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Audible is aiming to secure more original podcast content with a new program it has created that aims to showing original podcasts from emerging and undiscovered storytellers around the world. The Audible Podcast Development Program will source material through both direct outreach by the company to creators as it also invites project submissions. Once selected, participants will have the opportunity to work alongside Audible experts, receiving editorial, production, and a $10,000 commissioning fee. The fruits of the project will be original podcasts for Audible listeners, which are expected to begin releasing in summer 2021.

“The explosive rise in consumption of podcasts and original audio storytelling continues to reinforce our foundational belief that our listeners’ appetites for distinctive storytelling powered by the creative genius of elite talent is only limited by our capacity to deliver it to them,” said Rachel Ghiazza, EVP and Head of U.S. Content at Audible. “We are launching the Podcast Development Program to offer our own resources, along with our many years of profound focus on the best of podcasts, to voices that need to be heard and to podcasters aspiring to make cultural and artistic impact.”

Audible also announced the formation of the Emerging Voices Advisory Board – a cross-generational array of esteemed artists, podcasters, producers, and writers – that will seed, develop, and advise on talent opportunities. The board will work with Audible experts to define and further the creative vision of Audible storytellers. Board members already committed include Wondery Chief Content Officer Marshall Lewy; Pushkin Industries co-founder and Revisionist History host Malcolm Gladwell; former New York Magazine editor-in-chief Adam Moss; Third Coast International Audio Festival cofounder Johanna Zorn; record producer, musician, and songwriter T Bone Burnett; and writer and actor Lena Waithe.

“Audible is always looking for innovative ways to expand the impact of audio storytelling and broaden the boundaries of who listens,” said Gladwell in the announcement. “I'm thrilled to be collaborating with them as an inaugural member of the Emerging Voices Advisory Board,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to draw upon the acumen of our board members as we usher in a new golden age in audio storytelling,” said Ghiazza.

The Audible Podcast Development Program is accepting pitches for an idea for a new English-language podcast through January 18, 2021. The company will notify winners in six to eight weeks. Each producer is being capped at one idea with an audio sample running no longer than three minutes. There are a few catches in the program’s terms to be considered, however. If the show is produced, the final product will only be distributed on Audible. And if a proposal is not selected for the program, entrants sign away their rights that a similar podcast could be developed using “similar or identical” elements.

Get more information about the Audible program or to submit a podcast idea for consideration HERE.