This week we find out how two major public radio providers are responding to the rise of audio listening on smartphones and other Internet-connected devices.

PART 1: Ideas from PRX and PRI

The growing demand for audio content delivered online and via smartphones brings both challenges and opportunities for traditional radio producers. Representatives from Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and Public Radio International (PRI) explain some of the ways they are delivering audio across multiple platforms.
Reporting by Paige Hornor and Tatiana Darie.
[To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

For more information:

MediaShift Executive Editor Mark Glaser and a group of panelists discuss the evolution of radio and what the new National Public Radio Chief Executive Officer Jarl Mohn brings to the table as the flagship public radio service refocuses on diversity.

PART 2: Making audio go viral

Having a piece of audio get passed along — or, ideally, go viral — is particularly uncommon compared with text, photos, videos, animated GIFs, or practically anything else. So, what might be done to change that?
Reporting by Paige Hornor.
[To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

For more information:

National Public Radio ran an experiment to get audio to go viral and found some success by “making the sound discoverable, portable and simple to listen to.”

PART 3: Radiotopia

PRX launched its Radiotopia network earlier this year with the goal of growing independent audio programs specifically in the form of podcasts, rather than via traditional radio channels. Leaders from PRX explain Radiotopia’s approach and how it taps into the power of online networks.
Reporting by Tatiana Darie.
[To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

For more information:

Radiotopia hosts seven story-driven shows:

  • 99% Invisible is a show about design and architecture hosted by Roman Mars. The show has had notable success raising funds via Kickstarter.
  • Strangers features stories about how strangers connect and rediscovered themselves in today’s world.
  • The Truth is a collection of short drama stories that combine good writing and almost-real performances with great sound.
  • Love + Radio features in-depth conversations with characters around a wide range of subjects.
  • Radio Diaries offers “extraordinary stories of ordinary life” featuring first-person diaries, sound portraits and hidden chapters of history.
  • Theory of Everything features Benjamen Walker’s conversations with philosophers, friends, guests on a wide range of topics including journalism, art and fiction.
  • Fugitive Waves features the Kitchen Sisters’ archive of stories, long-lost recordings along with new tales of people around the world.

Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.
FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashift

The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.