NPR officially announced the launch of its NPR One app on the latest-generation Apple TV Tuesday, giving users another way to access news, podcasts and live streams from the public broadcast network and its local stations. NPR Chief Digital Officer Tom Hjelm also told Variety that the broadcaster is working closely with Apple to bring public radio to the company’s HomePod smart speaker.
NPR launched NPR One about three years ago as a way to make its programming available on demand on mobile devices. Since then, NPR has added podcasts and live streams from local NPR stations, and brought the app to additional platforms, including Chromecast, Fire TV, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The new Apple TV app, which was developed by Bottle Rocket in cooperation with NPR, now makes the same programming available on 4th-generation Apple TV devices. “It’s another weapon in our arsenal,” said Hjelm.
Next up will be an integration into Apple’s HomePod, which the computer maker already teased on stage at its WWDC conference earlier this month. “We will be working closely with Apple,” Hjelm said. He went on to argue that voice-activated speakers represent a great opportunity for public radio. “Screen-less experiences — that’s kind of our DNA.”
Hjelm said that listening from smart speakers is still dwarfed by the volume that NPR sees from mobile devices, but argued that there is a lot of potential for these kinds of devices. “We are very, very bullish about this space.”