Two of the biggest public radio platforms are joining forces in the name of podcasting. PRX has invested heavily in podcast production and distribution in recent years, while PRI has remained focused on public radio programming. Together, they will reportedly claim an audience of more than 28.5 million radio listeners and 56 million podcast downloads each month.
With this merger comes a $10 million investment from WGBH, the Boston-based public radio station that owns PRI and inked a partnership with PRX last year. The money will go toward—what else?—more podcasts, but also a production studio and new outposts of the Podcast Garage, PRX’s experimental podcast incubator. As I wrote last year, PRX opened the first Podcast Garage in Boston two years ago with the intent of attracting both new podcasters in need of training and experienced podcasters in need of studio space. (The Podcast Garage is setting up shop in Washington, D.C., next.)
As of this year, more than a quarter of Americans—about 73 million people ages 12 and up—reportedly listen to podcasts at least once a month. As that number inches up, chances are the mergers and acquisition strategy in this space won’t be unlike that of media as a whole. For PRI, this is likely also an opportunity to piggyback on PRX’s revenue trajectory; according to the Wall Street Journal, the companies are projecting $38 million in revenue in the first year after merging.