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 BIZLAB COHORT

Through 2019, with CPB and Knight funding, BizLab is working with stations across the country to identify new opportunities for revenue and then test them in-market. Each of these stations is working with BizLab for six months, following the methods of user-centered design and lean startups. 

BIZLAB'S LATEST EXPERIMENTS

Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: The Future

Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: Numbers & Lessons

Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: The Strategy

Identifying Revenue Potential For Events at WBUR CitySpace

Exploring the Potential of Affiliate Marketing: The Challenge

BIZLAB WEBINARS

September 2019 Webinar – Content Converts: Technologies That Are Bridging the Gap Between Engagement and Revenue

July 2019 Webinar: Transactional Business Models in Nonprofit Media

April 2019 Webinar: Fundraising Through Kickstarter Campaigns

February 2019 Webinar: Podcast Donation Experiments

Team

JOAN DIMICCO

Executive Director

Sarah Bloomer

Experience Strategist

Lindsy Goldberg

Program Manager

Ted Fuller

Business Technology & Analytics Lead

Nancy Mann

User Experience Research

Matt Aufiero

BizLab Fellow

Sarah Barden

BizLab Fellow

Brian Kelley

BizLab Fellow

2018 BizLab Fellows

Research Fellows join us during the summer to run 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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