PRX Announces New Round of the Google Podcasts Creators Program

Public media organization PRX – one of the world’s leading podcast publishers – announced a new round of the Google Podcasts creator program, a podcast accelerator and training program for audio producers around the world.

PRX launched the Google Podcasts creator program in 2018 with a mission to help build a global, empowered audio community. The program has welcomed creators from Brazil, India, Kenya, Spain, Lebanon, Canada, Cuba, the United States, and elsewhere. This round – the program’s third – is open to mid-career podcasters seeking to level up their productions.

Led by the podcast training team at PRX, the program’s intensive curriculum will focus on areas including content an creative development, business development, audience growth, and long-term sustainability, and new strategic pathways such as video.

Applicants opened on March 29 here.

Each creator team in the program will receive:

20 weeks of intensive training. Throughout the training program, teams will also be guided through the production of assets such as pitch decks, production, marketing, and monetization plans, and audio. At the endow the program, creators will participate in a public-facing final showcase of work;

Up to $20,000 in funding for production costs as well as travel reimbursement;

One-on-one mentorship; and,

Access to a network of industry experts and a robust community of peers.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 24. Creative teams or individuals based in any location in the U.S. or internationally with proficiency in English and who are producers of existing podcasts are eligible. Creators across all genres are welcome and podcast content may be published in any language.

Six teams will be selected to participate in the Google Podcasts creator program. Participants will be notified by early June 2022 and the 20-week training program will kick off in late June 2022.

Those interested in applying for the program are also encouraged to attend one of two informational webinars, where PRX will be answering applicants’ questions about the 2022 accelerator, the application process, and eligibility. Register now to attend on April 8th or April 15th.

“We see our work as a catalyst for change in the global growing audio community, and we’re committed to empowering producers around the world,” said Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX. “We’re thrilled for a new chapter of the Google Podcasts creator program as the training curriculum continues to have a deep impact with podcast teams. Thank you to our partners at Google.”

Google Podcasts creator program alumni include City of Women (Bangalore, India), AfroQueer (Nairobi, Kenya), Las Raras (Santiago, Chile) De Es No Se Habla (Madrid, Spain), Literacy Kings (Houston, Texas), On Spec (Istanbul, Turkey), Letters to Boys (Lagos, Nigeria), and Self Evident (New York, New York).

Google Podcast Creator Program Selected 20 Podcasting Teams

The Google Podcast creators program selected 20 podcasting teams for 2020-21. Thousands of creators from nearly 120 countries applied to this year’s Google Podcasts creators program. To make a hard decision even more difficult, Google and PRX were only looking for creators who had an existing podcast.

The selected teams will participate in 12 weeks of free, virtual training conducted by PRX alongside international industry experts. During that time they’ll get regular feedback on all aspects of their production; work on storytelling, sound design, marketing, and more; equipment and software to help meet independent production needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic; and $12,000 in funding.

The 20 Selected Creators Are:

  • A3deh — قعدة (“Gathering”) — Amman, Jordan — Arabic. Based on a monthly support group where participants connect and share their personal experiences and stories as non-binary and queer individuals from the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Beyond the Newsroom — San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Florida — English. Veteran broadcast journalists Crystal Chavez and Renata Sago convene inspiring conversations devoted to disruptors redefining how journalism is done.
  • Buddha and the Beard — Brooklyn, New York — English. From navigating mental health journeys and the emotional complexities of miscarriages to stretching the boundaries with BDSM and polyamory, Buddha the 4th and Hugh Zeau define and identify toxic and healthy love frameworks, and more.
  • Contes et légendes du Queeristan (“Tales and Legends from Queeristan”) — Toronto, Canada — French. In this bi-monthly fiction podcast, intersectional storyteller and comedian Jo Güstin weaves fantastic tales and legends from the land of Queeristan. Jo Güstin’s multimedia work has been featured by the Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival and at the Paris Lesbian Book Fair (Salon du Livre Lesbien).
  • El Estornudo (“The Sneeze”) — Havana, Cuba — Spanish. A sound-rich narrative podcast in Spanish that catches the common time of ordinary people contrasted with the clock of power.
  • FAXINA — Boston, Massachusetts and Brasília, Brazil — Portuguese. A Portuguese word signifying thorough cleaning, raising the rug to examine what lies beneath, “FAXINA” shares the ignored, forgotten, unheard, and first-person accounts of Brazilians and Portuguese-speaking immigrants who are domestic workers in the U.S.
  • Indomables (“Indomitable”) — Panama City, Panama — Spanish. Journalists Melissa Pinel and Leila Nilipour craft intimate stories of the human experience, revealing the intricacies of cultural, historical, and social issues while bringing us closer together.
  • K’nın Sesi (“Voice of K”) — Istanbul, Turkey — Turkish. The letter “K” carries multiple meanings, referring to concepts such as Kadın (woman), Kuir (queer), Korona (corona), Karantina (quarantine), Kavga (struggle), and Keşif (discovery). Raising queer voices and women’s voices from Turkey, “K’nın Sesi” will feature empowering audio dramas and conversations reaching those who might feel isolated and underrepresented.
  • Leading Ladies — Lusaka, Zambia — English. Featuring historical, hidden narratives of women leaders in Zambia who held prominent positions of power, pre-colonialism, “Leading Ladies” challenges existing ideas around women and leadership vital to Africa’s development. “Leading Ladies” is a podcast from the Women’s History Museum of Zambia.
  • Letters to Boys — Lagos, Nigeria — English. “To be a man is not a day’s job,” the age-old proverb says, and the journey from ‘boyhood’ to ‘manhood’ is complex. “Letters to Boys” is a podcast that explores issues on manhood, diving into the workplace, relationships, marriage, and more.
  • Literacy Kings — Houston, Texas — English. Musician Corey Paul and entrepreneur JaMorcus Trayham grew up in a neighborhood with a 30% school drop-out rate, and didn’t start reading books until adulthood. Together, and with a mix of education and entertainment, Corey and JaMorcus break down popular financial books in a way that resonates with people of color and marginalized communities while also sharing their own life experiences.
  • On Spec — Istanbul, Turkey — English. Reported from different corners of the world, “On Spec” features documentaries from independent journalists about global issues through the lens of local communities.
  • Pequeños Viajes Sensoriales (“Little Journeys for the Senses”) — San José, Costa Rica — Spanish. Through experimentation and evocative sound, “Pequeños Viajes Sensoriales” visits fantastic settings that stimulate the senses and emotions, inspiring creativity and taking the power of imagination to the limit.
  • Prato Cheio (“Full Plate”) — São Paulo, Brazil — Portuguese. Based on rigorous research and investigation, “Prato Cheio” promotes a democratic debate on a fundamental issue of the 21st century: food. A team of journalists with a diverse background — ranging from sustainability to human rights — examines all things food politics with a systemic approach to the topic, aiming to spark interesting conversations among those who listen to the show.
  • Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories — Brooklyn, New York and Oakland, CA — English. “Self Evident” presents reported stories, audio documentaries, and conversations from Asian diaspora communities across the United States, to reveal and challenge the narratives that shape our lives.
  • Tales of the Text — Chicago, Illinois — English. An unfiltered audio fiction podcast for teens and young adults and wrapped in Black culture, “Tales of the Text” features stories of relationships, friendships, peer pressure, drugs, sex, secret societies, drama, secrets, and plot twists.
  • The Food Griot Chronicles — Brooklyn, New York — English
    A special series from The Food Griot & Market Road Films delving into American food and drink history, The Food Griot Chronicles delivers history from the perspective of those responsible for our foodways more than any other: Black culinary architects whose legacies carry through today.
  • Tres Cuentos (“Three Stories”) — Georgia and Texas — English and Spanish. With episodes in both Spanish and English, “Tres Cuentos” is dedicated to Latin America’s literary, historical, and traditional narratives while bringing to life literature and reflecting on it from various cultural and historical perspectives.
  • Valle de Cielo Gris (“Valley of the Grey Sky”) — Tijuana, Mexico — Spanish. An audio drama about love, revenge, prejudice, and the things we fear most, “Valle de Cielo Gris” is a cosmic horror fantasy satirizing the absurdities of the human condition and our everyday monsters, while also shining a light on our need for hope and humor in our darkest of times.
  • Vietnamese Boat People — Montclair, New Jersey — English. Almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many were captured and brutally punished, many were denied asylum in neighboring countries, many died along the journey, and hundreds of thousands eventually resettled in western countries. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People.’

Google Podcast Creator Program is Taking Applications

Google Podcast Creator Program is guided by a mission of providing a global audio community with open resources, empowering underrepresented voices, and showcasing new work. The program will begin taking applications on July 1, 2020. If you applied to last year’s program, you will need to fill out the application again.

BIPOC podcasters and creators from traditionally marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Last year, we welcomed early-stage producers from Brazil, Chile, Columbia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Spain and the United States. This year, the program will serve creators from around the globe who produced at least five episodes of their podcast since January 2019, and who want to advance their skills and take their productions to the next level.

The Google Podcast Creator Program is free to participants. The 12-week training will be entirely virtual and conducted by PRX alongside international industry experts and Google Podcast creator program alumni.

Participants will receive:

  •  Regular feedback on all aspects of their production, including editorial and technical input
  •  Training on topics such as storytelling, sound design, and reaching audiences through marketing and engagement strategies
  •  Equipment and software to help meet independent production needs amid the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic
  •  Up to $12,000 in funding for use as they see fit for their productions

There is a page filled with frequently asked questions (FAQs) for people who want more information about how to apply for the Google Podcast Creator Program.