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.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to get good shows out there wherever people are listening. Shapiro says that they encourage producers to put their shows on platforms like iTunes or Stitcher, Soundcloud, and even YouTube, “because of all the listening that happens there, too.” According to Shapiro, PRX is also working on:

building out new user experiences and apps where we can do a particularly good job  serving our shows. By providing those tools and we have a lot more insight into how people are experiencing the shows and in terms of asking people to give, it’s better to have closer proximity to the show. We’re continuing to drive more and more towards our own apps…We think we’re creating a new kind of public radio oriented around these stories and shows and it’s interesting to see what parts of the old business model integrate with the new model. There are so many stories that can’t appear on public radio but can through podcasts.

In New York City this week, PRX hosted an event to celebrate their “Radiotopians” and announced three new shows: “Criminal“, “The Heart” (formerly “Audio Smut”), and a show by Helen Zaltzman that’s being tentatively called “Found in Translation.” Follow Radiotopia here for updates.