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In the iLab we take thoughtful risks, investing in the bold thinkers and new voices that will create the next generation of content for public media. It is our center of innovation and creativity, and it will play a critical role in WBUR’s next chapter.
The days of one-size-fits-all content are behind us. Each of us can decide what we want to listen to and when, choosing from an ever-growing selection of programs and podcasts.
This seismic shift in listening habits means that WBUR can – and must – offer an array of unique, imaginative content anytime, anywhere – and the iLab lies at the very heart of this commitment.
OUR PLAN FOR EXPERIMENTATION IN STORYTELLING
The iLab is already a proven content creation engine. Five years ago, the iLab didn’t exist. Today, our podcasts are downloaded more than 8 million times a month and they include award-winning collaborations with The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Reddit.
Despite increasing competition in the podcasting space, we believe our future is bright. There are an infinite number of both stories to tell and communities to serve. We are eager to explore different genres, topics, tones and themes – anything is possible.
We are limited only by financial resources. With additional investment from our community, WBUR can experiment with areas of content, uncover and nurture even more stories and give voice to unique perspectives. Our plans include:
- Launching compelling new products each year, refining established podcasts that listeners love and cultivating new ideas. We will produce engaging podcasts that appeal to the interests and lived experiences of specific audiences, such as children, families and millennials, and seek out and nurture emerging podcast producers and hosts.
- Connecting with listeners and communities in fresh ways. We will creatively partner with community and non-profit organizations to increase access to iLab content and will host events at CitySpace to bring together new and existing listeners.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
WBUR is already investing significantly in the iLab. We need to invest more: in great writers, hosts, producers, sound designers and editors. Producing podcasts is resource-intensive. It costs more than $350,000 to develop a high-quality podcast for one year, and still more to build an initial audience for a strong series. With hundreds of thousands of podcasts available, WBUR’s great products need to stand out to be discovered.
$5 million in new funding will bring more curious, clever and informative stories to life. Join us in sustaining the iLab – and the inspiration and creativity it sustains in all of us.