Category Archive : Industry News

2024 Season Podcast Awards and How to Apply

Podcasts have grown to be such an incredible medium for education, entertainment, storytelling, news sharing, and a way to find and build community with like-minded individuals. As podcasters, we know how much time and effort goes into the planning, producing, and promotion of every episode. Whether you’re an individual carrying the weight of the production yourself or you have a team of people behind you, you deserve to be recognized and celebrated for your work. Your audience notices the passion you pour into your show and podcast awards are another way for the world to participate in this praise. 

If you’re a podcaster who wants to be considered for a podcasting award but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Join us as we break down popular podcast awards, their eligibility, and how to apply or be nominated. 

The information and dates in this article are representative of the 2024 awards season. Most if not all of these awards are presented on a yearly basis so if you miss this year’s submission deadlines, you can use the 2023 dates as a guide for when to apply in 2024 for the 2025 awards season.

2024 Season Podcast Awards and How to Apply

Webby Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Webby Awards are one of the largest, well-known internet awards honoring outstanding work on the internet, including podcasting. 

The early entry deadline for the current award season is Friday, October 27, 2023, and the final entry deadline is Friday, December 15, 2023

  1. Categories 

Categories recognize outstanding work in podcast episodes, series, limited series and specials, across creativity and marketing, crime and justice, sustainability and environment, best host, best writing, and more. 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Webby Award Competition is open to all organizations and individuals involved in the process of designing, building, managing, maintaining, marketing, or promoting digital work. To be eligible for the current season, the work must be live and accessible to its intended audience for some period of time between October of the year before through February of the year after.  

The regular entry fee for the 2024 award season is $435 for the early entry deadline and increases to $495 for the final entry deadline. 

Visit the Webby Awards website for more detailed information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees. 

  1. Judging Criteria 

There are 3 categories that the Webby Awards base their judging criteria on: 

  • Concept and Writing
  • Quality of Craft
  • Overall Experience

For more details on judging criteria and all things Webby Awards visit, https://www.webbyawards.com/ 

Podcast Academy’s Ambies

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Ambies “celebrate excellence in podcasting and elevate awareness and status of podcasts as a unique and personal medium for entertainment, information, storytelling, and expression.” 

Entries for the 2024 season are open from August 1, 2023- November 17, 2023. (Podcasts launching AFTER November 17 can still apply and submit their files once the podcast has officially launched). 

  1. Categories

The Ambies have two main categories of awards: Show Recognition Categories (including awards such as Podcast of the Year, Best Indie Podcast, Best Business Podcast, Best Comedy Podcast, and more covering several other genres of podcasts) and Talent Recognition Categories (including awards such as Best Podcast Host or Hosts, Best Reporting, Best Scriptwriting, Best Production and Sound Design, etc.)

For the full list of categories, check out, https://theambies.awardsengine.com/categories 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Ambies are open to production companies, individual producers/ creators, and distributors of a podcast series that published 3 or more episodes during the award season’s previous year (January 1, 2023- December 31, 2023, for this award season). 

Early bird pricing for Podcast Academy members is $150 and bumps to $200 for regular submissions. 

Pricing for non-members starts at $200 for early bird pricing and bumps to $250 for regular submissions. 

Visit The Ambies website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

All entries are listened through entirely and evaluated by a ‘Blue Ribbon’ panel of judges, composed of members of The Podcast Academy. Evaluations from this panel will then determine the nominees in each category. 

From there, voting opens to members of The Podcast Academy for one month and winners announced at the live Ambies ceremony on March 26, 2024. 

People’s Choice Podcast Award

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The People’s Choice Podcast Awards gives podcast fans the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite podcasts across a variety of categories. Podcasters are encouraged to work with their audience and ask for nominations so if you have an engaged and supportive audience, this award might just be for you. 

The 2024 annual awards will open for registration from February 1, 2024, through July 31, 2024. After the voting period, winners will be announced at a live ceremony held in conjunction with International Podcast Day on or around September 30th. 

  1. Categories

Categories range from the best female hosted podcast, best male hosted podcast, best in arts, best in business, best in comedy, and so on throughout various categories. 

For a full listing of categories, see the Podcast Award’s past winners

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The People’s Choice Podcast Awards are International and open to all shows, regardless of country of origin or language. All nominees are required to have posted on or before July 31 and have a minimum of 10 published episodes (documentary series with under 10 episodes are still eligible. 

Although this is a nomination-based award, podcasters wishing to be eligible to be nominated can register through the registration page incurring a $50 registration fee per category. 

Visit the Podcast Awards website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees.

  1. Judging Criteria 

After the nomination period ends, a nomination committee- made up of three Podcast Awards team members- reviews the top 10 nominated shows, validates eligibility, and announces the slate of shows to be voted on. 

From there, journalists, podcast thought leaders, legacy podcasters, sponsors, and individuals of the committee’s choosing are invited to review and vote. Alongside them, a fourth of the listeners who volunteered to vote during registration will cast their ballots for a minimum of 5 shows each. 

Quill Podcast Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Quill Podcast Awards are a yearly digital awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of podcasters and podcast companies. The awards celebrate “those who have made a positive impact in the space, become leaders in their niche, and create outstanding content.”

Nominations and voting for the Quill Podcast awards have a quicker turnaround time than most, opening in mid-April and being announced in early May of the current season. 

  1. Categories

Award categories include podcast of the year, best new podcast, genre-specific “best in” categories, branded podcast of the year, best B2B and best B2C branded podcast, best podcast agency, best podcast hosting platform, etc.

For a full list of award categories, visit the Quill Podcasting Awards website: https://www.quillpodcasting.com/qpa/quill-podcast-awards 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

Unlike many other podcast awards, the Quill Podcasting Awards are free to enter and open to anyone who may want to nominate or be nominated. 

  1. Judging Criteria 

While nominations are open to the public, judging is held by a group of industry experts who come together to determine the winners. 

The Gracies

  1. Overview & Deadlines

Hosted by the Alliance for Women in Media, The Gracies shines a spotlight on women in media. Their role is to “recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women, and about women in all facets of media and entertainment by focus on the women making a positive change and further the discussion of what a fulfilling career in media looks like.”

The early bird deadline for entries closes on Thursday. December 14, 2023, and the regular deadline closes Thursday, January 18, 2024. National winners will be honored at the Gracies Gala on May 21, 2024.

  1. Categories

While The Gracies celebrates women across all walks of media, there are several categories for podcasting within their digital media awards. Podcasting awards include awards for Podcast Host- News, Podcast Host- Lifestyle, Podcast Host- Entertainment, Podcast Co-host/ Ensemble, Podcast- Lifestyle, Podcast- Entertainment, Podcast- Investigative, Podcast- Educational, Podcast- Sports, Podcast- Scripted, and Podcast- Producer.

For a full list of Digital Media categories please visit: https://allwomeninmedia.org/app/uploads/2023/10/2024-Digital-Media-with-Descriptions.pdf 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

Following the Gracie’s by women, for women, or about women foundation entries must fall within these categories to be considered. Entries must be produced, directed, reported, or written by at least one woman, must reflect subject matters of interest and concern to women (but do not have to focus on women), or about a specific woman or group of women. 

Entries must have aired/ debuted for the first time between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, to be eligible for the 2024 awards season.

Each category requires a separate entry form and entry fee though the fees are not explicitly listed. 

Visit The Gracies website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation seeks qualified applicants to take part in the in-person and/ or virtual judging process. Once the panel of judges is established, they take part in reviewing, critiquing, and selecting award winners. 

Signal Awards

  1. Overview & Deadlines

The Signal Awards know that podcasts are everything. That’s why they “seek to honor and celebrate the people and content that raise the bar for podcasting.” The Signal Awards mission is to find the unappreciated gems in the podcast world, share them, amplify them, and celebrate them. 

The 2023 award season ran from March 2023 through October 2023 with winners announced on October 10, 2023. This gives us a good idea of when we can expect the 2024 awards season to take place.

  1. Categories

The Signal Awards focus on 4 main types of entries with a multitude of award categories within each. These types of entries include: 

  1. Shows
  2. Limited Series and Special 
  3. Individual Episodes
  4. Branded Shows and Advertising 

For a full list of award categories please visit: https://www.signalaward.com/categories/ 

  1. Eligibility, Guidelines, and Fees

The Signal Awards are open to all organizations and individuals involved in the process of creating, running, hosting, managing, maintaining, marketing, or promoting podcasts. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit OR the number of categories you may enter. 

Fees for the 2023 awards season range between $225 for Individual Episodes up to $275 for Branded Shows and Ads. 

Visit the Signal Awards website for more information on eligibility, guidelines, and fees

  1. Judging Criteria 

Each entry is evaluated by multiple judges who provide scores based on the appropriate criteria for each category. Top-scoring entries move on to being finalists and are further evaluated to decide the winners. 

Honorable Mentions

For podcasters outside of the United States, there are several location-based podcasting awards you may be eligible for. Check out:

As the world of podcasting grows, we can expect to see more and more podcast awards popping up to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work that goes into podcasts. From established ceremonies like the Webby Awards to newer, niche-specific awards it is so important that we not only encourage excellence in our industry but celebrate it every step of the way.

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to win an award to have a successful podcast. That goes back to ensuring that your podcast is achieving the goals you’ve set out for it. If that’s happening, then you have a successful podcast.

Future of Podcasting in 2024

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is the predictions that come out about what is to come in the new year. Some are just for fun and others are more business-related and give actionable and practical tips we can apply as we head into the new year. 

Podcasting Trends & What Happened in 2023

In 2023, we saw a shift in podcasting, not just in the way that people consume them, but also in the way podcasters are having to shift and adjust to meet the demands of the rise of AI. 

A lot of this can feel overwhelming. Take what you need from this information and leave the rest. You can look through our 2024 predictions at the bottom for the key things to remember as we head into another year of podcasting. I have also included action items for each of the predictions to help you be successful with each one.

The Rise in AI Podcast Tools

We saw a rise in AI tools that can help support podcasters in getting their podcasts out into the world. 

Here are some of the AI podcast tools we are using and loving: 

  • Riverside.FM – now has an AI tool to help create video clips of your podcast conversation so you can easily share videos on social media. Think reels, TikTok videos, YouTube Shorts and more. We’ll talk more about that below.
  • Otter.AI – We love using Otter AI for our transcripts. I also use it during meetings with clients and the team to help me stay on task. It offers action items from the conversation (*chefs kiss*), timestamps with a detailed summary, and an AI assistant you can ask to write an overview of the conversation and pull fun quotes. Those last two features are great for podcasters.  
  • Izotope RX – This is a high-quality audio editing software that we use to fix many of the common mistakes our clients make with their audio. This tool allows us to take our clients’ podcasts to the next level without having to have to learn audio engineering at our local community college. The tool is expensive but has been a fantastic investment for our team, which is processing over 3000 minutes of audio every month.
  • Auphonic – This tool has a new AI feature that’s currently in beta to remove “uh” and “um” from audio. We’ve found that this tool actually sounds better than the removal we’ve tried with the popular tool, Descript. We also use Auphonic to help equalize the audio at the end of our podcast production process.

See our episodes on Podcasting and AI

Podcasting and AI: What You Need to Know for the Future 

Using Chat-Based AI to Support Your Content Creation with Andréa Jones 

While a lot of these AI tools for podcasters are really incredible, there is this idea that AI could take the job of podcasters. We all remember Joe Rogan’s AI Experience podcast episode from April when he created an ENTIRE episode using ChatGPT. 

As cool (or downright weird) as that might be, it was certainly a cause for concern for many podcasters who wish to keep the medium human-centered. 

Add in that Apple launched AI-generated books early this year to combat Amazon’s place in the market, and then Amazon announced in October that they would test out virtual voice-narrated books, which would impact the spoken word market in a big way. As an avid member of the reading community, I’ve heard endlessly about how frustrating this is for both readers and narrators alike. 

The Fall (and Shift) of Podcast Listening Apps

In 2023 we also saw the fall of Stitcher, a podcast-listening app that had been around since I started listening to podcasts back in 2015. 

This was a big surprise, especially because they’d just been acquired in 2020 by SiriusXM for $325 million. But the numbers weren’t adding up for SiriusXM to continue. 

Google made some big changes this year that will continue into next year. The first came in February when they no longer showed playable podcasts (in carousel form) directly in search results. This impacted the Google Podcast manager, meaning we could no longer see what terms people were searching for when our podcast episodes showed up. It was a great tool for myself and our clients and helped us get clarity around SEO best practices. 

Two other announcements came out in September from Google when they said that YouTube Music is creating a centralized podcast destination, and they will sunset Google Podcasts in 2024. It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next 12-18 months. This isn’t part of our predictions, but I do predict that YouTube Music will not be able to keep up and will shift away in the next 18 months from what they think they can do with YouTube Music. 

Regular Podcast Listening is Back on the Rise

In 2020 and 2021, we predictably saw the number of monthly podcast listeners rise collectively (Edison), only for it to fall in 2022. It’s estimated that those numbers have gone back up. This is great news as people are starting to find a balance and more people are becoming aware of what a podcast is. 

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen the “There’s a Podcast About That” Allstate commercial. It’s brought even more awareness to the medium which is exciting for people who are creating and producing them. 

Our 2023 Predictions

Our predictions for 2023 were fun. It was my first year creating something about where I saw the industry going. While I think many of these will continue to be important, there’s something to build on here.

  1. SEO will be more important than ever
  1. Video will not be the future of podcasting
  1. Content standards are going to be set high
  1. The importance of following the data
  1. Listeners (people) over downloads (numbers)

2024 Podcast Predictions: 

Evergreen Content will Reign Supreme

Listeners want to be able to binge through your episodes easily. When you mention timely things, it can feel frustrating for listeners, especially if those trends and topics no longer apply. If the content is timely, it’s important that you specify that and showcase where they can look for up-to-date information (more recent podcast episodes, your newsletter, etc.).

Creating evergreen content makes it easier for business owners to sell their stuff on the podcast because the message is consistent and the action is clear. You can also use dynamic content to monetize your show with your most current offerings. 

Take Action – Plan your next 8 podcast episodes with evergreen content in mind.

Video is the Future of Podcast Marketing

You might have to read that one again. Last year, we said that video was not the future of podcasting, and I still believe that to be true for most podcast creators.

While I don’t think that video podcasts are the future since the majority of podcast listeners still listen in their vehicles or while doing household tasks, I do think that we are seeing a shift in how podcasters can market their podcasts. We will have to be a little savvier in how we market our shows if we want to stand out from the crowd of other people vying for attention on social media.

Take Action – Find a way to automate your marketing more so that you can easily create video social content. Some tools I love right now are Riverside FM, Headliner, and Munch AI.

Bold and Thought Provoking Content Wins

We talked about the rise of AI at the top of this blog post and how it will continue to impact the audio medium. How can we stand out if AI content and voice are also in our space? 

Be bold in your content. Stop playing it safe. 

Push away people that don’t want or need your message. Create connections with the people who do. Share unique stories and push the boundaries in your conversations. No more fluffy content.

The only way you can make lasting change with your content is to create something that will actually change someone’s life. Playing it safe isn’t going to do that.

Take action – In your next solo episode, I want you to get vulnerable and real with your audience in a way you never have before.

Information is Abundant. Be Selective.

There will continue to be a lot of changes in podcasting in 2024. It’s clear as day to anyone in the space. Companies are picking up and dropping stuff left and right. 

With that in mind, who do you look to for information? Are you feeling overwhelmed and unsure? Did someone tell you, based on a single interaction, that you won’t be a successful podcaster? 

How do you know which changes to the industry you should join and which you shouldn’t? It can be a lot! This is where a podcast strategist can support you. When I’m creating a strategy for someone, I take into account their goals, industry, and capacity. Then I talk through what will actually work for them instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Take action – Decide on 2-3 sources of podcast information that you will follow in 2024 for your updates and how they might impact you.

Listeners (People) Over Downloads (Numbers)

This one stays the same because I think it will continue to be important as we head into another year of podcasting. It’s easy to look at the number of downloads as just that– numbers. 

What if we imagined them as actual people, though? Think about the number of people who listened to your podcast. Now imagine that number of people in a room, listening to you speak. 

How does that feel? Does it make you want to show up differently? Remember, there are human beings behind those downloads and they are choosing to take time out of their day to intentionally listen to you. 

Take Action: Connect (or reconnect) with one listener in your DMs this week. 

Conclusion

Podcasting has changed a lot this year and will continue as we see the rise and fall of more tools. It’s important that we keep a few things in mind as we head into 2024:

  • Think about your audience when you are creating content.
  • Focus on your goals when deciding on what actions to take.
  • Be consistent and persistent. 
  • Don’t forget to download the free workbook

Want to read more predictions we are following?

Startup Marketing Predictions for 2024 (Firebrand)

Visionary Execs at Whole Foods, Slack, Google, Amazon and More Share Their 2024 Predictions (Entrepreneur)

Will Social Media Marketing Look Different in 2024? My Big Predictions (OnlineDrea)


Stitcher Shutting Down Cover

If you’re following any form of podcasting news, you probably saw that SiriusXM is shutting down Stitcher, their podcast listening app. This might seem like a big change if you’ve been listening to podcasts since 2014, like me. Back then, there weren’t nearly as many podcast apps available for Android users. Stitcher has been around for almost 15 years, and their shutting down might feel scary.   

How Stitcher Shutting Down Will Impact Your Podcast

On August 29, 2023, SiriusXM will be sunsetting their podcast app, Stitcher which they acquired back in 2020. (VarietyClick here to read the full story.

It’s impacting some important conversations in the podcasting space. So it’s a big deal.

Basically, there are those who are saying with Spotify shifting some of their things around and this happening, that this could be the beginning of the end for podcasting. That the industry isn’t headed in the right direction. 

Now, you may be thinking, well how does this impact me as a podcaster?

And if you’re like a lot of podcasters,  you may even be a little nervous about all these changes in the industry. Is this really the beginning of the end of podcasting?It’s not, but here’s the low-down on what it all means.

Let’s Look at some Stitcher Data

You’ll see below the ongoing trend of listens from Buzzsprout’s Platform Stats. You’ll see that Stitcher has consistently been the podcast listening platform of choice for about 0.5% of those who listen to Buzzsprout podcasts. 

Buzzsprout Stats from December 2022

Buzzsprout Stats from January 2023

Buzzsprout Stats from February 2023

Buzzsprout Stats from March 2023

Buzzsprout Stats from April 2023

Buzzsprout Stats from May 2023

You can see from this information that there hasn’t been an increase in Stitcher listeners over the last 6 months and it probably didn’t make sense for SiriusXM to keep the app going. That doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with podcasting as an industry though.

Watch What You Read

There’s a lot of media coverage around Stitcher shutting down so it’s important that the places we are getting our information from aren’t using fear tactics about the podcast industry. 

In your research, you might have seen this CBS News article: 

Let’s be clear–podcasting as an industry is not losing its luster. As we saw, Stitcher data is clear. They aren’t performing like the major podcast apps and SiriusXM had to make a decision about that. 

Elsie Escobar, a podcast mentor and Advocate for Independent Podcasters, said it best. “Stitcher shutting down is not some foreboding event for the podcasting industry. Them shutting down is about Stitcher.”

Podcasts Aren’t Going Anywhere

Even with Stitcher shutting down, that doesn’t mean that podcasts are headed in a negative direction. If anything, podcast listenership continues to grow.

The number of podcast listeners rose from 274.8 million in 2019 to a whopping 464.7 million listeners in 2023 (as of April 2023 according to Market.us).

When we look at the data, it takes the fear, and emotions out of the changes in our industries. I would encourage you to also consider where you can help alleviate some of the overwhelm that happen in your industry.

Key Takeaway

Things are always changing fast in podcasting, and as fast as they change we need to change, too. The best way to come out ahead is to give your listeners options. If you are a podcaster who has been only putting your podcast on a few podcast listening apps, now might be the time to diversify where your show is going.

I’m hearing from podcast listeners that are frustrated because they truly loved the Stitcher app. Now, they’ll have to find a new place. Let’s take a moment to be sympathetic and offer viable solutions for our listeners. 

What’s the first action step you’re going to jump on? Let us know in the comments!