Category Archives: PRX in the News

PRX and the CPB economy collaboration

PRX is part of the CPB Digital Collaboration on the Economic Crisis, which is uniting public media outlets and helping them share content during these difficult times.

Here’s an excerpt from the official press release:

“The partners in this collaboration, including NPR, PBS, The NewsHour, PRX, The World (PRI), Marketplace (APM), Youth Radio, Capitol News Connection, Public Interactive and KQED, will provide comprehensive, thoughtful coverage of the American economy and its global linkages across multiple platforms. Content, including audio, video, blogs, podcasts, widgets and more will be available to all stations. Stations will play an essential role in customizing and delivering this content as well as in engaging their communities utilizing these resources.”

PRX’s sites, EconomyStory and EconomyBeat are part of our contribution to the collaboration.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent article on EconomyStory via American University’s Center for Social Media:

“One PRX-created site,, serves as a central hub for showcasing the tools and resources developed by partner organizations…I recently spoke with Laura Hertzfeld, Managing Editor of, who described the project. She notes that the site’s functions are multifold: it serves as a central spot to showcase and explain the work of the collaborators, it examines how current events relate to the collaboration, and it addresses the gap between local and national coverage on the economic crisis. ‘Public media does two things really well,’ explains Hertzfeld. ‘First, it’s good at looking at data and analyzing data and second, it’s good at telling great personal, human-interest stories. Economy Story is working to connect those two things.'”

In addition to EconomyStory and EconomyBeat, we are highlighting economy pieces in our newsletters and playlists on Are you a PRX producer or station? Post your economy work to PRX and let us know what you have!

PRX, the White House, and Innovation

Vince Stehle of the Surdna Foundation (long-time much-loved PRX backers) posted an interesting piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy on the dynamics of federal intervention in seeding innovation in technology.

PRX merits a mention, and indeed we are an example of successful collaboration between federal and foundation dollars to fuel an entrepreneurial approach to technology.

…Surdna was an early supporter of the Public Radio Exchange, an effort to harness the power of networked technology to deliver radio programs more cheaply and more broadly. In recent months, the exchange has led the development — with partners at Minnesota Public Radio and National Public Radio — of the Public Radio Player, a wildly popular iPhone application that delivers content from hundreds of public radio stations to iPhone owners everywhere.

As a grant maker, Surdna is occasionally congratulated for supporting innovative efforts like Public Radio Capital and Public Radio Exchange. It’s flattering. But the truth of the matter is that some of the most successful and innovative work we have supported was simply following in the footsteps of seasoned bureaucrats.

In particular, the first grants to the Public Radio Exchange and Public Radio Capital were both shepherded by the late Richard H.Madden, vice president for radio at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, who was a remarkably sensitive and farsighted steward for public radio, associated with many of the most enduring program innovations in the field of public broadcasting.

The full article is here.

Xconomy on PRX and the Public Radio Player iPhone app

Wade Roush from Xconomy came by PRX HQ last week and we ended up having a wide-ranging conversation about PRX’s history and current focus as well as our hot item at the moment – the Public Radio Player iPhone app that is garnering significant attention and usage.

Xconomy is a smart online news service focused on emerging business and technology in Boston, Seattle, and San Diego – the non-Silicon Valley hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurship. We read it regularly here at PRX so it was great to merit a big feature that digs deeper into the PRX story.

Here’s an excerpt, read the full piece here.

At first, the mission of the Public Radio Exchange was simple enough: Create an online clearinghouse for news-and-culture radio programming where public radio stations would have an easier time shopping for shows and independent producers would have a better shot at getting their stuff on the air. PRX launched that system in 2003, and it’s now used by 400 stations across the country. But one thing leads to another—and under the entrepreneurial leadership of its founding executive director, Jake Shapiro, the Cambridge, MA, non-profit has developed from a mere marketplace into an increasingly disruptive force in the public radio ecosystem.

CPB extends SoundExchange agreement, PRX included

Good news in the often contentious area of webcasting royalties – at least as far as public radio is considered. CPB and SoundExchange have reached agreement that extends the recently-announced two-year deal to a multi-year arrangement through 2015.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SoundExchange, the non-profit performance rights organization, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are proud to announce an agreement to govern royalty rates for webcasting through 2015. The agreement would allow CPB qualified stations, NPR member stations and NFCB participant member stations (along with NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange) to pay an alternate rate of royalties to artists and copyright owners whose recordings they stream over the Internet.

We’re grateful to CPB, the Station Resource Group, and others from public radio who helped work through the negotiations. As an open web-based distribution service for public radio PRX with tens of thousands of audio works often containing music, PRX is one of the more interesting examples of “webcasting” and we’re very sensitive to the need to balance the interests of rights holders, users, and new intermediaries like ourselves. With this agreement in hand for a solid span of the next 6 years we can start to plan some more innovative services using the PRX platform and our growing catalog of music-based and spoken word works.

Distribution as Promotion – Rekha on Growing the Audience

PRX’s Rekha Murthy was recently invited to add her thoughts to the Station Resource Group’s (SRG) collection of short essays on how to “widen the use and deepen the value of public radio’s service.”   SRG is putting the finishing touches on Grow the Audience – an important and much-anticipated research initiative funded by CPB. You can read more about the full project and download more of the preliminary reports and essays here.

Download the PDF of Rekha’s essay, excerpted here.

Distribution as Promotion
Setting public radio objects in motion

by Rekha Murthy
Public Radio Exchange (PRX)

Six years ago, I left NPR to work with Web and mobile media. Now I’m back in public
radio, with Public Radio Exchange, and I think of that time away as a really long aircheck.
I’m no longer the listener I used to produce for at All Things Considered: terrestrial
broadcast is only a fraction of a listening experience that has become fragmented and
dynamic. I stream station and show feeds from across the country, catching Morning
Edition on KCRW when I oversleep on a snowy morning, and sticking around for sunny
weather reports and Morning Becomes Eclectic. My browser’s bookmarks include On the
Media, Studio 360, This American Life, and All Songs Considered. I download podcasts like
World Cafe, alt.NPR, and The World Technology Podcast. I tend to listen to All Things
Considered by scanning the online rundowns and streaming only what grabs my interest.
Even when I do use my radio receiver, I’ll then go to the Web to email a good story or
episode to friends and post the link on a social bookmarking site. The Web is where I find
new listening, too.

This experience of fragmentation and recombination forms the basis of how I think about
growing the public radio audience.

Break Public Radio Down to Build It Back Up
Public radio is often talked about as a single entity. In some ways – such as mission and
standards – it is, and we should continue to raise public awareness at the entity level.
However, there’s another kind of outreach that has great potential in today’s fragmented
media landscape, one that wields public radio objects, not just categories or entities.   …

Read the rest of the essay here (PDF download).

Agreement Reached for Public Radio’s Webcasting Royalty Rates

After a long and winding road of discussions and negotiations, public radio now has an agreement covering payments for music rights for streaming internet radio. We are grateful that PRX is included in the agreement with NPR, American Public Media and Public Radio International.  Our colleagues at the Station Resource Group played a key role alongside CPB and NPR in hammering out the deal. Thank you! (and just in time for the Public Radio Tuner to take off…)

Here is the full press release on CPB’s site.

An excerpt:

The agreement establishes the amount of royalties that will be paid by CPB on behalf of the public radio system for streaming sound recordings on a variety of public radio websites during the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2010. The agreement […] will cover approximately 450 public radio webcasters including CPB supported stations, NPR, NPR members, National Federation of Community Broadcasters members, American Public Media, the Public Radio Exchange, and Public Radio International.

Both parties praise the agreement for reinforcing the value of artists’ performances, while recognizing the unique mission of public radio.

coming up: iPhone project

Karen Everhart of Current catches up on a new project that PRX is helping pull together – an iPhone application for public radio.

To be released early next year: a CPB-funded adaptation of the APM player to be developed by a partnership of NPR, APM, PRI, Public Interactive and Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

The jointly developed player will probably offer even more stations plus additional capabilities. It aims to let users find a local station by using the cell phone’s global positioning system capability, according to Jake Shapiro, PRX executive director. And it will allow searches for pubradio stations by format.

Read the full article on

We’ll be posting more on this soon, it’s an exciting project that charts new territory by bringing NPR, APM, PRX, PRI and Public Interactive together to collaborate in developing applications for public radio. The aim is to manage the resulting code and related parts in an open source approach that invites other public media partners to make use of what we’re building. article on iPhone project, PRX

The Millennials & GPRX on RadioMagOnline

The Millennials, that generation that grew up around the turn of the 21st century, have a whole different way of looking at the media. So how does radio connect with a generation that, as Matt Terrell writes in Reaching Millennials, is “no longer constrained to listen to whatever is on at the moment; we have audio at our fingertips — it is searchable, fast-forwardable, and subject to our whims?”

A former member of the Generation PRX Youth Editorial Board and producer leader at Savannah College of Art and Design’s SCAD Radio, Matt has insight into who’s reaching Millennials and valuable advice on how to do it. The vanguard case studies? NPR’s Next Generation Radio, PRX, GPRX and

“If you want to use new media tools and social networks, you have to respect them as the tools for social change and interaction like their Millennial creators view them. It’s a very common theme in new media research that users (especially Millennials) can sense a fakeness and distrust people who don’t use these tools in the right ways. The right way involves using the tools primarily for social uses rather than professional, and keeping a personal tone to created profiles and sites.”

Whether you’re six other people while you’re reading this, or still trying to figure out what i.m. is – Reaching Millennials on Radiomagonline is excellent food for thought.

NPR’s Next Generation PRX

We’re big fans of Doug Mitchell and his work at NPR with Next Generation, and it’s great to see it get some more well-deserved attention by Mark Glaser at PBS’s Media Shift. As Mark mentions PRX has been working with Next Gen, and we’re hoping to find more ways to connect more directly with our youth-radio project Generation PRX.

Not surprisingly, those twentysomethings have also pushed NPR further into the digital realm, creating an eye-catching blog and using Public Radio Exchange (PRX), an online marketplace for radio reports, to get wider distribution for their work.

PRX, an online exchange for radio producers and programmers, has played an important role in giving wider exposure to the young radio journalists. Jake Shapiro, executive editor of PRX, told me there are about 128 NextGen stories up at PRX, and they’ve been licensed more than 60 times by stations that ran the content.

“We made a concerted push to help get NextGen pieces on PRX, partly because too few of them saw the light of day on NPR programs and they are excellent pieces that stations have found lots of opportunities to air,” Shapiro said via email. “We also see great alignment between NextGen’s goals and PRX’s mission to help surface new voices and cultivate new talent…There’s a lot more that we could do together as part of a vital pipeline for new and diverse talent in public radio/media.”

Read the full piece here.

Current on PRX

Current has posted a long look at PRX in the wake of the MacArthur Award news, along with a nice sidebar linking to previous coverage and some highlights like Generation PRX and our Zeitfunk awards, which Current memorably describes as “a kitschy trophy topped with a shiny martial-arts practitioner frozen in mid-roundhouse kick”.

PRX launched in September 2003, the fruit of a brainstorm between SRG and independent producer Jay Allison. The idea was to use the Web to give station and independent producers a more convenient way to share work, while developing a deep catalog of pieces old and new.
The concept was “long tail” before Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson coined the term, says Jake Shapiro, PRX’s executive director since its inception. PRX recognized that “there was tremendous value in aggregating and making accessible some of the programs that have garnered so much energy, investment and work, rather than having them be ephemeral productions that air once or twice.”

Jeff Hansen, p.d. of KUOW/KXOT, praises PRX for its ease of use and for its promotion of independent producers, whom he believes public radio must support as “the next generation” of talent.

By empowering producers to handle their own distribution, he says, PRX may even be “the future of program distribution.” “What sense does it make to distribute someone else’s content, when that someone else can distribute themselves?” he says. “Why incur the cost of the middleman anymore, now that you have PRX?”

You can see the full Current coverage here.