All posts by Jen Thorpe

Podcast Awards Relaunches with New Website

The 12th Annual Podcast Awards has relaunched with a new website for 2017. There have been some big changes since last year, including a complete rewriting of the rules. The GoFundMe for Podcast Awards has been updated with new information.

The new rules represent the most extensive changes in the history of the Podcast Awards. The changes were made based on input from hundreds of podcasters. The goal of Podcast Awards is to make minor tweaks as they go and hope that the awards process will satisfy the majority of podcasters who have supported them over the years.

It is now possible to see a list of past winners of Podcast Awards for every year from 2005 through 2016. This is something new that has been added to the website.

There is also a list of Legacy Shows that are honored for their excellence in podcasting and who have won a Podcast Award a minimum of five times. Legacy Shows that have never won a People’s Choice Award are still eligible for that distinction and are automatically entered into the People’s Choice category (and are not required to register).

The People’s Choice top Award has been renamed to honor the Podfather of Podcasting. It is now called The Adam Curry People’s Choice Award.

The official timeline is:

  • Podcaster Registration: May 1 – July 31
  • Listener Nomination Period: July 1 – July 31
  • Slate Announcement: August 12
  • Slate Voting: August 13 – September 15
  • Awards Ceremony: September 30

Nomination Rules and Eligibility

Any show podcasting on or before July 1, 2017, with a minimum of 10 published episodes is eligible to register and be nominated for the 2017 Podcast Awards.

All registered shows will automatically be eligible to be nominated in the People’s Choice Category. Any show wishing to be eligible to be nominated can register via the registration page until the nomination closing date and pay via PayPal the $10 registration fee.

Shows that do not register are not eligible to participate. The registration fee is not-refundable.

The biggest change to the Podcast Awards is that there is no longer any daily voting by the public at large.

  • The Podcast Award Committee will invite journalists, podcast thought leaders, legacy podcasters, sponsors and individuals of the committee’s choosing to vote, not to exceed 50 participants.
  • Through random selection, 50 of the 2017 registered podcasters will be asked to review and vote with a backup pool of registered podcasters to ensure 50 podcasters cast ballots.
  • Through random selection, 250 registered listeners who volunteered to vote during registration will be asked to review and vote with a backup pool of registered listeners to ensure 250 listeners cast ballots.

Podcasters can and should provide instructions on their shows and sites instructing their audiences on how to register and nominate their podcasts. Expressly forbidden are automated programs, web assist templates that interact with the Podcast Awards site, and web overlays. No nomination tool or macro is allowed.

Virgin Atlantic Launches The Venture

Virgin Atlantic has launched a podcast called The Venture.  It is a branded podcast that will include six episodes.  Virgin Atlantic said:

We’re thrilled to share some of the most fascinating stories out there on The Venture, a branded podcast that explores the adventures of starting and running an industry-changing business, directly through the voices of the people who lived them.

Virgin Atlantic believes that business is an epic adventure. In order to bring that mantra to life, Virgin Atlantic worked with Gimlet Creative on The Venture. Creative Director of Gimlet Creative, Nazanin Rafsanjani had this to say about the process:

Virgin Atlantic has been a great partner by letting us follow these stories wherever they lead. Despite their level of name recognition, all of the business leaders we are profiling are fascinating characters with a singular vision for what they want to create in the world. In turn, their stories are powerful and will resonate with not only Virgin travellers, but aspiring entrepreneurs the world-over.

At the time I am writing this, an introduction episode has been released. This was followed by Episode 1 “Kill Rock Stars: We Wanted Everything to Change”. The episode features the founders of Kill Rock Stars, one of indie rock’s most respected record labels. Nirvana, Sleater-Kinney, and Elliot Smith all have roots at that label.

AdWeek reported that The Venture is the first time that Gimlet has worked with an agency to shape the direction and create sponsored content. Gimlet has previously created podcasts for eBay and Tinder.

Bill O’Reilly Wants You to Pay for His Podcast

Bill O’Reilly has recently started a brand new podcast called No Spin NewsIt launched on Bill O’Reilly’s website on April 24, 2017. No Spin News is being offered for free for a limited time. After Monday, May 1, 2017, those who want to listen to No Spin News will need to become a Premium Member.

As you may have heard, Bill O’Reilly was recently ousted from Fox News after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more. The New York Times reported:

Mr. O’Reilly and his employers came under intense pressure after an article by The New York Times on April 1 revealed how Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had repeatedly stood by him even after he and the company reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.

Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women’s rights groups had called for him to be fired.

Fox News reported a portion of a statement by 21st Century Fox which said: …”the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”  ABC Chicago reported that Bill O’Reilly made a statement after being ousted that included: “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”

In general, podcasts are offered for free. Podcasters know this – and so do podcast listeners.

Therefore, I think Bill O’Reilly may be reducing the potential size of his audience by requiring people to purchase a Premium Membership in order to listen to No Spin News. Charging a fee for something that is typically given for free might turn some potential listeners off.

A Monthly Premium Membership costs $4.95 a month. It renews automatically. There are other membership options for people who want to buy a yearly membership for themselves (or give one to someone else). There is also a 90 day membership that does not automatically renew. I’m not sure if that membership comes with access to No Spin News.

Bill O’Reilly’s website states: “All the money Bill makes from the website goes to worthy charities doing great work.”

The most recent episode of No Spin News (at the time I am writing this) was released on April 26, 2017. It is titled “O’Reilly Breaks Down President Trump’s Tax Plan.” The April 25th episode was titled: “O’Reilly on Trump’s Looming Tax Plan and More.” The debut episode, which was released on April 24, 2017, was titled: “O’Reilly’s Back: Trump’s Poll Numbers, Ann Coulter’s Safety, and More”.

Crooked Media Launches Pod Save the People

Pod Save the People is the newest podcast from Crooked Media. It follows Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, and Lovett or Leave It, all of which have something to do with politics.

Pod Save the People is hosted by organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson, who will take you inside conversations about culture, social justice, and politics by exploring the history, language, and people who are shaping the struggle for progress – and talking about the steps that each of us can take to make a difference.

DeRay Mckesson is a former educator who worked for the Harlem Children’s Zone, opened up an academic enrichment center in West Baltimore, and with Baltimore City Public Schools. He is one of the people involved in Campaign Zero, which provides policy solutions that can end police violence in America. DeRay Mckession is also involved in Our States, which connects communities to actionable information and tools to reject the Trump/GOP agenda in every state and protect communities from harm.

BuzzFeed News recently wrote about DeRay Mckesson and Pod Save the People:

McKesson told BuzzFeed News that Campaign Zero quickly learned that even the people most interested in helping it advance its goals didn’t have guidance in terms of what actually do. Already armed with the web tools, Mckesson likened his aim with the podcast to his appearances on cable news and on Twitter over the course of the past few years: as a large-scale attempt to help give supporters language to talk about matters of policing, racial issues, and the movement itself.

Pod Save the People has released a “Teaser” episode, which gives an introduction of what the podcast will cover. The first full episode will drop on May 2, 2017. New episodes will post on Tuesdays thereafter.


The Well Told Conference is a First for the UK

Well Told is a conference that will take place on May 27-28, 2017, in central London. It is the first conference of its kind in the UK. The mission of the conference is to get the UK media to treat narrative journalism with the respect it deserves.

There’s never been a conference like Well Told in the UK before – but the need for creative journalists to be on top of their storytelling skills has never been greater. The rise of longform and narrative journalism – which breaks out of a vanilla news voice to use all the techniques of storytelling – represents the most exciting and rewarding future for journalists.

Well Told is not only for journalists. It is also for reporters, authors, documentarians, and podcasters, who will share the storytelling skills that make their work stand out. Tickets are on sale now.

There are a lot of people who will be speaking at Well Told (and more will be announced later). You can find a list of the speakers on the Well Told website. The speakers include some podcasters and broadcasters.

  • Jon Manel – Podcast editor, BBC World Service
  • Giles Wilson – Creative Director, Harpoon Productions
  • Paul Morley – Cultural commentator, broadcaster and author
  • Ben Green – Multimedia producer & podcaster at the Guardian
  • Emma Jane Kirby – Broadcaster and author of ‘The Optician of Lampedusa’


Podcast Movement 2017 Includes Ignite Event

Podcast Movement 2017 will take place on August 23-25, 2017. Ticket are on sale now. As in previous years, Podcast Movement 2017 slowly reveals who the keynote speakers will be and what fun events will happen. This year, Podcast Movement 2017 is including Ignite.

Ignite Podcast Movement is an event that nearly any Podcast Movement attendee can take part in. Ignite talks are called “Sparkes”. Each Spark is five minutes long and has 20 slides… on a 15 second auto advance.

Those who are attending Podcast Movement 2017, and who want to do a Spark, can submit their topic. The Sparkes will be presented on the big stage on the evening of August 22, 2017. Each Spark is designed to educate and entertain. The attendees of Podcast Movement 2017 can vote for their favorite Spark.

A Spark does not have to be focused on podcasting. Any topic is “on limits” at Ignite. It is presented in an irreverent format, and speakers are encouraged to think outside the box and share fun, unique, and interesting stories.

Univision Launches Uforia Audio On-Demand

Univision announced the launch of Uforia Audio On-Demand. This new platform includes a slate of 17 podcasts that cover news, entertainment, sports, and more.

Geared toward digital content enthusiasts, Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America has launched Uforia Audio on Demand.

It delivers a first-class experience that listeners crave, structured with a suite of programming that spans a range of cultural passion points – from news and politics to sports, music, comedy, and more. The podcast and live-stream formats leverage the expertise of Univision’s favorite radio and television personalities as well as its growing stable of digital talent.

With tech-savvy Hispanics in the U.S. Significantly over-indexing as owners or intenders in categories like smartphones and streaming, Uforia Audio On-Demand serves as an innovative on-demand audio platform tailored to the needs of its audience’s highly-digital lifestyles.

Here is a sampling of shows from Univision’s podcasts:

Epicentro, an analysis of the week’s current events and En Boca de León, the acclaimed politics and current affairs newsmagazine – these two podcasts are hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist León Krauze, the anchor of the 6.p.m. And 11 p.m newscast on Univision Los Angeles KMEX 34.

El Show de Alberto Sardiñas, hosted by Alberto Sardiñas, author of “El Poder de Tu Historia” – the inspirational talk show featuring well-known successful people who share about their path to success and inspire listeners to create their own.

El Show de Omar y Argelia, the popular Morning Drive show hosted by married couple Omar Velasco and Argelia Atilano, that fills listener’s commutes with a fun look at trending topics, lifestyle and family themes plus a blend of today’s chart topping music.

Coquenetas Positivas with Karen ‘La Coqueta’, a podcast hosted by Karen O’Brien provides uplifting and positive tips and advice for happier and healthier living.

A Bordo Podcast, hosted by Jamie Gabaldoni, automotive expert and Senior Editor, Autos, and Simón Gómez. The two automotive experts share their experiences and insight in this weekly podcast.

Los Tres P’s, the all sports all the time hit program

The Podcasts that Won the 2017 Webby Awards

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet. It was established in 1996. The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science (IADAS) – a 2000+ member judging body. The Webbys now honor Film & Video, Advertising, Media &PR, Social, Mobile Sites & Apps, and Podcasts & Digital Audio.

Here are the podcasts that won 2017 Webby Awards and/or People’s Voice awards:

Arts & Culture

  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: Still Processing (The New York Times)
  • People’s Voice: Stuff You Should Know (How Stuff Works)

Best Host

  • Webby Winner: Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People (Earwolf/Midroll)
  • People’s Voice: 99% Invisible (PRX/Radiotopia)

Best Individual Episode

  • Webby Winner: “Is the Internet Being Ruined?” – Freakonomics Radio (WNYC)
  • People’s Voice: Revisionist History With Malcolm Gladwell (Panoply)

Best Sound Design/Original Music Score

  • Webby Winner: Secrets, Crimes & AudioTape: Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me Series (Wondery)
  • People’s Voice: Undisclosed: The Music (Undisclosed, LLC)

Best Writing

  • Webby Winner: How to Be A Girl (Independent)
  • People’s Voice: Stuff You Missed in History Class (HowStuffWorks)


  • Webby Winner: The Hilarious World of Depression (American Public Media)
  • People’s Voice: The Last Podcast on the Left (Cave Comedy Radio)


  • Webby Winner: The Kitchen Sisters Present (The Kitchen Sisters)
  • People’s Voice: Missing Richard Simmons (First Look Media)


  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: Homecoming (Gimlet Media)

Interview/Talk Show

  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: Another Round (BuzzFeed)


  • Webby Winner: Women of the Hour (Pineapple Street Media/Lenny Letter)
  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: Sporkful (Stitcher)

News and Information

  • Webby Winner: Voting Rights – And Wrongs (Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting)
  • People’s Voice: FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast (FiveThirtyEight)


  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: Masterpiece Studio (Masterpiece on PBS, WGBH)

Science & Education

  • Webby Winner: Hidden Brain (NPR)
  • People’s Voice: Waking Up with Sam Harris (Four Elephants Media)


  • Webby Winner + People’s Voice: The Bill Simmons Podcast By The Ringer (The Ringer)


  • Webby Winner: Leo Laporte Talks With Edward Snowden’s Lawyer (TWIT)
  • People’s Voice: Codebreaker (Marketplace)


RAIN Podcast Business Summit Happens in June

RAIN News is the preeminent source of information and commentary about the future of radio and the emergence of streaming radio. RAIN has announced that the RAIN Podcast Business Summit will take place on June 21, 2017.

The RAIN Podcast Business Summit will be held at the AXA Event & Production Center in New York, as a half-day event. This is a new conference for one of the fastest-growing marketing and programming platforms today.

In its inaugural year, the RAIN Podcast Business Summit will bring together buyers from advertising agencies, brand marketers, leading podcast networks, show hosts and producers, data experts, and technology companies to explore the dynamic intersection of the buy and sell sides in the burgeoning industry of on-demand audio.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn will open the event with a keynote on the “Evolution of Audio.” Following the keynote, Edison Research will present the findings of a new study on how smart speakers and voice-controlled technology are affecting consumer behavior – research conducted in partnership with NPR, the presenting sponsor of the RAIN Podcast Business Summit. NPR’s Hourly News Summary podcast is the default Flash Briefing on the Alexa platform and is used by hundreds of thousands of people every week.

Through new research, discussion panels and interviews, the RAIN Podcast Business Summit will explore the most current issues and topics defining the landscape of podcasting and its opportunity for marketers. By demystifying the challenges, presenting solutions, and forecasting future trends, the Summit will bring important knowledge to all participants who have a stake in on-demand audio. Speakers and the full agenda will be released in the coming weeks.