Public media production house PRX and Google last October announced the creation of an incubator program designed to increase the diversity of voices in podcasting while also lowering the barriers of entry into the medium. The two companies have just announced the six producers that will take part in an intensive 20-week training and development program. They were selected from thousands of entries from more than 100 countries. The independent podcast production teams come from New York, Spain, Lebanon, Colombia, Brazil, and India. Each is developing new podcasts or retooling, or refining existing programming in order to grow new audiences.
In addition to hands-on training and mentorship that includes creative and editorial feedback, audience development, and production skills-building, the group will also receive up to $40,000 of seed funding for their podcasts from Google.
“We see a future where podcasting not only grows, but thrives around the world,” said Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX. “We’re thrilled to welcome this new cohort of inspiring, independent audio-makers to the Google Podcasts creator program—they’re building the future of audio. We’re proud to support them and to build it alongside them.”
The shows selected to take part in the latest round include:
Cocktails and Cancer with MJ and Dani—New York.With frank and empowering conversations designed to make the word ‘cancer’ a little less terrifying, longtime friends Danielle ‘Dani’ Brown and Michelle ‘MJ’ James—who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015—invite listeners on a journey that ranges from chemotherapy and radiation to a loving abide for a great cocktail. The podcast launched in spring 2019. The second season is in development.
37 Graus(‘37 Degrees’)—São Paulo, Brazil—Portuguese. Named for the average temperature of the human body and intended to convey both science and human warmth, 37 Graus tells stories behind Brazil's iconic landscapes and events. Co-hosted by Sarah Azoubel Lima and Bia Guimarães, the second season of the podcast is currently in development after the first received critical acclaim.
City of Women—Bangalore, India—English. In an exploration of how women navigate their lives in Bangalore (population: 10M+), City of Womenwill bring listeners on hyper-local tours through a variety of workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. The podcast will be developed by Radhika Viswanathan and Samyuktha Varma.
De Eso No Se Habla (‘We Don’t Talk About That’)—Madrid, Spain—Spanish. While facing her own personal loss, producer and storyteller Isabel Cadenas Cañón began recording an audio atlas of all things absent: missing people, places, and things that might haunt us like ghosts, only without the bedsheets. The podcast is in development.
مسرحهية (‘Her Stage’)—Beirut, Lebanon—Arabic. In this narrated documentary-style podcast, storyteller Rhea Chedid and journalist Afeef Nessouli, a former producer for The Daily Show, will present a hidden world in Beirut where differences are celebrated, activism is brewing, and the feminine is being redefined. The podcast is in development.
Un periódico de ayer(‘Yesterday’s News’)—Bogotá, Colombia—Spanish. In a narrative-driven podcast about the personal toll of history, producers Juan Serrano, Daniel Díaz, and Miguel Reyes revisit the past in an effort to highlight the invisible threads that connect past and present, historical, and personal. The podcast is in development.
In addition, three podcast teams selected as runners-up have been invited to participate in the boot camp phase of the Google Podcasts creator program—a portion of the larger program—that will take place in Massachusetts at the PRX Podcast Garage and community classroom. The finalists are Reid My Mind Radio, which will pair music, sound, and language to challenge listeners’ beliefs of what it means to live with a disability, as the creator lost his vision as an adult; the James Beard Award-winning Copper & Heat;and FAXINA, a Portuguese-language podcast in development featuring the stories of Brazilian house-cleaners in the United States.