A Banner Year at PRX
The media industry had an extraordinary year — publishers continued to experiment on new platforms, podcasting matured as a business, news outlets adapted to covering a new president and administration, and many began grappling with internal personnel issues of harassment. In 2017, our industry was presented with new challenges, but also opportunities to applaud journalism, storytelling and innovation.
We have been inspired by our peers, who persisted in the push for truth and broke new ground in storytelling and reporting. We celebrate Matter Ventures in redefining how media can and does matter in a rapidly changing environment.
We’re humbled and proud of the producers we worked with and the shows we helped create this year. In 2017, the PRX portfolio doubled with the additions of Smithsonian’s Sidedoor, The Frontline Dispatch, TED Talks Daily and our Project Catapult shows. We also added a few new broadcast programs, including To the Best of our Knowledge.
Audiences responded well to brave reporting from the Reveal team. From the front lines of racial conflict to a collaboration on the Paradise Papers, Reveal kept a spotlight on facts and accountability and was recognized with a duPont-Columbia award.
PRX was honored with additional awards from Third Coast, the Sarahs, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative. We also announced partnerships with the Freepoint Hotel and industry powerhouse WGBH.
We celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Podcast Garage, and stretched the dynamic ad serving capabilities of our Dovetail product on the uber-popular S-Town. Internally, we hired a number of new employees, based across the U.S.
PRX also had a record-setting year in sponsorship sales and doubled the number of unique sponsors we work with. Our partners at RadioPublic helped grow the mobile listening audience with universal links, tools to engage listeners and personalized recommendations from a dedicated podcast librarian.
Our Radiotopia network saw significant audience growth and the introduction of three new shows: Ear Hustle, What Can Trump Teach Us About Con Law and Showcase. Radiotopia also hosted a hugely successful fundraiser, with over 23,000 donations from 63 different countries; rocked our first live tour, which was sold out down the West Coast; and collaborated network-wide on themed episodes (“Doing Time”) to welcome Ear Hustle. We celebrated milestones like 100 episodes of Mortified and Song Exploder, and were featured by top publications like Entertainment Weekly and PBS NewsHour.
Many Radiotopia shows responded to the post-election state of affairs by telling important, relevant stories. We’re heading into 2018 with plans for new partnerships, a Radiotopia Live East Coast tour and a handful of other cool projects in the works.
To close out the year, check out our Best of 2017 playlists below, made up of favorite episodes hand-picked by the producers. Thanks to all of our peers, partners and fans, we are so grateful for your support and feedback. We look forward to making more great audio for you in 2018!