Back in March, we got together with 250 publishing and media professionals to celebrate the brilliant podcasts they are producing, whether it’s to test the waters with audio capabilities, reach audiences in new ways, and find sustainable revenue streams.
Sadly not all of the 77 shortlisted podcasts could win. Our team of 30 expert judges spent Christmas and New Year listening to a range of podcasts, from episodes on cooking the perfect roasted potatoes to series on male mental health, and even podcasts for kids!
The 12 category winners were podcasts of the highest standard, and are a strong example for any publisher looking to get into or up their own podcasting game. Our aim here at Media Voices and with the Publisher Podcast Awards is to promote best practice in podcasting, so our own Peter Houston has spent the last few months interviewing all the winners to find out exactly what goes into making an award-winning podcast.
Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing an interview each Wednesday with one of the winners. These have been carefully edited to give you the most important insights and takeaways in a concise, 15-minute episode.
Each episode will be posted below as it goes live.
The Week Unwrapped’s Arion McNicoll
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards News & Current Affairs category was the Week Unwrapped from Dennis Publishing. Former editor Arion McNicoll says there’s a small but critical difference between an OK podcast and a good podcast. Start with a worthwhile listener experience, then work on revenue and, if you bring real editorial rigour to your sponsored episodes, you might miss out on some sponsors, but you won’t insult your listeners.
Bestseller’s Casimir Stone
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Branded category was the Bestseller podcast from Reedsy. Podcast host Casimir Stone says editing takes time, but crafting a podcast episode around a narrative allows you to deliver a different kind of value than a straight interview and differentiation matters; make sure you know why you are making a podcast and how it’s going to be different from what everyone else is doing.
Nature’s Benjamin Thompson
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Science and Medical category was the Nature Podcast from Springer Nature. Podcast host Benjamin Thomson says put storytelling at the heart of your podcast. Journalists best support commercial objectives by making really interesting podcasts and if you find one story dominating your podcast regularly, consider a dedicated spin off.
The Spin’s Geoff Jein
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Sports category was The Spin from the Guardian. Podcast producer Geoff Gein says editing is an essential part of the podcasting process, don’t underestimate how much time it takes. And although podcasting is not rocket science, get expert advice to help you build out infrastructure and fix formats quickly.
Olive magazine’s Janine Ratcliffe
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Lifestyle category was the Olive Magazine Podcast from Immediate Media. Deputy Editor and podcast host Janine Ratcliffe says your podcast doesn’t need to be super slick, but it does need to be a pleasant listening experience, care about commercial content every bit as much as you care about your regular episodes and the best publisher podcasts develop a life of their own.
History Extra’s Dave Musgrove
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Specialist podcast category was History Extra from the BBC’s History Magazine, published by Immediate Media. Publisher and podcast host Dave Musgrove says publishers new to podcasting should choose a format that they will be able to deliver on a regular basis. The key to success is to commit and give a podcast the time to grow and find its unique voice.
The Atlantic’s Katherine Wells
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Technology category and our Publisher Podcast of the Year 2020 was Crazy/Genius from The Atlantic. Executive producer Katherine Wells says talk to writers and editors for new podcast ideas and train your writers to be talkers. Remember your listeners aren’t necessarily your readers, make your brand values clear and consistent.
Digiday Podcast’s Brian Morrissey
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards B2B category was the Digiday Podcast. Digiday President, editor-in-chief and podcast host Brian Morrissey says build your podcast around what you do best, but be adaptable. Be clear on the job your podcast does for your business; think of it as a feature of your brand, not as a separate product.
Pilot TV Podcast’s Terri White
The winner of the 2020 Publisher Podcast Awards Entertainment category was the Pilot TV Podcast from Bauer Media. Editor-in-chief Terri White says podcasts are integral to a publishing brand and need a clear, easy to understand proposition. But, don’t be scared to evolve and don’t forget the long term goal of making money.
Could your podcast be the next award-winner? Entries for 2021’s Publisher Podcast Awards are now open until 27th November 2020. Visit the website to see the categories and subscribe to updates.