Today (Sept. 30) is International Podcast Day and iHeartMedia is marking the day by announcing the return of the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The annual showcase of the best of what the medium has to offer will be held Jan. 17, 2020 at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. The second annual event will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2019 and will span 30 categories. The awards show will be streamed and also broadcast live across iHeartMedia-owned radio stations nationwide.
“When we introduced the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards last year, we knew we wanted to celebrate the most talented podcast creators out there – the key reason that podcasting continues to grow exponentially,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network.
Even as the awards are sponsored by iHeart, the show’s nominees will include podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms with a panel of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries determining the winner across most categories. Once again podcast listeners will select the winner of the “Podcast of the Year” award through online and social voting across Twitter and Instagram.
“This is the one time of the year that all the most popular podcasters come together to celebrate the community of podcasting truly as colleagues, not competitors,” said Byrne. “The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards bring everyone into one room – the biggest hosts, producers and distributors – all committed to this amazing podcast medium and to seeing its incredible growth continue.”
The list of categories for the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards is still being finalized, but the company says it expects to hand out trophies in categories such as entertainment, comedy, crime, news, sports, food, LGBTQ+ and business. There will also be three “Icon Awards,” including The Innovator Award, The Social Impact Award and The Pioneer Award.
During the 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards, Slate’s Slow Burn took home the Podcast of the Year award and NPR was honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award (See all of last year’s winners HERE).
International Podcast Day celebrates the medium that’s seen tremendous growth among mainstream audiences with millions of new listeners. Podcast listenership in the U.S. alone has grown exponentially with an estimated 17 million more monthly podcast listeners in 2019 than in 2018. Today podcasts reach 90 million active listeners in America, exceeding the listenership of both satellite radio and all major streaming music services.