Right now I’m parked down the street from the PRX Podcast Garage in Allston Mass, which is perfect because today I’m talking with Jake Shapiro, the co-founder, of PRX and RadioPublic.
PRX, that’s the Public Radio Exchange. Jake’s gonna tell you what that is, but let’s talk about what life was like before PRX. Imagine you want to make a radio program. You do all the brainstorming, you schedule and record interviews, you research opposing views, you edit that down from maybe 20 hours to just 20 minutes, you write a storyboard, you weave in music, you get licensing rights to that music, you get permissions from everyone. And now it airs once - just once - and in only a 50 mile radius and nobody else gets to hear it. That’s what it was like!
Jake knows everything about podcasting. His adventure into that began with his band Two Ton Shoe, and creating some of the first MP3s to let his fans reach his music outside the traditional label system. He was there at MIT, when they first started writing the white papers on what a shareable music file format could and would be. A strange crossroads that had implications on the radio industry not just in terms of music, but in news and journalism which would evolve into “podcasts”.
Jake knows everything it seems… so I need to preface this interview by saying that Jake is definitely not a spy. He spent time in revolutionary Russia, watching the troops defend the which he says was the perfect introduction to the power of public media.