We're pleased to announce the first judges for the Publisher Podcast Awards. More will be announced over the coming months - follow us on Twitter @pubpodawards for updates.

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Julia Raphaely
CEO, Associated Media Publishing, South Africa

"As publishers, podcasts are such a great addition to what we already offer in adding extra dimensions to current, successful content. South Africans have got the podcast bug, and podcast listenership in South Africa is growing exponentially."

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Madhav Chinnappa
Director of News Ecosystem Development, Google, UK

"I'm very optimistic about the future of podcasts. I do think they might be close to being over-hyped in the short term, but the medium of audio and the convenience of podcasting are winning elements in the long term. How podcasts get monetised will be the key next success factor."

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Jemima Villanueva
Executive Director EMEA, The Atlantic, UK

"I am very excited about the wider future of podcasts - we have a lot more growth to see yet. We also haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the creative possibilities that this medium opens up for brands."

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Nick Flood
Managing Director, Digital at Dennis, UK

"For an award-winning podcast, I'm looking for one that has shown genuine growth and engagement with its listeners whilst being commercially viable - no mean feat!"

Nikki Simpson

Nikki Simpson
Director at the International Magazine Centre, UK

"Podcasts offer a revenue stream through sponsorship and advertising, increased brand awareness, and another medium for readers and listeners to engage with content - one more engrossing than digital, and often far more entertaining."

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James Hewes
President & CEO at FIPP, UK

"Podcasts were one of the first truly new formats enabled by digital distribution. The initial burst of growth and enthusiasm for the format was followed by a bit of a lull, but in the past couple of years, driven by the rapid growth of voice devices, they are back with a bang."

Lucy Kueng

Lucy Kueng
Advisor, speaker, analyst, Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, UK

"I see podcasts as developing into one element of a new business model comprising a self-reinforcing loop of newsletters, podcasts and live events. For more classical players, podcasts are a means of reinforcing existing elements of their strategy: to attract younger audiences, boost loyalty, and generate revenue."

Jeremy Walters

Jeremy Walters
Editor, What's New in Publishing, UK

"I'm looking for a podcast that consumes my attention for the entire duration of each show. This is incredibly difficult to pull off, due to the abundance of distractions that make it all too easy to finish halfway through, skip to another episode, or simply move on. In order to have longevity, podcasts have to rivet a listener to the spot, each and every episode."

Bo Sacks

Bo Sacks
Director, Precision Media Group, 'Heard on the Web' newsletter, US

"The success of podcasts goes hand in hand with the rising success of audiobooks. They are flip sides of the same coin. The public is on the move, and it is almost impossible to read while being mobile. Audio on the other hand is a sustainable mobile path to knowledge, entertainment, and curiosity."

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Damian Radcliffe
Journalist, Analyst, Researcher, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at University of Oregon, US

"There's never been a better time for publishers to embrace podcasts. It's easier than ever to distribute content, and awareness of the podcast medium is at an all-time high. However, this also means there's more content than ever, so publishers need to identify their value proposition to stand out from the crowd."

Sally Hampton

Sally Hampton
Consumer Magazines Publisher, DC Thomson Media, UK

"I'm very optimistic about the wider future of podcasts. I think the format is well-suited to the way we're living our lives now, offering on-the-go listening, and publishers are ideally placed to take advantage of this."

Jim Foster

Jim Foster
Head of ePublishing at Bauer Media, UK

"I'll be looking for a consistent structure, a high quality of content and how it enhances the brand for an award-winning podcast. It's important to consider what the listener wants, and how the platform fits in with the print and web strategy. It should also have a good pace, and I'll be looking to see if any attempts have been made to create a revenue stream, and if so, how?"

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