New York Public Radio — the organization that includes classical music station WQXR, New Jersey Public Radio, and, of course, WNYC — just received a $10 million grant from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the New York Times reports. While $2 million of the new grant will go to supporting the radio group’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the remaining $8 million will help New York radio move into the future with Discover, a new feature of the WNYC app that will allow users to create downloadable playlists based on “topics that interest them and the amount of time they want to listen.”
Discover is intended to make it easier for listeners to find podcasts they already know and like, as well as to introduce them to shows they’re not familiar with. Clearly, the new setup was designed to appeal to two crucial New York demographics that, for either logistical or generational reasons, don’t listen to much radio: people who happen to be on the subway and people who happen to be young. And, as the Times points out, the technology will “also keep listeners within the WNYC ecosystem, where they can be encouraged to contribute financially.” Because what’s a public-radio listening experience without constant, smooth-voiced requests for cash?