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Posts Tagged ‘PRX’

A Radio Revolution: Radiotopia Announces 3 New Shows and Hits Kickstarter Goal

For podcasters, it’s been a busy month of fundraising. First, “Snap Judgment,” reached their fundraising goal to produce the best next season ever and then, this Tuesday, Radiotopia reached their Kickstarter goal with 23 days left to go.

Maybe it really is a radio revolution — centered on good storytelling and journalism. PRX has estimated that it takes about 50,000 core subscribers to ensure a podcast will be of interest to sponsors and pay its staff. By relying on listener support, philanthropy, and subscriptions, Radiotopia has grown substantially since its launch this past year. So when did radio become cool again?

PRX CEO Jake Shapiro says that:

It hasn’t been until really in the last two years that podcasting has become a mainstream audience format, it was always a niche format, because it was hard to use as a user. But now that everyone has been trained to think about on demand media, like Netflix, audio has now had this huge opportunity to become a mainstream platform of news and entertainment. Read more

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NPR’s ‘Snap Judgement’ Looks for Millennial Support on Kickstarter

Do you want the biggest, baddest season of Snap Judgement ever?  How anyone could resist Glynn Washington‘s request for donations is beyond me.

Washington, the host of the Snap Judgement podcast you can hear on NPR, and his team are trying to attract new audiences and raise funds for their next season. Snap Judgement is one way public radio has reached out to millennials; in their own words the show is about engagement, according to a release about the crowdfunding:

For the past few years, this multi-platform radio show, unlike any others on NPR, has been drawing from across the demographic spectrum.  Storytelling with a beat, the show uses music and video, incorporates live stage productions that sell out nationwide, encourages web downloads, Twitter and interactive dialogue. In short, Snap Judgement is everything public radio is not known for.

Even more interestingly, Washington says in the video that they’re hitting up the audience last in their fundraising. With backing from PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he ditches the usual public radio drive schtick of: “you owe us, really, for all the good that we do,” and gets right to the point: donate for a t-shirt or concert tickets. Donate because you actually like us; which is what Kickstarter is all about to.

The campaign ends on October 10th and they’re almost at their goal of $150,000 to keep the lights on. If you donate, they’ll produce the “biggest and baddestseason yet. It’s not a bad deal. Especially if you can make public radio cool again (was it ever?).

The (Digital) Radio Star Lives: PRX Launches Podcast Network for Story-Driven Journalism

radiotopia finalThis week, PRX announced the launch of Radiotopia, a podast network for story-driven journalism, backed in part by a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, likens Radiotopia to an independent music label:

The analogy works in two ways. We’re trying to create a collective around a particular sound and approach in style so these artists, essentially, share an affinity for story driven, high quality audio inspired by public radio but designed for digital listening. And then role that the label ends up playing is one of marketing, distribution, promotion, sponsorship… and experiment with editorial collaboration, crowdfunding and so forth.

PRX has built mobile apps for podcasts such as This American Life,  The Moth, among many others, and plans on using Radiotopia to continue to learn and implement some ideas gained from their experience. Says Shapiro:

We are very interested in creating a feedback loop that gains from those insights and data and help improve not only PRX’s own tools for distribution and tactics but also becomes information that producers can start to use about better serving their audience. Radio for decades has honed ways of producing a broadcast, but in the world of producing for mobile listeners, we are still in very early days.

It may be early days, but story-driven journalism is certainly having a moment on the radio and in podcast form. And, unlike in print or on television, it’s somehow easier to make investigative journalism entertaining for broader audiences. Shapiro says exploring that space is inherent in PRX’s mission:

There’s a spot between making sure that we’re doing informative, mission driven journalism but still aiming for a broad audience with something thats extremely engaging and high quality and entertaining and well produced…it’s about finding that spot.  Read more

Matter Announces Second Class of Start Ups for Media Accelerator Program

matter-media-startupsMatter, a start up accelerator, has announced seven start ups to take part in it’s second class. Backed by PRX, The Knight Foundation and KQED, Matter calls it a class or a program, but it’s more like media start up boot camp. The companies will all work together in a co-working space in San Francisco, attending speaking events, reviews, mentoring sessions and workshops for four months. The program culminates in a demo day in San Francisco and a showcase in New York.

Each start up receives a $50,000 investment to get them rolling. The companies participating in the program, which starts this week, focus on cross-publishing, collaboration and crowdsourcing. If you want to know what the future of publishing looks like, it’s probably something like this. Here’s a full list of the companies from Matter’s press release:

  • Connu – Connu helps emerging writers find, connect with and monetize audiences through publishing the best new short stories.
  • Contextly – Contextly enables publications of all sizes to be both informative and viable in the age of drive-by readers by marrying editorial wisdom to the power of algorithms.
  • The Creative Action Network – The Creative Action Network (CAN) is a marketplace for artists, causes and supporters to harness their talents for good by creating, buying and sharing original, crowdsourced creative content and merchandise.
  • Formidable – Formidable Corp. bursts the filter bubble to help connect you to people outside of your social circle.
  • Getcast – Getcast empowers creative professionals to take control of their careers by connecting them through a platform that helps them showcase their work, hone their craft and collaborate on a global scale.
  • Hacklog – Hacklog empowers individual journalists to be more relevant to their audiences, impactful with their stories and in charge of their careers by providing honest analytics.
  • Woop.ie – Woopie (Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere) empowers writers and publishers to easily reach their audiences on all devices and platforms through a digital content publishing tool focused on responsive design.

Image via Gigaom

At $170,000+, ‘99% Invisible’ Becomes Most Funded Kickstarter in Journalism

An update to our post last week: the pledges kept coming, and the most funded journalism project in Kickstarter’s history is now a small-staffed podcast about design.

If you didn’t read it, public radio’s Roman Mars started a crowdfunding campaign this summer with a goal of $42,000 to help fund extra help for its third season of 99% Invisible, his side project focusing on the “invisible” activity that shapes our lives. (It was a necessary gamble– most of the money was slotted to hire former intern Sam Greenspan and make production more manageable.) In the end the radio show distributed by Public Radio Exchange more than hit its goal, and more than doubled its goal, too—the project funded its goal 405 percent.

A total of 5,661 backers crowdfunded it to a whopping $170,477.

Read more

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