Press Releases

JakeThe Moth Receives MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

Jake posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 | Blog, Press Releases, PRX in the News | 1 Comment

This is fantastic news, hot off the presses (full details below). Our friends and partners at The Moth are recipients of the prestigious “genius” award for nonprofits – The MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. This is a transformative grant, will help fuel The Moth’s remarkable expansion and the breakout success of The Moth Radio Hour. PRX has some personal experience with this having also been a recipient of this award in 2008, and we can’t wait to see what this leads to for The Moth.  

Congratulations!   –  Jake


For information, interviews, photos contact:

Patrick Kowalczyk,

Jenny Chang,

PKPR, 212.627.8098





$750,000 grant will enable The Moth to expand Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into weekly series and preserve its 15-year video and audio archive of live storytelling


New York, NY – The Moth, the non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, today announced that it has received a $750,000 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions that will allow it to expand its Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into a weekly series, as well as preserve its vast video and audio archive of live storytelling events from the past 15 years.

Presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the award recognizes The Moth’s role in promoting live storytelling to an international audience and “documenting our common humanity.”

Founded in 1997, The Moth ( will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this year. Since the first Moth evening in founder George Dawes Green’s living room in New York City, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.  Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

According to executive director Joan Firestone, the award will be used to increase the number of episodes of The Moth Radio Hour from ten each year to a weekly series beginning in January 2013. The MacArthur Foundation’s early support of The Moth Radio Hour contributed to its meteoric growth. Launched in 2009, the show is recognized as one of the most successful launches in public radio history, with more than 250 stations now airing the program. Presented by PRX (, The Public Radio Exchange, The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and by Catherine Burns, The Moth’s artistic director.

The award will also be used to preserve The Moth’s 15-year video and audio archive, protecting live stories of hundreds of storytellers from Malcolm Gladwell, Annie Proulx, and Al Sharpton to an astronaut, a pickpocket, and a hot-dog eating champion. In 2011 alone, more than 15,000 minutes of stories were recorded.

“Receiving the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions is an incredible honor for The Moth and a testament to the power of live storytelling,” said Joan Firestone, executive director of The Moth. “As The Moth celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, this award will enable us to take the organization to an exciting next level, reaching an even wider audience through our radio show, while preserving our vast archives for future generations.”

“From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They provide new ways to address old problems.  They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates.  And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size.”

The Moth is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for these awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur’s core programs.



The Moth is not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.

The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOP Community  Education Program, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved adults and high school students; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Corporate Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and The Moth Radio Hour, which is, produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange. The Moth Radio Hour airs on 250 public radio stations across the country.

The Moth’s executive staff are: Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director; Catherine Burns, Artistic Director; Sarah Austin Jenness, Producing Director; and the pro-active Board of Directors is represented by Anne Maffei, Chair.


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JakePRX to launch Public Media Accelerator with $2.5 million investment from Knight Foundation

Jake posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 | Blog, Press Releases, Tech | 7 Comments

I have exciting news to share, for PRX and public media.

PRX has evolved considerably over the past several years, focusing our strategy on three areas: Content, Distribution, and Leadership/Innovation.

In Content we are seeing great success with The Moth Radio Hour and other signature programs; in Distribution the PRX content marketplace is thriving, Public Radio Remix is a growing national format, and our mobile apps for public media are taking off with This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Public Radio Player and top station apps.

But it is in the third area of Leadership and Innovation – where projects like the Public Radio Talent Quest first emerged –  that I am bringing you news of a significant development we are announcing today: a new $2.5 million effort to spur innovation to advance public service media.

The press release below lays it out, and you can learn more at and by following @publicmediax.

We will soon be recruiting advisory board members and mentors, and are interested in key partnerships and sponsors. More on that front coming soon.



CAMBRIDGE, December 8, 2011 – A new effort will provide funding and expertise to entrepreneurial teams with innovative ideas for increasing the impact of public service media.

Called the Public Media Accelerator, the project will be launched and operated by PRX, and is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Modeled on technology startup incubators, the Accelerator aims to strengthen public media’s essential role in meeting community information needs across new platforms and devices.

“Forty years ago, public broadcasting harnessed the technology of the time to engage audiences with high quality content that was otherwise inaccessible,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We are expanding this vital service to include today’s pervasive and participatory media, particularly mobile.”

“Through funding more than 200 community information experiments, we’ve found that the models with the best success are nurtured through outside advice and expertise,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation’s vice president for journalism and media innovation. “We hope the Public Media Accelerator will bring public media’s quality journalism into more people’s lives, by using technology to expand its reach.”

The Public Media Accelerator will invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures, building apps, services and media products. It will showcase successful projects to additional funders and investors, and receive support through a partner and sponsor network.

The Public Media Accelerator will formally launch at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) conference in March in Austin and will name a director and advisory board early next year.

For more information and updates about the Public Media Accelerator visit and follow @publicmediax on Twitter.


PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. is public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use. Listen to Public Radio Remix, our continuous stream of the best radio stories, on XM123,, and a growing number of broadcast stations. Our apps for public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, and Public Radio Player. Learn more at

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

EmilyPress Release: The Moth Wins a Peabody

Emily posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011 | Blog, Press Releases | 2 Comments

We were thrilled to get notified yesterday that The Moth Radio Hour has received a 2010 Peabody Award. Our joint press release with our partners at The Moth and Atlantic Public Media is below, along with the video trailer for our new season of The Moth Radio Hour, opening May 1st.

The Moth Radio Hour is thrilled and honored to receive a 70th Annual Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media for 2010. The Moth Radio Hour is a production of The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to live storytelling. It is presented by PRX (Public Radio Exchange), and produced by Jay Allison and Viki Merrick of Atlantic Public Media.

“Storytelling, likely the oldest art, is revered and reinvigorated by this hour for everyday raconteurs,” write the Peabody judges.

Since its 2009 debut, The Moth Radio Hour has been an instant success, airing on more than 200 public radio stations and delighting listeners across the United States. It is one of an impressive 18 public media productions to win a Peabody this year.

“Just like our live shows, The Moth Radio Hour connects people everywhere through stories of bravery, wit, and humor,” said Joan Firestone, Executive Director of The Moth.

The Moth Radio Hour is a powerful selection of stories from The Moth’s live performance programs: The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth’s StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth’s community outreach program, MothShop, which brings workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard. The Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating.

The Moth Radio Hour is the realization of my ten-year-long dream to bring The Moth to public radio,” said Catherine Burns, Artistic Director of The Moth. “We have long felt that radio was the perfect medium for our stories, and we are touched by the generous response from listeners and stations.”

The Moth Radio Hour, hailed as “brilliant and quietly addictive” by London’s Guardian, features old-fashioned storytelling on modern themes by diverse raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors. The Moth organization was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate in New York the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, where moths were attracted to lights on the porch while he and his friends told tales.  Since then, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

“I love the feeling of The Moth.  You can feel the risk each storyteller takes, getting up before us to recount something spellbinding and real. It makes you recognize how rare it is to hear truly honest, vulnerable voices on the airwaves,” says Jay Allison, a veteran radio producer now with six Peabodys to his credit.

“Public radio at its best connects compelling stories to communities to make a difference. We are incredibly proud that Peabody recognizes The Moth Radio Hour‘s excellence, and can’t wait to bring more of it to millions of listeners,” says Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX.

The Moth Radio Hour is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Moth, Atlantic Public Media, and PRX congratulate all the winners of this illustrious prize.

For more information, visit,, and


JohnComing soon to PRX: American Routes

John posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011 | Blog, Press Releases | No Comments

There will be fireworks during the 4th of July this year for a special reason: American Routes is coming to PRX.

Host Nick Spitzer and crew have selected PRX to distribute the show.

As I said in the APM announcement about the switch in distributors:

“PRX is a big fan of American Routes and we welcome the opportunity to help guide the show and
stations through this transition and work with Nick and his team to make the most of PRX’s innovative distribution services.”

Many stations pair American Routes with one of our signature PRX programs, Sound Opinions. Sounds good to us! Stations can get some of the details here.

A big thanks to Nick and his NOLA crew for saying ‘yes’ to PRX. We look forward to seeing the series on PRX starting July 6!


EmilyREMIX Radio: It’s Terrestrial!

Emily posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 | Press Releases, PRX Projects | 2 Comments

After 16 months streaming on XM, REMIX Radio — PRX’s remix of amazing stories, cool podcasts and more — is now broadcasting on real-live radio-radio, from the brand new KPBZ 90.3 in Spokane, WA. Thanks KPBZ!

We received such great feedback from our XM listeners that our tech team and the good folks at Backbone Radio couldn’t help themselves but pull on their white coats, get out their test tubes and clone that friendly beast.  Now you can hear REMIX on terrestrial radio, on XM, online and on your iPhone and iPod too.

REMIX Radio is curated and hosted by Remixer-in-Chief Roman Mars, and streams 24/7. Hear what folks are saying!

Bravo. Only been on for a couple of days and don’t want to be without it. Bits on Mandela, border crossings, street dogs, mass hysteria… where have you been all my life? -Ralleuc, KPBZ listener

I was about to throw out my XM radio until you guys came along.  PRX is amazing, I love it.  -Richard, XM 136 listener

This is great. I recently moved to Spokane and…. I’m so excited to hear what you guys have to offer. I’ve been listening for a half-hour and have already heard a Bob Dylan song I’ve never heard and learned something new about Ben Franklin. THANK YOU! -Agille, KPBZ listener

I LOVE your channel.  It is the only one I really listen to and love on XM. Today, you had a piece from The Moth from 2006 around 1:45pm EST.  What a compelling man!  I had an appointment and had to leave the broadcast midway.  I simply cannot bear to not know the ending to the story!!! … Thanks, many blessings and thank you for the many amazing stories and pieces. -Karen, XM 136 listener

Amazing Stuff! -Purav, XM 136 listener

You should join in the fun!


JakePress Release: PRX raises $2.7 million for expanded services

Jake posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | Blog, Press Releases | 5 Comments

PRX Raises $2.7 million from Corporation for Public Broadcasting, MacArthur Foundation, and Ford Foundation

Plans expansion of distribution platform, content ventures, and mobile applications

Cambridge, MA (September 8, 2010) – Public Radio Exchange (PRX Inc.) has raised $2.7 million from three top investors in public media’s digital transition. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have committed multi-year funding to PRX – a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization.

“This round of support accelerates PRX’s momentum as the field’s leading innovator and collaborator,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We are embarking on a strategic expansion of our services to meet the extraordinary needs and opportunities in the transformation of journalism and media.”

PRX operates public media’s largest open distribution marketplace – offering tens of thousands of audio programs for broadcast and digital use, clearing rights and managing royalties for over 2,000 independent producers and stations. Signature programs from PRX include The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and the Vinyl Cafe.

PRX showcases creative stories from these programs and other top talent on REMIX – a new national channel available on XM 136 and coming soon as a broadcast, HD, mobile, and Internet service.

PRX connects content and distribution as the developer of the popular Public Radio Player and This American Life iPhone apps, with Android versions in development. PRX recently launched the WBUR Boston app, leading the rollout of PRX’s forthcoming mobile app platform, designed to make robust app development more accessible to a growing number of stations and producers.

“PRX is a catalyst for creating a next generation public media service,” said Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “Our support for both the REMIX project and PRX reflect CPB’s commitment to what we believe will be the key for public media’s growth in the 21st century – the ‘three D’s:’ digital, diversity, and dialogue.”

“PRX provides excellent leadership in the use of digital media in a multiple platform world and in forging new public-purpose services for new audiences,” said CPB’s Bruce Theriault, Senior Vice President for Radio. “PRX is one of the most innovative and collaborative forces in public media and CPB is pleased to provide multiyear funding along with the Ford and McArthur Foundations to support their work.”

CPB has awarded a grant of $1.5 million over two years for PRX, and has previously supported PRX with start-up, operating, and project grants.

“PRX has been a pioneer in developing creative approaches to delivering audio documentaries on important subjects to the public,” said Elspeth Revere, Vice President of the General Program at the MacArthur Foundation. “We see PRX as a leader in bringing high-quality and informative programs to new audiences using a changing set of technological tools. This is key to MacArthur’s goal of providing useful information to audiences in engaging formats to help them fulfill their roles as citizens.”

The MacArthur Foundation awarded a grant of $900,000 over three years to PRX. In 2008, PRX received the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

“The Ford Foundation is proud to support PRX as it continues to open the door for new voices in public media and beyond,” said Orlando Bagwell, Director of Freedom of Expression at Ford. “Their work at the intersection of technology and talent can help move public media forward in the US and serve as model through the world.”

The Ford Foundation awarded a one-year $300,000 grant to PRX, and previously included PRX in the five-year initiative, “Global Perspectives in a Digital Age: Transforming Public Service Media.”

About PRX

PRX develops innovative approaches that enable talented creators and engaged institutions to bring compelling and significant stories to millions of people.

First launched in 2003 as a project of the Station Resource Group in collaboration with Atlantic Public Media, PRX became an independent nonprofit organization in January 2009.

PRX employs 12 people based principally at its offices in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. In addition to philanthropic support, PRX generates revenue from content distribution and licensing, web and mobile advertising, membership fees, and individual donations.

The core PRX platform and services support broadcast and digital distribution through an open content marketplace for independent producers and local public radio stations. PRX has paid out over $1.5 million in licensing royalties to hundreds of stations and independent producers using the platform.

PRX is an innovation lab for a number of public media projects including Generation PRX – a network and resource center for youth media groups; the Public Radio Player – an iPhone and Android application aggregating local station streams and on-demand content; and REMIX – a national channel featuring diverse stories from and beyond the PRX content catalog.

In June 2010 PRX was announced as a winner of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge for StoryExchange – an open source collaboration with crowdfunding news startup

As public broadcasting charts a course to a more expansive definition of a public media system, PRX plays an indispensable role as an effective collaborator and trusted intermediary, providing leadership and services to the field.

JakePRX StoryMarket 2010 Knight News Challenge winner

Jake posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 | Blog, Press Releases | 2 Comments

Knight Foundation Logo
We are thrilled to announce that PRX has been selected as one of the 2010 Knight News Challenge winners for our StoryMarket project!

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge is a 5-year, $25 million international contest to fund digital news experiments that use technology to inform specific geographic communities.

What’s StoryMarket? It’s a way for local public radio stations, producers, and listeners to find and fund documentaries and stories on important local issues.

For example, in Kentucky the issue of mountaintop mining needs a deeper investigative look. Through StoryMarket, Louisville Public Media (our first partner station for the project) can invite producers to bid on reporting the story, ask listeners to help pitch in funds as well as ideas, and see the story through to completion for broadcast and digital distribution. Stories can also originate from listeners and producers, and we expect to learn what works best as we go.

We will certainly be learning from our other key partner – fellow Knight grantee, a pioneer in crowdfunding journalism. This is a code-level collaboration, integrating our two platforms (both Ruby on Rails at its best), and leveraging investments in open source infrastructure.
PRX StoryMarket
StoryMarket is a way to unlock communities of interest and a new means to fund coverage that matters on a local level. We see opportunities for new collaboration among stations, producers and listeners. has already seen this happen with forward-thinking public radio stations like KALW in San Francisco and others. Some of that crowd funded radio is already on PRX, and we want to see a lot more.

If you are an independent producer StoryMarket is a new source for funding original work. As we expand to more regions we will be testing approaches to matching compelling ideas with interested stations and other distribution opportunities. Distinct from – an open market for existing work – StoryMarket helps commission new work at professional rates for the best ideas.

If you are a fan of public radio, StoryMarket gives you a direct path into supporting the stories that matter most in your community. Nationally about 10% of listeners contribute financially to public radio, usually in the form of pledges to local stations. StoryMarket aims to expand with a new value proposition: don’t just support the programs you know and love, help us create the ones you need.

And, if you are a station, StoryMarket extends your capacity to find and fund important local and regional content that might otherwise be off the radar or beyond your means. It also starts a new conversation with your listeners, an engagement opportunity through a hosted service that won’t tax your tech team.

We’ll be starting work on StoryMarket this summer, planning to launch in Louisville this fall, and at least three more locations next year. But as with all things PRX we’ll be looking for opportunities to scale, collaborate, and grow early and often.

PRX has always focused on innovation at the intersection of talent and technology. StoryMarket is a new idea that drives public media towards a transformative role in journalism and society, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity for PRX to join the Knight Foundation’s extraordinary News Challenge grantees.

Here is a short presentation from the Knight Foundation announcement (click view on SlideShare to see notes for each slide):

And a quick video tour of all of the 2010 winners:

JakeComing July 1: Sound Opinions on PRX

Jake posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010 | Blog, Press Releases | No Comments

We are super excited to announce that starting July 1, PRX will be taking over distribution of Sound Opinions, the rock ‘n’ roll talk show from Chicago Public Radio:

Sound Opinions is your one-stop-shop for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week hosts and nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis talk about pop culture and music industry news, interview artists and bands, review new record releases, and highlight their all-time favorite rock and roll. And, because on Sound Opinions, “everyone’s a critic,” listeners are invited to join in the debate.

Check out this video announcement from the Sound Opinions hosts:

Stations that want to license Sound Opinions will be able to get it via or Content Depot.

Questions? Check out our Sound Opinions page and FAQ, and feel free to get in touch.

JakeMacArthur Foundation Announces Support for The Moth Radio Hour

Jake posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Blog, Press Releases | No Comments

The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to live storytelling, is thrilled to announce a two-year $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to produce The Moth Radio Hour.

Debuting in 2009 with five pilot episodes, The Moth Radio Hour was an instant success airing on over 200 public radio stations around the country. “The Moth Radio Hour is the realization of a ten-year-long dream to bring The Moth to public radio. We have long felt that radio was the perfect medium for our stories to reach a wider audience, and we are grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for making this possible,” says Lea Thau, Executive & Creative Director of The Moth.

The radio series captures the energy and authenticity of live performance at The Moth and weaves it into a compelling hour of radio. Presented by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, and produced by award-winning producer Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media, ten new episodes will be available to public radio stations for broadcast in 2010.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, The Moth is building on the success of the pilot season. “I love The Moth. It is elemental, even primitive, in its simplicity: One person stands up and tells a story to a crowd of eager listeners. The only thing missing is the cave and the fire. The only thing we add is a microphone,” says Producer Jay Allison.

Originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch in Georgia (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen), and then recreated in a New York City living room, The Moth quickly grew to produce immensely popular events at theaters and clubs around New York City and later around the country.

“Public radio is powered by true stories that illuminate the human condition,” says Jake Shapiro, Executive Director of PRX. “The Moth introduces new dimensions through live performances as well as online participation.”

PRX first funded a sample hour of The Moth in 2007 and is now the exclusive distributor for the program on public radio.

The Moth 2010 series is available to public radio stations at beginning May 1.

About The Moth
The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs, all of which contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour: The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth’s StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth’s community outreach program, MothShop, which brings workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Two additional projects are launching in 2010: The Moth StoryLine invites people to pitch story ideas online or through a toll-free hotline; and the MothUP program helps groups around the country form their own Moth storytelling groups in their homes and submit the recorded stories from these evenings to The Moth.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning public media network focused on innovation at the intersection of technology and talent. The PRX platform is an open distribution marketplace connecting thousands of producers and local public radio stations, creating public radio’s largest archive of on-demand programs for broadcast and digital use.

About Jay Allison
Jay Allison is an independent broadcast journalist and Executive Director of Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. With APM, he co-founded PRX,, and the Cape and Islands public radio stations. Jay was the curator and producer of This I Believe on NPR, and has made hundreds of documentaries and features for national broadcast. He is the recipient of five Peabody Awards and CPB’s Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio.

New, improved Public Radio Player now live in iTunes

Rekha posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 | Press Releases, PRX Projects | 3 Comments

Here’s what we’re sending around the public radio system today:

The Public Radio Player iPhone app: Nearly 500 live station streams. One thousand on-demand programs. Downloaded millions of times.

And now new funding, new features, new opportunities.

We’re excited to announce that CPB has renewed support for the next phase of the Public Radio Player. PRX is leading the project and continues to work with Public Interactive as a source of station schedule data and on-demand programs from the NPR API.

As you may know, the Public Radio Player came out of a CPB-funded collaboration of APM, NPR, PRI, and PI, led by PRX. That first grant ended last summer, but the Player lives on with thousands of new users downloading the app every day.

Version 2.1 has just gone live in the iTunes Store, and we’re starting work on version 3.0 coming in June.

Get the app here:

For version 2.1, we’ve rewritten the code from scratch to greatly improve performance. PublicRadioPlayerAlarmClockWe’ve also added top-requested features – a sleep timer, wake-up alarm, and the ability to manage Favorites. We’ve improved the On Demand program player, and integrated Safari so users can browse station websites from within the app.

Version 2.1 will also include national banner ads on top-level pages, but not on station or program pages. CPB has encouraged us to find ways to sustain the project beyond grant support so this is our first foray into mobile advertising. We are working to make it possible for stations to sell local ads on their own Player pages. You can see a pilot of this on WBUR’s Player page now.

Version 3.0 will have additional enhancements and a broader rollout of local station ad support. While we continue to investigate ways to support donations, membership, and pledging, this is a complex issue due to Apple’s no-donation policy as well as stations’ own systems. Local ads could be a significant revenue opportunity for stations with local underwriters interested in the mobile audience.

No iPhone or iPod Touch but full of curiosity? Watch this demo video of an earlier version.

Over the next few months, we will be reaching out to the public radio community for Player feedback and ideas.

There are several ways to stay up to date with the project and share questions and comments:


Jake Shapiro and the Public Radio Player team @ PRX

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