2021 judges coming soon...
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."
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."
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."
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!"
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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?"
Publisher, Laudable (Reach plc), UK
"Podcasts can allow us to engage and draw in listeners in so many ways, from an early morning breaking news update to a series that dives into significant and long-running issues. Podcasts show off the personality of our brands and staff, and when we bring in other, external voices - from experts to lived experiences - they create intimacy with the listener."
Editor, The Drum, UK
"Publishers need to go where their audiences are, and they know that this is a medium they can use to complement their current offering and serve more in their areas of strength. Publishers now need podcasts - whether they can monetise them yet or not."
Finance Editor, Hearst magazines, UK
"When it comes to judging an award-winning podcast, I'll be looking for consistent quality, structure, and most importantly, passion, and a lot of it! Listeners will feel it and enjoy your podcast more."
Journalist & Broadcaster, Director, HuffPost Centre for Journalism at BCU, UK
"I'm looking for witty and knowledgeable hosts with captivating personalities. I want to see honesty and purity in the way the subject matter is tackled. And I'm looking for some expert knowledge of the subject matter - there's got to be a point to the whole thing: whether it's new voices tackling controversial subjects, to entertain or inform."
Managing Producer, Digital Media, ideastream, US
"Podcasts are introducing publishers to what broadcasters have long known: audio is a great medium when you're on the go, which makes it perfect for the mobile age. Unlike video that demands more of your attention, you can listen to podcasts while you're out running, in the car, and more. Forward-thinking publishers are finding that free podcasts can be an important part of their conversion funnels to attract paying subscribers or members."
Laura Kelly Dunlop
Director, Edinburgh International Magazine Festival, PPA Scotland Business Manager, UK
"There are a lot of podcasts out there. So for your podcast to be worth an award, it needs to do more than produce content of consistently excellent quality; it has to give me something of value that I can't get elsewhere, a true reason to listen. The successful podcast, like the successful magazine, knows its audience. Entertain me. Inform me. Make me think."
Publisher and media analyst, Denmark
"Audio is quickly becoming the third big format for publishers, both as a separate format, but also as an integrated part of the focus that we offer as a whole. It is perfectly designed to be used while doing other things, which in turn opens up many new models for doing this."
Founder, Speciall Media, UK
"Podcasts help publishers build deeper engagement between their most loyal readers and their journalists. This in turn strengthens the credibility of their journalism."
Global Head of Marketing, Economist Events, UK
"I'm very optimistic about the future of podcasts! Across the group, we've seen a huge surge in the popularity of our own podcasts, and they have become a real revenue stream as well as another high value touch point for our audience."
Content Director, PinkNews, UK
"Podcasts act as a brilliant and creative way for publishers to explore stories in more depth, generate revenue, and connect to new and existing audiences on a more intimate level. As consumers continue to seek out more meaningful and tactile experiences when it comes to content, I believe we are still very much in the infancy of podcast potential."
Head of Podcasts, Right Angles, UK
"I'm incredibly optimistic for the future of podcasts - and in turn less optimistic for the future of radio. The benefits are multi-faceted. Being able to listen to exactly what you want to, with no scheduling or time constraints, is crucial. But also, over and above any other medium, podcasts allow the listener to be anywhere as well. With an abundance of topics, guests and ideas available, podcasts certainly aren't going anywhere fast."
Product Director, Digital, Immediate Media, UK
"Podcasts are a great way to make a number of strategic moves. They provide an opportunity to connect with a passionate niche audience, to give a voice to talent outside the constraints of a publication, provide scope for an in-depth investigation, allow the brand to have a different voice, and enable low-cost experimentation. Most of all, they can create a relationship with an audience that is much more personal than passive content consumption."
Head of Ambassador Program, Hostwriter, Germany
"Podcasts will have a bright future. They offer listeners who are overwhelmed with multimedia options a chance to focus on their interests in a relaxed way, brightening up a commute or preparing supper. There is something timeless and beguiling about listening to a voice tell a story, or listening in on a conversation, and podcasting has barely begun to harness the possibilities available for this medium."
Co-Founder & CEO, Agribriefing, UK
"As part of a wider engagement strategy, podcasts definitely have a place. Personality and brand are all important in media. A podcast provides a highly accessible means of engaging with both business and consumer markets, and can help with both retention and conversion of new audiences."
Managing Director, The Magazine Expert, UK
"Professional podcasts provide an excellent opportunity to widen the reach of a publication by engaging a wider audience. They require little in terms of infrastructure or training. A well-structured, informative podcast will enhance the overall value proposition of a publication, while widening participation. In my opinion, podcasts have the potential to increase sustainability at a critical juncture in magazine publishing."
Global Content Manager, Unilever & Senior Lecturer at University of Roehampton, UK
"I'm looking for a tone of voice and content that makes me feel like I'm taking part in a brilliant conversation with a friend that I know and I'm now ready to be on first name terms with. I want it to make me think and to want to share what I've heard, so that when it finishes I'm reaching for my diary to pencil in our next catchup."
Managing Director, Association for Online Publishers (AOP), UK
"I am naturally very excited for the wider future of podcasts by virtue of them providing original content creators, publishers, the opportunity to discover, reach and serve new, and often more youthful audiences. As the medium has relatively low barriers to entry, podcasts compliment the consumption trend for an 'on the go' content experience."
Communications Executive, Picador at Pan Macmillan & Foul Play mag co-founder, UK
"Through podcasting, publishers have a really exciting opportunity to offer readers extra content in a totally new way, complimenting your existing publications. You can really hone and develop your editorial voice, and with fewer traditional constraints, you have the freedom to be truly creative with your content and format, diving deep into a story or interview in a way that you might not have been able to do otherwise."
Station Manager, Flirt FM 101.3, UK
"What I'm looking for in an award winning podcast is; good recordings, judicious editing - fast or spacious, depending on the tone of the podcast, sympathetic use of music or actuality if it adds to the podcast. Most of all, I'm looking for something that tells a story, brings you into a community of interest, time or place or makes you feel like you're in on a secret that's worth hearing."