‘The Pub’ #87: RadioPublic, public media’s chance to own the podcasting marketplace

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Matt MacDonald, left, and Jake Shapiro record an interview in PRX's Podcast Garage.

Should public media’s role on the Internet be to make content for commercial platforms? Or should public media try to be the platform?

The new RadioPublic mobile app is attempting to do the latter.

Last spring, Public Radio Exchange’s Jake Shapiro spun off from the organization he helped found in 2003 and started RadioPublic as a new public benefit corporation. The goal, as set out in PRX’s announcement at the time, is “to build a mobile listening platform that makes listening to podcasts as simple as radio.”

Well, now that platform is here. This week — as The Pub returns from hiatus — we take RadioPublic for a test drive with Shapiro and Matt MacDonald, RP’s chief product officer, and we talk about why they felt they had to leave the nonprofit world in order to create it.

Also this week, I use the very silly new podcast my friend and I made about Billy Joel to make a vaguely serious point about how and when to insert clips into talk shows.

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at adam@current.org or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to adam@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

 

  • Nice app. And what’s about a new NewsHour podcast? And we want the return of SHORTWAVE with P.J. Tobia. #PBSNEWS

  • Mark Pugnar

    This app might be a good idea if it can promote good podcast shows that few people know about. Perhaps the best way to find good shows would be to eliminate the podcasts in the directory that stopped producing new shows? The best part of the technology behind podcasting is that you will never miss a show you like as long as you are subscribed. Some of my favorite shows are only put out once every few months, and it’s always nice to see a show show pop up in the feed.

  • Kelley Libby

    One thing I love about the radio is that you can scan through the stations and at some point land on something local. I’m wondering if Radio Public will build in a way to serendipitously encounter local content.