WBUR’s BizLab is an innovation lab developing and testing new models of support for public radio. Operating as a lean startup, BizLab is a team of product managers, experience designers, and business analysts. We work with public radio stations to uncover new avenues for revenue generation, distinct from traditional approaches including on-air drives, direct mail, and underwriting.

WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, created BizLab in 2015 believing it is critical that public media invest in innovation and experimentation to identify new revenue channels to sustain public radio into the future. Given the changing landscape of journalism, media consumption, and digital advertising, there is an increasing urgency to test and measure the effectiveness of different funding models. 

2019 WBUR BizLab Summit

December 10, 2019

WBUR’s BizLab and NPR stations from across the country met for a day of learning about methods, techniques, and ideas for new revenue streams in public radio

The BizLab Innovation Process & The 2019 Station Cohort

What Your Time of Day Traffic Patterns Reveal About Your Site

New Revenue From Event Donations & Ticket Sales

Surveying Your Audience to Identify Revenue Opportunities

Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: The Future

November 2019 Webinar: Aligning Content Plans With Revenue Goals

September 2019 Webinar: Technologies Bridging the Gap Between Engagement and Revenue

July 2019 Webinar: Transactional Business Models in Nonprofit Media

April 2019 Webinar: Fundraising Through Kickstarter Campaigns

Summit Panel Recap – Podcast Donations: Methods That Work

Summit Panel Recap: Launching a New Brand At Your Station

Summit Panel Recap: Editorial and Business Working Together

Summer ’19 BizLab Fellows: Takeaways from an Interview

Team

JOAN DIMICCO

Executive Director

Sarah Bloomer

Experience Strategist

Lindsy Goldberg

Program Manager

Ted Fuller

Business Technology & Analytics Lead

Nancy Mann

User Experience Research

2018-19 BIZLAB FELLOWS

Wendi Ding, Cynthia Yue, Suzie Hicks, Matt Aufiero, Sarah Barden, and Brian Kelley have joined us during summers to run revenue experiments.

WBUR

Our Station Collaborators

Funding

BizLab is funded through the generous support of WBUR, individual donors, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Knight Foundation, and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

“CPB has been supporting journalism capacity building among public media stations for many years, and this project will find new, innovative ways to sustain that important work. Keeping audience at the center of the project is exactly the right business approach and should provide valuable lessons for the entire public media system.”

Kathy Merritt

“The way people consume news and information continues to transform at an accelerated pace. As listeners increasingly turn to digital and on-demand methods to access news, it’s critical for public radio stations to collaborate and exercise new strategies that bolster audience retention, engagement and support.”

Jennifer Preston

“WBUR will expand efforts in earning revenue by exploring new mechanisms for listeners to purchase items through affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing has been successful for publications such as The New York Times with the Wirecutter. We want to see if that success can be translated to the local level, which doesn’t have as much scale.”

Burt Herman

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