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'99% Invisible' helps launch Radiotopia podcast network

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The popular radio series 99% Invisible is helping to launch a brand new podcast network. Named Radiotopia, the network hopes to help story-driven shows find funding and a wider audience. According to the Nieman Journalism Lab, Radiotopia plans to create a basic framework for its roster of shows to smoothly launch crowdfunding campaigns and acquire grants. The network will also reportedly have its shows' hosts helping each other with technical issues, promoting each other's series, and giving advice on expanding their audience.

Radiotopia's owner, PRX, will help podcasts with marketing and fundraising

Though podcast networks are nothing new, Radiotopia's launch with 99% Invisible in tow gives marketers and podcast listeners good reason to pay attention. While the series is only one of seven that Radiotopia is launching with, it alone has seen over 17 million downloads across its 100 design- and architecture-focused episodes. The show's host and creator, Roman Mars, has been involved in the network's creation too. According to Current, he actually had the initial idea for Radiotopia himself.

The network isn't an independent entity, however: Radiotopia is owned and supported by PRX, a nonprofit marketplace for public radio producers to buy and sell broadcasts. That should give Radiotopia the infrastructure it needs to get started, and down the road, PRX hopes it'll both be financially self-sustaining and have given great podcasters the support to create more shows.