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Most Licensed Story Lengths

We often get asked from producers, “How long should my story be?” To which we respond…”It depends.”

It’s a great question though, so we thought we’d dive-in a little bit more and show you some stats from the past year.

Image via Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

The Most Licensed Story Lengths of 2014:

55-60 min. (14375 licenses)
0-5 min. (6134 licenses)
50-55 min. (4928 licenses)
5-10 min. (2469 licenses)
115-120 min. (1952 licenses)
25-30 min. (1917 licenses)
20-25 min. (1817 licenses)
10-15 min. (886 licenses)
30-35 min. (533 licenses)
110-115 min. (451 licenses)

Cool numbers but, what does this mean?

Well, first, keep in mind that this is the current licensing habits of the stations on PRX and not reflective of what we think is awesome. We understand there is so much rad work out there that might not fit into a broadcast clock.

To answer your question though, these numbers mean that the most licensed type of work on PRX is the hour-long, weekly series and this has to do with a) the broadcast friendly length and b) that it is recurring content which is licensed every week. Often stations are trying to fill holes during long weekends, or they need to pick up a weekly show to fill their schedule.

And what’s up with those 0 to 5 minute stories?

These numbers also suggest that shorter stories (meaning under 5 minutes) do well also.

Stations often use these to fit into Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Or, some stations have shows where they regularly feature stories from PRX, for example, KFAI’s Listening Lounge. Another great example is our own PRX Remix which is regularly licensing shorter works of around 5 to 10 minutes in length.

Don’t be discouraged, but do keep yourself informed. Check out the new NPR broadcast clocks and start thinking about the length of your story and whether or not it is helping your chances of being licensed by a station.

That’s all well and great but I’m a podcaster and I don’t care about being licensed by stations.

Great, in that case, screw the clocks! Listen to this episode of 99% Invisible and read this article by Julia Barton about the difference in editing for podcast versus broadcast.

Check out more interesting stats from our annual awards ceremony, Zeitfunk 2014.

Zeitfunk 2014: Most Licensed Story

The Most Licensed Story category is open to any individual piece on PRX that was not not part of a recurring series.

Here are our top 10 most-licensed stories on PRX.

Check out the rest of the Zeitfunk categories as well as other useful stats and facts.

#Zeitfunk2014 on Twitter.

Zeitfunk 2014: Most Licensed Series

The Most Licensed Series category is open to series on PRX that were not part of an annual subscription. Other popular series not listed because they are subscription-only include This American Life, The Moth, the WFMT Network, Sound Opinions and more.

Here are our top 10 most-licensed series on PRX.

*WINNER* Folk Alley (1,845 licenses)
Moyers & Company
Global Village with Chris Heim
Vinyl Cafe
The Bluegrass Review
99% Invisible
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era
Blue Dimensions
The Latin Alternative
L.A. Theatre Works

Check out the rest of the Zeitfunk categories as well as other useful stats and facts.

#Zeitfunk2014 on Twitter.

Zeitfunk is coming…

Zeit-what? That’s right. We’re tallying up the numbers, licenses and listens for our annual Zeitfunk Awards. For the uninitiated, check out Zeitfunks past.

We’re doing things a little differently this year and will be announcing our nominees next week, with winners being announced February 9.

Who was the most licensed producer in 2014? Or the most listened-to show?

Stay tuned to find out if you’re a nominee!

What to Listen to During Snowmageddon 2015

Imagevia Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

If you’re in the Northeast then you’re (hopefully) aware of what is about to go down, weather-wise. It just started snowing here in Cambridge and it’s pretty light…FOR NOW.

In anticipation of being trapped in our houses, we’ve put together a playlist of stories for the snowbound.

Some of the stories celebrate snow while others celebrate…Hawaii. We’ve got entertaining listens as well as meditative ones. Some new Radiotopia episodes as well as the classic Joe Strummer’s London Calling which we highly recommend for cabin fever.

Grab a hot toddy and enjoy the full playlist here.

Best Youth-Made Radio of 2014

Image via Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

Thank you to everyone who nominated their favorite youth-made stories of the past year. Young people are making a tremendous amount of radio and we want to highlight some of that work. Keep it up!

Thanks also to the amazing educators out there training the next generation of radio-makers.

Take a listen to these stories which range from a teen’s take on life in poverty to a story about Costa Rica’s culture of conservation.

We encourage you to reach out to these young producers and comment on their story to tell them what you think.

Happy listening!

The Future of State of the Re:Union

Dear Stations,

Seven years ago, the CPB-funded “Public Radio Talent Quest” went looking for new voices. A defining quality of the search was “hostiness,” people an audience would want to spend time with, and explore with. One of those voices was Al Letson, who created and has been producing State of the Re:Union since 2008 for NPR, PRX, and the more than 200 stations that have supported each season.

This winter, Al Letson will partner with PRX to host Reveal, a new, weekly investigative news program from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Watch for Reveal‘s debut in January 2015.

In turn, in Spring 2015, following the release of new Black History Month (February 2015) and National Poetry Month (April 2015) programs, State of the Re:Union will end production of its 10-programs-a-year seasons. However, Al and WJCT (SOTRU’s producing station) are exploring opportunities for additional SOTRU specials in 2015.

The 2014 fall season of five SOTRU programs is available now to all NPR Member Stations, on both Content Depot and — have a listen now. It’s filled with the kind of work that won Al Letson and producer Laura Starecheski an Edward R. Murrow Award for the episode, “The Hospital Always Wins,” last season. SOTRU has been recognized with the Murrow two years in a row.

NPR and PRX’s collaboration with Al, CPB and WJCT/Jacksonville to share the program is something we’re all are proud of. Keep an eye out for more on Al’s new show, as well as details on possible SOTRU specials in 2015. We thank the stations who have and will continue to present Al Letson’s work, and the man himself for telling the story of America, one community at a time.


Israel Smith, NPR
John Barth, PRX

Second Annual Gift Guide for Audio Producers

The holidays are right around the corner and we wanted to provide a little gift guide for the producers and audiophiles among us. You may be one of these people or you may know or love one. Producers, it might be a good idea to casually slip a link here to your friends and family, just in case they need a little help.

Let’s get started!

  • Gear! We love gear. Last year, Transom put together a really comprehensive list of equipment. Peruse the list and see if any of these microphones, monitors, cables and more may be up your alley.
  • Tivoli Radio Silenz Headphones. Enter to win!
    Tivoli Radio Silenz Headphones. Enter to win!
  • Tivoli Audio Radio Silenz Active Noise Canceling Headphones. So beautiful we could weep. Lucky for you, we are giving away a pair of these babies. Contest Ends December 18. ENTER NOW.
  • A battery tester. Thanks to Dave Goodman for the pro-tip!
  • A PRX membership. For $50/year, help that special producer in your life get their stories out into the world! Get in touch.
  • Pidgey beany (!!!) and lots of other great stuff in the Third Coast International Audio Festival merch shoppe.
  • Hindenburg editing software. Affordable, designed for radio producers and you can publish right to PRX. Seriously, these guys know what they’re doing.
  • AIR membership. The Association of Independents in Radio is a great place to learn, find gigs and connect with other indies. Get a gift membership!
  • IMG_0633_1024x1024

  • Listening to The Moth while drinking a warm beverage of choice from a Moth mug sounds like a great way to spend the holidays, no?
  • A donation is the gift that keeps on giving. Consider donating to their (or your!) favorite show, local public radio station, podcast network, or radio/audio non-profit.

Happy holidays! Let us know in the comments what you would add to this list.

Santa image by Page Dooley

More listeners and more listening

We’ve released an exciting change at PRX today: non-logged-in visitors to will see our new story page, like this.

Why does the piece page (now a “story” page) look different?

For the love of listening. Millions of people visit who want to hear your stories and we want them to have a simple and awesome listening experience.

We’ve been working on this experience for months — designing, coding, testing, and making changes so we can encourage more people to click play and listen for longer periods. The data we’ve collected so far shows that the changes we’ve made have resulted in just that.

When people visit on their mobile phone, tablet, or desktop they’ll see a large play button that makes it simple for them to hear your story. We’ve also removed the bulky listener signup process, a high hurdle for most listeners that resulted in most of them not hearing your work. Moving forward it is dead simple: send someone a link to your PRX story and with a single click they can start listening.

I’m with a station or outside purchaser. How do I license?

You won’t be able to license just yet from the new pages. To license a story, just sign in, and you will see the old site with the “Buy” button.


I still see the old piece pages. Where are the new ones?

When logged-in — which is most station staff and producers — you will see the same look and experience that you are familiar with. Nothing is changing yet for people who are logged-in. We’re working on the whole site: improvements to uploading, how stories are curated and found, and so on. Stay tuned for updates.

For over 10 years PRX has been the distribution pathway for producers to have their work licensed by stations for broadcast. With updates like these we’re also making PRX a great place for listeners to hear your stories.

If you have questions, feedback or thoughts we’d love to hear them.

What to Listen To on Your Thanksgiving Road Trip

Via Shutterstock.
Via Shutterstock.

It’s Turkey Time! As you make your way to your mama’s house, here are some holiday travel picks from Audrey & Genevieve at PRX.

Simply amazing listens:

  • Best of the Best: all the Third Coast winners in one place.
  • Radiotopia! Subscribe to all of the shows and load up with episodes for offline listening for those train, plane and car rides.

To get you in the holiday spirit:

On America and travel:

On the best topic…food!

Happy travels!