The Google Podcasts Creator Program hasn’t been sidelined by COVID-19, but it will look a bit different this year. The two-year-old podcast accelerator and training program created by Google and public radio’s PRX has announced that it will begin taking applications for what this year will be a virtual training program starting July 1. “This year, the program will serve producers with an existing podcast who want to advance their skills and take their productions to the next level,” said PRX in a blog post.
Twenty creative teams will be selected in 2020. Each will receive training and feedback on a variety of topics, including how to write, produce, edit and market their podcast. They will also receive computers and other equipment and software needed to produce a show during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each team will also receive up to $12,000 in funding to use as they see fit for their productions. Creative teams or individuals with proficiency in English and who have released at least five episodes since January 2019 are eligible. PRX announced the program would be all-virtual in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it will divide the group of 20 into three separate sessions, each running 12 weeks. Applications will open to creators in the U.S. and around the world here on July 1.
“We’re committed to helping expand podcast creation and listenership to be more inclusive,” said Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Product Manager of Google Podcasts. “We believe there are millions more storytellers and listeners around the world who will benefit from the medium, and we are proud to join with PRX to open new doors.”
Last year, the program welcomed early-stage creators from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Spain and the U.S. PRX and Google also released a free instructional series available in 15 languages.
To further support podcasters through skills-building and community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Google Podcasts Creator Program will also launch a series of interactive webinars and live virtual events open to the public later this summer and into the fall. PRX and Google have also released Podcasting 101, a free instructional series available in 15 languages, including Arabic, French, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish.
“The first year of the Google Podcasts creator program was a tremendous experience,” said Kerry Donahue, Director of Training at PRX. “We’ve learned a lot about developing podcast ecosystems and how we can support each other to expand the industry. While podcasting’s commercial success grows, we are proud to partner with Google to support underrepresented voices and perspectives, offering support to find their audience and thrive.”