Radiotopia on Kickstarter: Give Now for Great Radio!

Radiotopia is PRX’s podcast network. Today, we’re asking you to support our Kickstarter campaign.

Led by Roman Mars of 99% Invisible, this collective of seven amazing radio shows is forging new models for distributing and funding audio storytelling in the digital age. In a short time we’ve grown our audience, brought on enthusiastic sponsors, pooled our production talents, and collaborated on promotion.

We’ve built a strong core. Now, we’re ready for your help. We want to add more shows, grow our audience, and continue to shorten the ramp to sustainability for our producers.

Please give whatever you can, and tell your friends. Let’s make this one of the best Kickstarter campaigns ever. We’ve done it before

Get Your Car Talk Fix on Amazon
and Google Play

Some of you know that PRX is an iTunes label, aka content provider. That means that we can send public radio pieces to the iTunes Store for purchase and download. Car Talk logo We do this for a bunch of independent producers and leading shows, including The Moth, This American Life, and Car Talk.

PRX is proud to announce the arrival of Car Talk to Amazon and Google Play. You can find their albums, past episodes, and 50 of their favorite Car Talk Classics, just like you’ve been able to on iTunes. Car Talk’s Amazon and Google Play presence is thanks to PRX’s collaboration with DashGo, a direct distributor to these stores.

iTunes continues to dominate in music and audio sales. But for the revenue to add up, it’s wise to be in more places. We regularly track this shifting landscape, and Amazon and Google Play emerge as clear choices. Amazon has a significant share of the digital music market; based on our own limited sample, spoken word sales on Amazon are roughly 10% of iTunes. Google Play is nearly caught up with Amazon. Importantly, both are well integrated into the Android mobile experience, in ways similar to how iPhone owners use iTunes.

Digital sales distribution is another way that PRX forges new channels of revenue and reach for public radio makers. We think it’s a pretty great thing for listeners, too.

Indie Shows Join Forces For Radiotopia

Radiotopia logo

At PRX, we think of podcasts as digital-first radio shows. These shows may or may not ever be broadcast on terrestrial radio but we want them to reach new audiences, enjoy an active fanbase, and earn money that lands somewhere between compensation for time spent and fabulous wealth. Right now, that’s not happening often enough.

Today, PRX is proud to announce the launch of Radiotopia.

With the help of seven top-notch producers and the Knight Foundation, Radiotopia will mine the possibilities of a space full of shining talent, eager listeners, and new technologies. Call it a network, a collective, a coterie of awesomeness, whatever. The point is that a group of great storytellers is stronger than any one on their own, and PRX wants to wield that combined power to the benefit of everyone.

The inaugural Radiotopia lineup is:

  • 99% Invisible by Roman Mars
  • Radio Diaries by Joe Richman
  • Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
  • Strangers by Lea Thau
  • The Truth by Jonathan Mitchell
  • Fugitive Waves by The Kitchen Sisters
  • Love + Radio by Nick van der Kolk and Brendan Baker

Learn more about this dream team in the press release below. Subscribe to the shows via Radiotopia HQ.

And do the Facebook and Twitter thing for new episodes, new news, and to make us feel, well, heard.


PRESS RELEASE (PDF)

PHOTOS: http://imgur.com/a/cijMd

CONTACTS:

Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com, PKPR, 212-627-8098

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

PRX launches Radiotopia, new podcast network of story-driven public radio shows by industry’s best emerging and established talent

Knight Foundation funds new model for audience engagement and revenue growth in public radio

Cambridge, Mass. – Feb. 4, 2014 – To establish a model for sustaining quality, story-driven public radio shows, PRX, the award-winning public media company, today launched Radiotopia (radiotopia.fm), a podcast network of the best emerging and established talent. The launch is supported by $200,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

With Knight support, PRX will develop new audience engagement and revenue strategies toward a sustainable model for digital-first audio programming. The network will experiment with collaborative crowdfunding and new methods of sponsorship and cross-promotion, helping independent producers develop their programs over the long run. Together these insights will benefit PRX and the field as a whole.

“PRX is creating a platform where the art form’s innovators, risk-takers and most gifted producers connect with an audience, expand their own brands, and flourish,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “Radiotopia closes the gap between listeners who increasingly seek content on-demand and producers expanding the sound and experience of public radio.”

“PRX is responding to a demand for flexibility from listeners who are increasingly turning away from traditional news sources and platforms,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation VP/Journalism and Media Innovation. “With this as a basis, the network will create a model to reach and inform wide public audiences using digital platforms as a gateway to mainstream success.”

Radiotopia is anchored by 99% Invisible, the wildly popular design and architecture podcast hosted and produced by Roman Mars, who was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in 2013. Mars is program director of PRX Remix, PRX’s 24/7 story channel available on XM 123 and public radio stations nationwide.

Radiotopia’s inaugural lineup includes: Radio Diaries, the ordinary made extraordinary through first-person accounts exquisitely crafted by veteran producer Joe Richman; Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything, a surprising exploration of philosophy using a mix of journalism and fiction; Strangers, a fascinating look at how people connect in the modern world created by Lea Thau, former executive and creative director of The Moth; Love + Radio, an otherworldly journey into the minds of characters both seedy and sublime; The Truth, a fictional series breathing new life into radio drama by Jonathan Mitchell; and Fugitive Waves, an audio historical journey from the pioneering public radio production duo The Kitchen Sisters. Full descriptions are below.

The Radiotopia network roster will expand as PRX enlists new producers and programs that push the boundaries of storytelling and adopt a wide digital distribution model. PRX has a track record of introducing innovative new programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment and PRX Remix to millions of listeners across broadcast and digital, Shapiro said. Radiotopia will draw upon PRX’s technology, editorial, distribution and marketing expertise to cultivate a new generation of storytelling talent that resonates with today’s audiences.

Mailchimp has joined as a launch sponsor, and the network plans to test creative use of personalized email campaigns to support distribution, marketing and fundraising for Radiotopia programs.

Radiotopia’s inaugural roster is:

● 99% Invisible – With over 1 million downloads per month, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. The program explores design, architecture, and the 99%-invisible activity that shapes our world. The show is the brainchild of award-winning producer Roman Mars, who has been dubbed “the Ira Glass of design” by architecture and design columnist, Allsion Arieff of The New York Times. Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life, calls 99% Invisible “completely wonderful…entertaining, and beautifully produced.”

● Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything – Combining drama, essay and interview the show creates a new kind of audio experience. Recent stories have ranged from “work at home art” to a story about a former prisoner from Guantanamo Bay, and a meditation on ephemeral images in the digital age.

● Radio Diaries –Extraordinary stories of ordinary life, Radio Diaries offers first-person diaries, sound portraits and historical documentaries from award-winning producer Joe Richman and team.

● Fugitive Waves – From powerhouse producers, The Kitchen Sisters (Lost & Found Sound, Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls) this new show mines the Sisters’ deep archive of stories, lost recordings and shards of sound, along with new tales from remarkable people around the world. They are stories from the flip side of history.

● Love + Radio – Like nothing you’ve ever heard before, Love + Radio offers in-depth, otherworldly produced conversations exploring all of life’s gray areas on an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. The show gets inside the mind of a rogue taxidermist, a Mafia associate turned investigative journalist, a woman who gives away her life savings every night, and countless other inimitable and fascinating characters.

● Strangers – The brainchild of Lea Thau, who earned a Peabody Award for her work with The Moth, Strangers features true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that we aren’t even who we thought we were.

● The Truth – The Truth brings a modern radio storytelling sensibility to traditional radio drama, resulting in rich, evocative pieces that could be described as short films without pictures. Produced by Peabody Award winner Jonathan Mitchell, the show combines excellent writing with authentic, often improvised performances and rich sound design.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and Knight Foundation.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. www.knightfoundation.org

# # #

The Brilliance of Filmless

I’m fresh from the Third Coast Filmless Festival and feeling great. This tiny, vibrant gem of a festival is a weekend of calm in a storm of media distraction, and an inspiration to both producers and listeners.

filmlesslogo

Filmless is the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s answer to film festivals. There are “screenings” and “reels” – just no films. Instead, everyone sits in the dark, listening to audio pieces, from personal stories to documentaries to fictional drama. We laughed together, we laughed out of sync, and I know for at least one piece, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Roman Mars
Roman Mars talks podcasting.

You can view the entire program on the Filmless site, and look for the pieces on PRX, SoundCloud, and the producers’ own sites.

In addition to screenings, there were workshops. Our very own PRX Remix program director Roman Mars led a Podcasting session that, as a sign of our times, focused nearly as much on the fundraising needed to sustain the craft as on the craft itself. Meanwhile, volunteers at Lea Thau’s Storytelling session got a taste of The Moth’s brand of name-pulled-from-a-hat spontaneous storytelling.

Some of the questions explored over the course of the weekend:

  • In a nonfiction piece involving a horse from the 1830s, before recorded sound, is it ethical to include audio of a horse living now?
  • How much do you coach an interviewee to draw out the story you know they have inside?
  • Can you rearrange tape, sometimes phrase by phrase, even word by word, if you are keeping the meaning intact?
  • Is it cool to make a Cecil B. DeMille joke even if not everyone will get it?
  • How many podcast episodes do you have to make before you don’t cringe when someone compliments you?
Julie Shapiro
Julie Shapiro samples culinary art

Saturday night, the Short Docs Feast did something bold, risky, and awesome: Local chefs were invited to make dishes inspired by the winning audio works. Each chef served their dish to the producer, on stage, while describing their creative process. I now know how blackbird pie works. It’s a little shocking, but in a surprisingly appetizing way.

The event culminated with the Third Coast awards ceremony, emcee’d by Snap Judgment’s Glynn Washington. Winners walked away with funky trophies and a sense of recognition for their work.

Filmless showcases the state of the art, and it sounds wonderful. It inspires me and my colleagues as we work hard to get good audio out into the world and support the producers who make it.

The Moth App: The Art of Listening to Stories on Mobile

The Moth app splashWe’re proud to announce that The Moth is now mobile.

The Moth app for iOS and Android, developed by PRX, is the latest product of our ongoing effort to bring audio stories to the places — and devices — where people listen.

The app is also more evidence that great things happen when PRX and The Moth get together. Acclaimed public radio show The Moth Radio Hour, presented and distributed by PRX, is now on 260+ stations. (And yes, those episodes are on the app, too!)

Get The Moth app and start listening!
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(Cross-posted from our PRX Apps blog.)

The official press release is below.


THE MOTH APP BRINGS POWERFUL PERSONAL STORIES TO IPHONE AND ANDROID
Renowned storytelling organization partners with Public Radio Exchange (PRX)
for effortless, elegant mobile listening experience

New York, NY (October 18, 2013) – Renowned storytelling organization The Moth has partnered with Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to release a mobile app that gives listeners access to audio stories from The Moth’s live events, its top-rated podcast, and its award-winning public radio show, “The Moth Radio Hour,” distributed by PRX and produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media.

Moth stories span the great range of human experience. Storytellers come from all walks of life to stand in front of a live audience and tell their funny, sad, and moving stories without notes. The app features hundreds of the Moth’s stories, including rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels’ confession of his love for Sarah McLachlan, writer Malcolm Gladwell’s wedding toast gone horribly awry, and A. E. Hotchner’s death-defying stint in a bullring with his friend Ernest Hemingway.

The app’s minimalist design keeps the stories front and center:
• Favorite stories you want to remember
• Share stories you want others to hear
• Download any story for offline listening

“We are thrilled about the possibilities the Moth app brings to our listeners,” said Sarah Haberman, the Moth’s Executive Director. “It is the perfect storytelling hub where Moth fans can find and share their favorite stories, whether they appeared on our Radio Hour, our podcast or at a live event. The Moth could not have achieved this milestone without PRX, and we are confident the app will serve to strengthen and broaden an appreciation for the power of storytelling among current and future listeners.”

“The Moth apps marry PRX’s love of stories with our insights into how listeners access content on mobile devices,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “As public radio expands to serve audiences on emerging platforms, PRX and The Moth are pioneering new paths.”

The app was developed by Public Radio Exchange, which distributes The Moth Radio Hour, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Public Radio Exchange (PRX) has developed acclaimed apps for This American Life, PRX Remix, and Radiolab, PRX also just announced the second class for Matter, its media-tech accelerator that fuses the values of public media with Silicon Alley entrepreneurship (See coverage in NY Times, AllThingsD).

ABOUT THE MOTH
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.

Today, 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.

ABOUT PUBLIC RADIO EXCHANGE (PRX)
Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Reveal, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps including Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

# # #

Lots of News from PRX Remix

There’s lots happening at PRX Remix these days.

PRX Remix logo

Welcome, new Assistant Producer!
We are thrilled that Erika Lantz is joining Roman Mars and Sam Greenspan to make Remix even more awesome. Read her introductory blog post (a rite of passage for all PRX newbies) and say hello sometime.

Thanks to all who applied – it was quite a group!

We went mobile.
Many of you know that we recently launched a new name, new look, and new mobile apps. And a new website: http://prx.mx Short and sweet, so you can tweet

Roman, Erika, and Sam are Facebooking , tweeting twitter-bird-white-on-blue, and blogging recent Remix additions and general audio faves.

We’ve updated the license terms.
The new terms more clearly capture Remix’s expanding cross-platform nature. Please go here to review the new language. You can always manage your Remix permissions in My PRX under Outside Purchaser Preferences, or in Edit Piece.

PRX treats your work with respect and care. Remix is breaking new ground in the public radio and story listening experience, and we’re grateful for the role your work plays in this effort.

Any questions? Contact us.

PRX Remix App:
The Best Stories, In Your Pocket

Remix-app-playPRX is brimming with audio stories. A few years ago, we launched an XM satellite radio channel (XM 123) to showcase the best short pieces from PRX.org plus select podcasts. The channel quickly went from satellite to internet to broadcast. It’s listed in our Public Radio Player app, too.

But we feel this amazing channel deserves its own app.

Say hello to the PRX Remix app!

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It’s simply the beloved PRX Remix stream, the title and producer of each piece, and a couple of buttons for basic audio player things. It’s an app for people who don’t want too much choice, just great stuff. For people who don’t download podcasts because it’s too much work. For people who love stories.

Mostly, you put it in your pocket, or in the console between the front seats of your car (unless you have a really old car), and let curator-in-chief Roman Mars take care of that ‘What should I listen to?’ problem. Roman, by the way, is host of 99% Invisible among many other things, so he knows what he’s doing.

Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for funding this app – it’s one of their early forays into mobile.

(Cross-posted from our PRX Apps blog.)

The official press release is below.


To download photos and screen shots: http://imgur.com/a/YNG9l

PRX REMIX APP FOR iPHONE & ANDROID SHOWCASES CURATED MIX
OF THE BEST RADIO STORIES, AND PODCASTS FROM
THE MOTH, 99% INVISIBLE, SLATE’S GABFEST, STORYCORPS, AND MORE

PRX Remix serves up stories handpicked from
all corners of the audio universe
by Roman Mars, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People,”
and PRX editorial team

Cambridge, MA (Embargoed until July 9, 2013) – A new app launching today brings listeners a curated mix of the most compelling radio stories, fascinating interviews, audio documentaries, and intriguing sounds from popular shows to podcast gems like The Moth, StoryCorps, 99% Invisible, The Kitchen Sisters, and WTF with Marc Maron.

Aiming to be the greatest radio station of all time in your pocket, PRX Remix for iPhone and Android showcases a virtually endless stream of ear candy handpicked from all corners of the audio universe by PRX program director Roman Mars, who was recently named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People,” and the respected editorial team at PRX, the award-winning public media company. Creating a completely new listening experience that is fresh, thoughtful, and highly addictive, PRX Remix confirms that the digital era has sparked a new golden age of storytelling.

Drawing from PRX’s growing catalog of over 40,000 audio works by independent producers as well as local stations, PRX Remix offers over 2,400 short audio pieces, with new selections added on a weekly basis. At any given moment, listeners might journey seamlessly from Texas, where the Kitchen Sisters chronicle the history of the Frito, to the sounds of a Los Angeles intersection captured by Random Tape, a radio show dedicated to “the finest auditory ephemera.” In between, listeners will meet raconteurs from The Moth, be dazzled by the world’s brightest minds from PRX’s STEM Story Project, and be moved to tears and laughter by StoryCorps.

To mark the launch of the PRX Remix app, Mars selected his list of must-listen audio stories, all of which are in regular rotation on PRX Remix (see Mars’ list below).

With PRX Remix, listeners can hit play, lean back, and enjoy a steady stream of audio delights or skip through the selections to discover new favorites. The app keeps an archive of all listened-to stories so users can enjoy again, easily share with friends and post to social media. And for people on the go, in the subway, or on a remote stretch of highway, the app preloads up to one hour of audio without a network connection.

“We are all story-driven by nature, so we designed PRX Remix to be the single best source for your awesome audio fix,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “This isn’t yet another aggregator app – there are stories in PRX Remix you won’t find anywhere else.”

In addition to the iOS and Android apps, PRX Remix streams 24/7 on satellite radio (XM Channel 123), online at www.prxremix.org, and on a growing number of public radio stations across the United States, including Boston, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. The PRX Remix app was developed by PRX with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is among the first mobile projects to receive a grant from the NEA’s Arts on Radio and Television fund.

With the launch of PRX Remix, PRX continues to build on its track record of harnessing digital media and technology to bring compelling audio stories to a wider audience. PRX also created the Public Radio Player app, which offers access to 500+ public radio stations and 1000+ public radio programs and podcasts, and has developed apps for a roster of public radio superstars that includes Radiolab and This American Life. PRX is also a founding partner of Matter, the new media startup accelerator fusing the values of public media with Silicon Alley entrepreneurship.

Roman Mars’ Must-Listen Stories on PRX Remix

Ben Franklin death ray – The Memory Palace

Birth of the Frito- Kitchen Sisters

Red, White and Blue Bus – Third Coast

NIKKO- Concrete Commando – 99% Invisible

The Ground We Lived On – Sound Portraits

Beep, Beep – David Weinberg

Talk to Me About Love – Jill Dorothy Summers

Thao Nguyen Grandma – Stagedive

Nick: Home School to High School – Radio Diaries

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.

# # #

Updates to Outside Purchasing

Stations do most of the purchasing on PRX.org, but we also have a nifty system to easily connect you with non-station purchasers: the Outside Purchaser program. We’ve been working hard to grow this area as a promising way for the PRX producer community to reach more listeners and earn more revenue.

To power these efforts, PRX will start charging a 15% commission on each outside purchaser transaction (except Public Radio Remix and How Sound, since they’re run by PRX), starting today, July 1. This helps offset our growing costs in finding new purchasers, onboarding them, and managing permissions and payment. We advocate for good rates and terms for producers, and we matchmake purchasers with pieces so more gets bought.

Recent additions to the outside purchaser pantheon:

The latest list is always in My PRX, where you can also manage your opt-ins (i.e. give a purchaser advance permission to buy your piece if they want it). If you think you have something a purchaser might want, message them directly or let us know. If you know of an organization that wants to buy audio content, let us know that, too.

Radiolab App is a Webby Nominee. Please Vote!

Radiolab icon Another year, another Webby nomination, win, and/or honor. We’re proud to be recognized this year for our user experience design and development work on the Radiolab app for iOS and Android.

Please vote now to help us get a People’s Voice Award!

We worked closely with the Radiolab team and design gurus One Trick Pony to build a beautiful app that also does things. Listen to the entire archive, read the blog (yick alert: latest post is about eating cicadas), and even submit audio, text, or images in response to various assignments.

The sound of other people’s laughter is indeed contagious. This and thousands of other audio submissions can be heard here.


Did you vote yet?

(Originally posted on our PRX apps blog.)

Public Radio Player, Redone and Relaunched!

We understand that ‘downloading app update alerts’ might not be on your daily to-do list. But trust us, you want this one.

Welcome to the new and improved Public Radio Player app for iPhone developed by PRX.

  • New look and interface design
  • Better audio performance
  • Easy search
  • Station news and tweets
  • Donate to stations you love most
  • Listen to program episodes without an internet connection
  • See what’s playing now on Public Radio Remix, our 24/7 stream of stories

Learn more over at our apps site. | Get the app.

Don’t see a public radio station or program in the Player that you want? Let us know.