About this project
UPDATE: We "leveled up" and we’re so excited to add Criminal, The Heart, The Allusionist (Helen Zaltzman's new show), and now Mortified to the collective. For Radiotopia - and all of radio - to be the best it can be, we need to find even more people who are not currently on our radar.
So we have a big idea. At $600,000, Radiotopia will create a pilot development fund to find new, talented producers and hosts. We will specifically seek out new voices to pilot programs that tackle subjects not well covered in traditional public media.
Quality will always be our first criteria. I believe diversity of people and perspectives is the key component to quality that’s too often neglected in media.
We are interested in producers who pilot their own program, as well as contribute stories to existing Radiotopia shows.
Bringing in new voices and broadening the audience are critical steps in remaking public radio. Our collective of shows is already proving that incredible talent exists in unexpected places, and that we have a knack for finding it.
If you believe in this mission, kick in another buck or two, or just spread the word.
***The Hover 20,000 Backer Challenge***
We did it! Thank you so much for being one of the 20,000 and helping us get the extra $25,000 from Hover. Look what we did together!
"[A] kind of Justice League for smart documentarians and sound artists."
This is Radiotopia. I'm Roman Mars.
Radiotopia became a reality in November 2013, when I called on the backers of the last 99% Invisible campaign to fund "a new kind of public radio." Radio full of the most compelling stories imaginable, made by a group of talented creators combining their energies to grow their audiences and thrive.
People - probably many of you - rallied beyond our wildest dreams. It was an awe-inspiring moment, the realization that the heart of a radio fan can grow to make room for many deserving shows. Together with PRX, we’ve taken that love, trust, and money to bring together a collective of the best storytelling shows on the planet.
These shows make you laugh, cry, cringe, remember, reflect, strive, despair, relax... everything.
As if that weren’t enough, as members of Radiotopia, they are reimagining radio from broadcast to digital, and the life of a creator from starving to sustainable. Radiotopia is bringing a listener-first, creator-driven ethos to public radio.
In just a few months, we have built a true collective of indie producers who share editorial, business, and emotional resources. It’s not just an amazing group of podcasts, it’s an amazing group of people. And we’re getting somewhere:
- The Radiotopia Network has increased downloads by 165% since our launch nine months ago.
- Two shows have more than quadrupled their audience.
- 99% Invisible, which had the biggest audience to begin with, has grown by 135%.
The dream is alive, but our work here is far from done.
To take it to the next level, we need you. Podcasts need about 50,000 downloads per episode for some measure of financial sustainability. Radiotopia wants our existing shows to blow through that number. That takes more gear, more staff, more travel, more branding and promotion. Our shows are not just two people chatting in front of microphone (not that there's anything wrong with that - I love a lot of those shows); they are skillfully crafted, sound-rich productions. That commitment to craft requires a lot of time and resources.
Your Kickstarter pledge will support all the shows in Radiotopia and ensure that all of us will continue to produce our best work.
We also want to invite more shows into Radiotopia. A win-win-win for us, for deserving creators, and for you, our fans and listeners. Your support will make that happen.
All the shows in Radiotopia are contributing to a set of awesome and awesomely weird ringtones/alert tones. Sample:
Strangers Pen-Pal Letterhead
Print-your-own Strangers letterhead and gain a stranger pen-pal, assigned to you by Lea. (Pen-pal part is optional.) Both letterhead AND the pen-pal are included at all levels $10 and above.
Melodium: 99 Digital LP
Melodium (Laurent Girard) has inspired and scored more of 99pi's radio stories than any other artist. Girard has created an exclusive, new digital album just for this Kickstarter, called "Melodium: 99." Sample track:
Love + Radio Remix album
New electronic music sourced from past L+R episodes and made into something wondrous. Sample track:
Signed copy of Hidden Kitchens book by The Kitchen Sisters, producers of the Fugitive Waves podcast. Alice Waters wrote the foreword. Word.
Love + Radio "Another Planet" Poster
NEW: Just added a new "army" color option for the Holdout t-shirt. You will be able to specify size, color, and t-shirt selection (for any multipacks) in the Kickstarter survey sent out after the campaign ends.
NOTE: The 99pi "Ray Cats" shirt CAN BE included in any of the t-shirt packages (e.g. "Two t-shirts of your choosing..."), so feel free to increase that pledge for more great Radiotopia apparel. You get a deal for being so generous!
NOTE: When you order the Mug for $45, you'll also receive all the digital gifts: L + R album, Melodium album, Strangers letterhead, ringtones.
Radiotopia favorites collection, plus incredible headphones.
We'll send you a little mp3 player packed with our favorite episodes. But keep the earbuds in your pocket, because you'll also get these gorgeous Radio Silenz headphones by Tivoli, with travel case. Special thanks to Tivoli for donating!
DIY Handbook by Radio Diaries
99% Invisible Producer for a day
Pick from a couple dozen potential days (we'll make something work) and we'll invite you into the 99% Invisible production. You'll sit in on a story meeting, critique whatever rough draft we have in process, go out to lunch (probably for pho, we love pho), and just hang out all day. You just need to get yourself to Oakland.
Check out the sidebar for lots of other great rewards, such as lunch with the Kitchen Sisters, Theory of Everything, or Radio Diaries, online mentoring sessions, live events and so much more!
Risks and challenges
Radiotopia "Season 2" is scheduled to start February 3, 2015 and end in January 2016.
We are a collective of individually owned and operated programs, so each of us have individual challenges and goals. As such, it's hard to achieve milestones at the same rate and produce results on the same timeline. Of course, a lot of these risks would be mitigated by us raising a record-setting amount of funds and we can all devote all our energy solely to our radio shows! That sounds like a good idea.
Reward fulfillment is always a tough challenge for a small group that specializes in making radio, not shipping t-shirts, but we've partnered with people who are experts at getting merchandise to your door.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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