CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – May 12, 2015 – To help independent audio producers develop new ways to engage audiences, develop models for success and support new talent in public media, podcast network Radiotopia from PRX will expand with $1 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
"Radiotopia expanding and evolving with new Knight support" - on Knight Blog by Jake Shapiro
Knight support will enable PRX to provide more resources to Radiotopia’s producers, helping them to experiment with new business models. To this end, PRX will provide more production and logistical support to Radiotopia’s producers, increase operational capacity, market its shows to an even wider audience and double down on promising paths to sustainability. PRX will also hire an executive producer to provide leadership and promote collaboration across and beyond the network. Additionally, Knight support will establish a new pilot fund to identify and nurture diverse emerging producers and hosts.
“Radiotopia is at the epicenter of an expanding galaxy of audio stories and mobile distribution,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “Knight’s investment accelerates our path to reach new listeners, strengthen these shows, and establish a new model for public radio beyond broadcast.”
“PRX has grown Radiotopia to nearly 6 million monthly downloads in just over a year by focusing on quality storytelling and programming, but also an innovative approach to distribution and revenue generation,” said Chris Barr, Knight Foundation director for media innovation. “Their experiences can help establish a means for independent producers to become more sustainable and draw in new funding.”
PRX, the award-winning public media company, launched Radiotopia in February 2014 with $200,000 in support from Knight Foundation, in partnership with Roman Mars, known as an innovator for independent podcasts including his hit show “99% Invisible.” Radiotopia has quickly become the leader in today's audio storytelling renaissance by helping rising talent in the podcasting world grow their audiences, earn revenue and create the best work of their careers.
Last November, Radiotopia became the most-funded radio/podcast project in Kickstarter history, raising over $620,000 from over 21,808 backers, surpassing its original goal of $250,000. The Kickstarter campaign enabled Radiotopia to add four new shows: “The Mortified Podcast,” “Criminal,” “The Heart” and “The Allusionist.” They joined Radiotopia’s roster of envelope-pushing podcasts, including anchor program “99% Invisible” by Roman Mars, “Radio Diaries,” “Theory of Everything,” “Strangers,” “Fugitive Waves,” “The Truth” and “Love + Radio.”
Along with announcing the search for Radiotopia’s first executive producer, Radiotopia plans to announce new shows, initiatives and partnerships in the coming months.
For more information on Radiotopia visit radiotopia.fm.
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 tens of thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including This American Life, 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 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. knightfoundation.org
Patrick Kowalczyk, 212-627-8098, PKPR, [email protected]
Scott Piro, 212-627-8098, PKPR, [email protected]
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]