Podcasters’ Nonprofit Arm Gets $1 Million Donation

The sale of 99% Invisible, Inc., to SiriusXM will yield a million-dollar gift for PRX, the nonprofit media company behind the podcast network focused on independent producers.

Sirius XM announced it acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the company owned by Roman Mars, creator, host and executive producer of the groundbreaking podcast, 99% Invisible. Mars announced he will donate $1 million to PRX over four years.

99% Invisible, Inc., is part of the PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network. Podcasts within the network own their intellectual property (IP) and are independent. The sale price was not disclosed. 99% Invisible will become part of Stitcher, the podcast company that SiriusXM acquired last year.

SiriusXM is based in New York City and trades on the NASDAQ with the symbol, SIRI. The company reported revenue of $8 billion in 2020, with earnings of $131 million. SiriusXM has a market cap of $25 billion and closed at $5.87 per share on Monday.

Based in Oakland, Calif., Mars launched 99% Invisible in 2010. It’s an independently produced and Kickstarter-supported radio show and podcast that “exposes the unseen and overlooked aspects of architecture and activity that shapes the world.” The podcast has been downloaded more than 500 million times.

“We established Radiotopia together with the hope that there was a different way to run a creative business, prioritizing values including independence, creative freedom, producer-owned IP, and generosity over control,” PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman wrote in a post on Medium. “I’m incredibly moved by Roman’s continued investment and encouragement in PRX to continue the constant work of supporting creators, building and sharing innovative technology, and fueling stories with impact.”

PRX reports more than 28 million listeners and 70 million podcast downloads each month, with programs like “This American Life” and “Reveal” and podcasts like “99% Invisible” and “Criminal.”

The nonprofit media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling was founded in 2003. In 2018, PRX merged with Public Radio International (PRI). The Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit reported more than $22 million in total revenue for 2018, the latest tax information available, including $5 million in grants and contributions, and $4 million in net assets.