In celebration of International Podcast Day today, iHeartMedia has announced the return of the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards!
The event will return to the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on Friday, January 17, 2020, at 8 p.m. PT. The second annual live awards event, which will broadcast and stream live across iHeartMedia stations nationwide, will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2019 and will span 30 categories, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry.
Last year’s winners at the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards included Slate’s “Slow Burn” for Podcast of the Year; “Up and Vanished” for Best Crime Podcast; “The Joe Rogan Experience” for Best Comedy Podcast; Marc Smerling, host of “Crimetown” and “The RFK Tapes,” for Podcast Innovator; “Fantasy Footballers” for Best Sports Podcast; and Dax Shepard and Monica Padman of “Armchair Expert” for Breakout Podcast of the Year, among many other categories and winners. The event featured appearances by award nominees, celebrity presenters and other special guests including Mike Tyson, Dax Shepard, Jillian Michaels, Jana Kramer, Topher Grace, Dr. Drew, Becca Tilley, Scheana Shay, Dean Unglert, Vanessa Grimaldi, Jake Brennan, Charlamagne Tha God, Holly Frey and more. NPR was also honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.
“The podcasting landscape has truly grown and is now reaching a mainstream audience,” said Anya Grundmann, Senior Vice President for Programming and Audience Development at NPR. “As a ‘Podcast Pioneer’ we are thrilled to see the range of terrific new programs out there and excited that iHeart has created such a powerful platform to showcase standout shows.”
International Podcast Day celebrates the power of podcasts, which continues to see tremendous growth into mainstream audiences with millions of new listeners. Podcast listenership in the United States 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. iHeartMedia, which reaches a quarter of billion monthly listeners in the U.S. with just its broadcast radio stations and on-air personalities alone, will celebrate the best in podcasts with existing fans, while also continuing to introduce millions of new listeners to this incredible medium every single day.
“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. “The response to last year’s awards was amazing. 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. 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.”
Podcast fans themselves will once again decide the winner of the “Podcast of the Year” award through online and social voting across Twitter and Instagram. Nominees will include podcasts from all creators, distributors, and platforms, and a panel of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries will determine the winner across remaining categories including entertainment, comedy, crime, news, sports, food, LGBTQ+, business and more. In addition, this year’s awards will include three Icon Awards — The Innovator Award, The Social Impact Award and The Pioneer Award. Select category winners will be announced during the live show and stream filled with unique celebrations at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. More details will be shared soon.