The grants, to be announced Monday, come just three months after NPR, which is facing financial difficulties, said it would cut 10 percent of its staff.
Almost $10 million of the new funding will go to development of what NPR calls a “seamless local-national listening platform” that will allow listeners to switch smoothly from, say, a clock radio to a web-enabled car.
Some larger public radio stations, as well as NPR, already have mobile apps, but listeners who want to aggregate programs and podcasts from numerous sources often use outside services, such as TuneIn or Stitcher, both of which also include commercial content.
NPR’s new mobile app, which is being developed with six local stations and is expected to go into public testing next year, will wrap together on-demand local and national public radio content to create playlists, partly driven by algorithms and using geo-targeting to pull in local news.
Interactive and shareable, “this app is clearly, we think, going to be very appealing to younger consumers of our content,” said Charles Kravetz, general manager of WBUR-FM in Boston, a pilot partner.
“It is a play to take control of our own content and to control the platform and delivery system as much as we can,” he said.
Via Pedro Taveira