Impact Report—April 2023
How APM Studios is creating a new generation of public media listeners
Donor support powers Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and American Public Media’s (APM) public service mission, making programs from APM Studios possible. Your generosity inspires and enables innovative content that makes history and science topics come alive for our youngest audiences.
APM Studios is the organization’s podcast division that specializes in developing and producing podcasts across multiple genres, including kids and family, news, and personality and lifestyle. Since its official introduction in 2021, APM Studios’ focus has been to reach younger and more diverse audiences where they are—listening to on-demand content. Growing our audiences to embrace these younger and more diverse listeners is a critical goal of MPR | APM in order to deliver on its mission to amplify voices that inform, inspire and include.
APM Studios is meaningfully moving the needle in this direction. In fiscal year 2022, APM Studios’ new innovations have audiences that are significantly more diverse and younger than APM’s established audience. These numbers reflect how your generosity enriches the lives of kids, families and all of our listeners through vital cultural programming. In turn, APM Studios’ podcasts fulfill our public service mission and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to be curious thinkers.
APM Studios is achieving these goals through its creative, deliberate and meaningful content. One such podcast that is connecting with both younger and more diverse audiences is Forever Ago, a history podcast for the whole family presented by Brains On!. Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary but are not—like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. The show makes learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history.
Forever Ago was relaunched in June 2022 and is hosted by Joy Dolo, a hilarious improviser, actor and teacher. The third season of Forever Ago will be released in May 2023.
Not only is Forever Ago entertaining, but it offers a refreshing take on history by featuring a diversity of people, cultures and stories—ones that are sometimes missed.
In its two seasons, Forever Ago has been hugely successful with over 3 million lifetime downloads. The show’s engaged audience is diverse, with 88% of listeners being under the age of 45, and 29% BIPOC.
APM Studios will continue to focus on audience diversity and inclusion in its programs as a fundamental part of building the future of public media.
THE JOY OF SWIMMING EPISODE:
In season two’s The Joy of Swimming episode, host Joy Dolo and co-host Brooklyn take the audience on a personal journey, exploring Joy’s own history with swimming along with an insight into the complicated relationship some Black people have with water. The episode looks at the history of swimming around the world and some of the misguided beliefs that led some people to think there was only one right way to swim. This episode has received over 70,000 downloads to date.
Numbers reported reflect the data as of February 2023.
of Forever Ago
of Forever Ago’s engaged
audience is under age 45,
53% of APM’s engaged
of Forever Ago’s engaged
audience is BIPOC,
14% of APM’s engaged
Forever Ago has grown the APM
Kids portfolio’s audience by
Hi, Forever Ago! I love your podcast so much. You talk about a lot of interesting, weird and often funny bits of history—the best kind, in my opinion. One of my favorite things about your podcast is how you discuss racism. It’s important to remember the hard parts of history and I thank you for including it.”
– Lilike, aged 13 (they/she)