.


  • Why did NPR want to create RAD? In 2014, when NPR first launched the mobile app NPR One, they realized that it “opened a huge great world for us,” Stacey says. They were suddenly able to see how their audience was actually interacting with their content – like when listeners dropped off of an episode and what length of pieces engaged the audience – and then make decisions based upon that.
  • One of the big reasons RAD is so important for the podcasting industry as a whole is that ad revenue for podcasts is growing rapidly. According to IAB, podcast advertising in the U.S. jumped from $169 million in 2016 to $314 million in 2017, and they’re projecting that it will hit $659 million by 2020.
  • RAD was officially launched in December, and it’s now being open sourced by NPR, which means that outside developers with an interest in contributing to the project can do so. So, what’s next on the roadmap for RAD? NPR is focusing, first, on full implementation with ad tech or hosting providers. They need to be able to understand it and use it because that’s what so many of us in the podcasting space rely on, NPR included. “But most importantly, if you’re a mobile developer, and if you are included in a podcasting app, or if you’re just overall interested, we know we really want folks to review that code and really give feedback on it,” Stacey says. “We know there’s a lot of smart minds out there, and I think we would really like to see that feedback. So, it’s only been a couple weeks, and we’ve seen some come in, but I really hope for more in the next couple weeks as well.”



Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on iTunes. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Stitcher Radio, Spotify, or SoundCloud to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.