Public Media Platform Strategic Planning

Throughout 2009, CPB continued to push for systemwide agreement on a commonly accepted set of digital media tools, business rules, and standards (both technical and metadata) that will enable public media stations and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and share content in different forms more easily.

In March 2010, CPB announced that NPR will administer a $1 million grant to create a Public Media Platform prototype in partnership with PBS, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange. This coalition of public media organizations will develop a prototype for a flexible common platform that will ultimately allow any public media organization’s listener, viewer, reader, blog poster, game player, or other kind of user to easily access any digital content created, collected, or distributed by any other public media organization. At the same time, it will allow the user to communicate readily with other users as well as the people and public media organizations involved in creating, collecting, and distributing public media content.

Our Non-Licensee Partner(s)

American Public Media (APM), St. Paul, Minnesota—A not-for-profit organization, APM is the nation’s largest owner and operator of public radio stations and a premier producer and distributor of public radio programming. It is also the largest producer and distributor of classical music programming in the U.S. Nearly 800 stations reaching 16 million listeners carry its programs each week, among them such public radio staples as A Prairie Home Companion, Saint Paul Sunday, Marketplace, Marketplace Money, The Splendid Table, Speaking of Faith, and special reports produced by its national documentary unit, American RadioWorks. APM is the parent organization for Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, and Classical South Florida, operating 43 public radio stations and 32 translators in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, California, and Florida.

NPR (National Public Radio), Washington, D.C.—NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR produces and distributes programming that reaches more than 26 million listeners weekly. More than 900 stations nationwide broadcast NPR programming; each serves its listeners with a distinctive combination of national and local programming. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features, and ten years of archived audio and information. A private, nonprofit corporation owned and operated by its member stations, NPR is funded chiefly by its member stations and a separate fundraising foundation. NPR operates the program distribution/interconnection facilities of the Public Radio Satellite System, produces and distributes more than 120 hours of its own original programming each week, and also distributes to its more than 780 member stations programs that are produced by broadcast stations, independent producers, and other radio networks. NPR maintains studios in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles.

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), Arlington, Virginia—PBS is the leading distributor of video programming for U.S. public television stations. It operates the public television program distribution/interconnection system and distributes a variety of programs, from both its own and others’ program services, to its 348 member public television stations across the country, which draw nearly 83 million viewers weekly. is one of the most visited noncommercial Web sites in the world and the home of companion Web sites for more than 1,000 PBS television programs and specials, as well as original content and real-time learning adventures. In addition to its funding from CPB, PBS is funded by its member stations, a separate fundraising foundation, and various for-profit subsidiaries. PBS and Sesame Workshop are partners with Comcast Corporation and HIT Entertainment, PLC, in PBS KIDS Sprout, a for-profit cable and satellite television channel for preschool children, and PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand, a video-on-demand service offering more than 50 hours of programming daily for the same preschool audience, which is distributed on Comcast systems nationwide.

PRI (Public Radio International), Minneapolis, Minnesota—An independent, private, not-for-profit corporation and managing partner of American Public Radio LLC, a satellite radio company, PRI provides more than 400 hours of programming each week, which is broadcast and streamed online by its 726 affiliates nationwide. PRI’s programming is available on XM Public Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Public Radio Exchange (PRX), Cambridge, Massachusetts—A private, not-for-profit, Web-based marketplace for public radio pieces, PRX is a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. On, programmers find work from other stations, independent producers, and international broadcasters. Producers—whether station-based or independent—license their work directly to broadcast stations that want to air it.