Hosting a podcast won’t make you any money, but it can win you an award that you can sell to buy more microphones or whatever. On January 18, the podcasting world will come together for the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards, a 90-minute event to unfold at Los Angeles’ iHeartRadio Theater.
The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God will co-host the ceremony with Stuff You Missed in History Class’ Holly Frey and country radio personality Bobby Bones, and the likes of Lore’s Aaron Mahnke and Up And Vanished’s Payne Lindsey will be on hand as presenters. There will be an astounding 22 categories, with 17 of them being voted on by listeners. The other five—podcast of the year, breakout podcast, best branded podcast, best social impact from podcast/host, and the podcast innovator award—will be voted on by a “blue-ribbon panel of podcast industry figures” that somehow isn’t just our own Podmass writers.
The nominees for podcast of the year include Dirty John, Hardcore History, Radiolab, Serial, Slow Burn, The Daily, and The Habitat. And then there’s The Joe Rogan Experience, which deserves some kind of recognition for getting one of the richest, most influential people on the planet to tank their own company’s stock by smoking weed on air.
Also nominated is Atlanta Monster and Stuff You Should Know, which is a bit weird considering both are owned by iHeartMedia, the event’s organizers. The Hollywood Reporter notes that “iHeart says that the awards will honor podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms, not just those developed within its own podcast network.” How gracious of them.
It’s a solid, if fairly predictable, list overall. We remain optimistic, however, that next year will highlight some of the more unheralded innovators on the scene. The Angry Birds Drink P*ss in The Angry Birds Movie podcast, we’re looking in your direction.
Voting begins on October 22 via the iHeart Podcast Awards website and social media, and lasts through January 6.