Chair of Judges: Sam Baker
Sam Baker is a writer, broadcaster and creator & host of the hit podcast, The Shift with Sam Baker, which spawned a book and newsletter. She is the award-winning former Editor-in-chief of Just 17, Company, Cosmopolitan and Red and co-founded the women’s digital platform, The Pool, with Lauren Laverne. She has also written five novels and a critically acclaimed memoir.
Award-winning Broadcaster and Beer Sommelier, UK
"I’m looking for witty and knowledgeable hosts with captivating personalities – who don’t have to be celebs/stars or anyone well-known. I’m looking for honesty and purity in the way the subject matter is tackled in the podcast. And I’m looking for some expert knowledge or skill from 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."
Executive producer, journalist, and media personality, US
"For me an award-winning podcast teases out a singular event across a longform narrative that ultimately gives the audience a broader takeaway about the human experience and our social-political moment. Great podcasts have a host with personal stakes in the story, excellent writing, well crafted and effective sound scenes and emotive interviews that help to flesh out characters."
Digital Media Strategist, UK
"I'm hugely optimistic about the future of podcasts both in terms of audience growth and in terms of business models. The deep engagement they provide and the time that people spend with podcast marks a real contrast to the fractured media attention we see elsewhere."
Chief Data & Marketing Officer, The Independent, UK
"Podcasts offer publishers the opportunity to capture readers’ attention in an intimate and engaging way. We should be committed to providing quality content wherever and whenever readers want to consume it. Podcasts should be focus for growth for publishers – they can represent in-depth and impactful journalism at it’s very best."
Editor, PodPod, UK
"For publishers, podcasts can offer a fantastic way to connect with their existing brand audiences on a deeper and more personal level; they provide space to dig more deeply into key topics or issues, and they can provide a more regular touchpoint for brands that operate on monthly or quarterly publication cycles. Beyond that, however, they also unlock a new layer of strategic opportunities."
Africa Editor, Rest of World & Publisher, Communiqué, Nigeria
"I’m very optimistic about the future of podcasts, particularly as traditional forms of audio media continue to evolve and adapt to the impact of the Internet. We can already see more radio programmes adapting hybrid models (including podcasting). This is just the beginning."
Co-Founder, Project 23, UK
"I listen to podcasts whilst at the gym, doing the shopping, on the school run...I can't think of a more selective, informative and entertaining medium that better fits into our busy lives. Podcasts give publishers the ability to connect with people in a much more personal way. The best podcasts have some of the most dedicated and loyal audiences that will be open to brand extensions and greater engagement opportunities."
Senior Manager for Programs and Education, Walkley Foundation for Journalism, Australia
"Podcasts help publishers reconnect in a human, authentic way with screen-weary audiences, and offer huge opportunities for strategic expansion into new markets at home and abroad."
Consumer Magazines Publisher, DC Thomson Media, UK
"At a time when the way we live changes on an almost daily basis, podcasts offer publishers and their partners a uniquely intimate way to engage with audiences. I see very encouraging signs that businesses better understand the value of professionally crafted podcasts and I believe that publishers are ideally placed to thrive in this sector."
Editor, journalism.co.uk, UK
"The podcasting market is likely to grow, also thanks to voice-controlled devices. Companies like Apple are already thinking about the next big thing after the touch screen. The challenge, as always, is monetisation, but whether you use podcasts as a subscription perk or sponsorship opportunity, I believe they can play an important part in a publishers' commercial strategy."
Director of News Ecosystem Development, Google, UK
"I do think podcasts might be close to being over-hyped in the short term but I think 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."
Journalist and Founder of Borderline, UK
"Podcasts are a lot of work to produce, and they're notoriously hard to grow an audience for. So why do we bother? Because when you find a podcast you love, it becomes a part of your life and your routine. There's no medium like it to build a deep relationship with your audience and turn occasional readers into habitual listeners and advocates."
Freelance journalist and foreign correspondent, UK
"With ongoing investment from major media companies and growing audiences I’m optimistic about the future of podcasting and look forward to more innovation and diversity from storytellers."
Co-Founder of Everybody Media and the International Women's Podcast Awards, UK
"I'm looking for a unique take or fresh perspective on an existing idea, or a novel and creative twist on something new. I love to be surprised, either through a podcast's content or its production."
Owner, OG Podcasts, UK
"I'm incredibly optimistic for the future of podcasts - and in turn less optimistic for the future of radio. Being able to listen to exactly what you want to, with no scheduling or time constraints, is crucial. With an abundance of topics, guests and ideas available, podcasts certainly aren't going anywhere fast."
Podcast Producer & Engineer, UK
"Podcast have got a fantastic future ahead. Admittedly for creators it's going to become a lot more competitive but on the flip side for consumers, the calibre of content out there is only going to become more and more refined. Podcasters are now selling out arena tours and that's only a sign of things to come."
CEO, News Media Association, UK
"Voice and audio are becoming increasingly powerful ways for publishers’ to reach loyal readers as well as new audiences; as with print, digital and other platforms, trusted brands and content will be key to helping consumers cut through the noise, which is why I am confident publishers can thrive in a world of podcasting."
Dr Margaret Hughes
Chair - Association for Journalism Education, University of the West of Scotland, UK
"People's consumption habits in terms of news, features, interviews, indeed, any journalistic output, were changing anyway and the pandemic has just sped this up. Podcasts are targeted, narrow casting that people like (a bit like magazines) - they speak to communities, they create communities and now more than ever people want community."
Director, Collingwood Advisory, UK
"When executed well, podcasts are proving an excellent channel to help B2B and Lifesciences publishers engage time-poor professionals. Audio as a format can be quickly integrated into a people's regular routine whilst performing other more mundane tasks or enforced downtime. The best have a real personality and often relay complex or dry subject matter in a way that is genuinely engaging."
Director at the International Magazine Centre, UK
"In a time where boredom, stress and fear have all combined, I’m looking forward to hearing podcasts that have a purpose, have given people an escape, or have reassured them that they are part of wider supporting community."
Europe Bureau Chief, Adweek, UK
"Podcasting has grown in the last five years from a hobby to becoming a profession but remains hugely accessible to anyone with a phone, access to the internet and enthusiasm to create and now people are making money out of it - some people anyway. The future is bright."
The Media Mentor, UK
"The ability for audio to connect to people on the move has always been a major benefit. The flexibility of listening offers an advantage over text and video - as well as being a dynamic way to tell certain stories or offer particular insight."
Journalist, The Addition, UK
"I am very optimistic on the future of podcasting. They are now firmly embedded in the media diets of so many people and there is so much creativity in the space. There is also an increasing focus on improving adtech, meaning that more people can monetise their work in different ways. We may have reached a peak in the quantity of podcasts available, but the quality is improving all the time."
Podcast Executive Producer, UK
"I get nervous about commercial pressures forcing balkanisation of this hippy little holdout of the open web, but I’m still so optimistic about podcasting’s future – its ability to surface underrepresented voices, to hyper-serve niches without needing huge investment, and ultimately to enrich our audiences’ lives – those are all special things, and it’s a genuinely wonder-filled medium to be working in."
President & CEO at FIPP, UK
"Podcasting has come on leaps and bounds during the pandemic, building on the considerable success it was already enjoying in the years leading up to the start of the current crisis. As economies begin to re-open and some measure of normal life returns, I think we can expect podcasting to continue to enjoy robust growth."
CEO, Paradigm Connect, 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."
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."
Publisher and media analyst, Baekdal Media, 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."
Head of International, Poool, France
"Revenue diversification needs to be an essential part of publisher strategies in 2023, and podcasts are a valuable medium to help achieve this. With the podcasting industry continuing to grow year-on-year, there's room for advertising revenue, membership and subscription strategies, commercial partnerships... The opportunities are endless."
Journalist and Editor, UK
"The very best podcasts immerse you so deeply in a narrative that you miss your bus stop, burn your dinner, run an extra two miles, or forget to go to bed. It is this kind of storytelling and reporting that wins awards: the grossly engrossing, gloriously gripping, and competitively compelling."
Content Marketing Lead, Ocado
"Podcasts are the most intimate content form – listeners make the active choice to put your brilliant ideas and brand values inside their ears. This is the platform to show your personality and strengthen your community."
Executive Producer, Audio & Video, New Statesman, UK
"I'm extremely optimistic about the future of podcasting and on-demand audio. Evolving technology, increasing investment and a maturing ad market makes it an exciting space to work in, providing publishers the opportunity to engage deeply with audiences. "
Co-Founder, The Big Light, UK
"Podcasts can offer publishers interaction with audiences beyond their usual bubble. Get the tone right, especially with warmth and humour, and that voice in the listener's ear can convey your brand values instantly. An award-winning podcast is one that will have me gasping, smiling, wondering why I hadn't thought about the subject in this way before, and desperate to hear the next episode. "
Freelance writer, Unilever, 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."
Laura Kelly Dunlop
Culture Editor, Big Issue, 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."
Creative Director, Emergent Digital, US
"Podcasting is an art. Award-winning podcasts treat it as such. And what I look for in one is simple: something I've never seen before."
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."
Editor, What's New in Publishing, UK
"Each and every year, the bar for podcasts seems to just get higher and higher. The level of professionalism and production values are now on a par with the visual broadcast industry, and I'm excited to see whether this momentum will continue or plateau."
Journalist & Founder, PressPad, UK
"When many of us were in isolation or stuck at home, podcasts became the new soundtrack to our lives providing entertainment, company and news during a difficult year. I expect podcasts to go from strength to strength as a tool for engagement, storytelling and connection that is more considered and slow paced than most of the time we spend online."
Consulting Services Director, Pugpig, UK
"Podcasts have proven valuable to publishers across their conversion and revenue efforts. Free podcasts have been used to convert audiences to paying subscribers or members. During onboarding, publishers are using podcasters in those critical early days as a demonstration of the value of a subscription or membership. And podcasts can be important in retaining those paying subscribers or members."
Roy C. Rowlands
Director, Cognitive Publishing, UK
"Streaming services have broadened people's horizons with music genres and these same streaming services extending the same level of discovery to a whole variety of podcasts from interviews & shows covering everything from comedy, history, economics and personal development and much more. The opportunities are endless."
More to be announced shortly. If you're interested in being a judge, please email team[at]publisherpodcastawards.com, and include a brief bio.
Portfolio Director, Mash Media, UK
Head of Ambassador Program, Hostwriter, Germany
Managing Director, Association for Online Publishers (AOP), UK
Marketing Director - Client Marketing, The Economist, UK
Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at University of Oregon, US
Journalist, Business Insider / Medialyte, US
Executive Producer, New York Media/Vox Media, US
Global Editor, The Atlantic, UK
CEO, ABF Creative, US
Editor in Chief, OutThere, UK
Editorial Director, Extra Teeth, UK
Editorial Director, Digital Content Next, US
Global Commercial Operations Director, Future, UK
Founder, boom saloon, UK
Publisher, Laudable (Reach plc), UK
Senior Associate, Audience & Growth, Axios, US
Executive Director EMEA, The Atlantic, UK
Head of ePublishing at Bauer Media, UK
Advisor, speaker, analyst, Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, UK
Product Director, New Statesman Media Group, UK
Founder, Speciall Media, UK
Content Director, PinkNews, UK
Co-Founder & CEO, Agribriefing, UK
Station Manager, Flirt FM 101.3, UK
Communications Executive, Picador at Pan Macmillan & Foul Play mag co-founder, UK