NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally with over 20,000 podcasts available on its platform, today announced the first annual live iHeartRadio Podcast Awards to be held at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. PT. The first-ever major live awards event voted by the listeners to honor the very best in podcasting will span 22 categories and will celebrate the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry.
Hosted by Holly Frey, co-host of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” one of today’s biggest history podcasts; Charlamagne Tha God, nationally-syndicated on-air host and co-host of “The Brilliant Idiots” and “The Breakfast Club” podcasts; and Bobby Bones, top Country radio host, multiplatform personality and host of the leading Country music focused podcast “Bobbycast” and creator of the Nashville Podcast Network, the event will run 90 minutes and will include a live audience with a live stream hosted by on-air and TV personality Mario Lopez. Presenters include Payne Lindsay (“Up & Vanished”), Aaron Mahnke (“Lore”), and Jake Brennan (“Disgraceland”), with more to be announced.
Since the introduction of podcasts more than a decade ago, the entertainment industry has seen a steady increase in listenership and popularity across the medium, with over 44 percent of Americans having listened to a podcast. Today, podcasts have twice the reach than all of satellite radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network has seen a nearly 200 percent year-over-year growth in podcast listening in the past year.
“Podcasting has roared onto the audio scene, creating the most excitement since the advent of streaming music services. The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will provide a forum to celebrate the high-caliber, creative content that has made podcasting a major new audio category -- and that truly reflects America’s favorite podcasts, voted by the listeners themselves,” said Conal Byrne, President of iHeartMedia’s Podcasting Division. “We look forward to hosting this transformative, annual event and encouraging everyone in the podcasting industry to push the envelope and inspire even more creators in this space.”
The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2018 as well as celebrate podcast fans by giving listeners the opportunity to decide the winners in 17 of the 22 categories with podcasts “Atlanta Monster,” “Dirty John,” “Hardcore History,” “Joe Rogan,” “Radiolab,” “Serial,” “Slow Burn,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “The Daily” and “The Habitat” nominated for Podcast of the Year.
A panel of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries including Marc Smerling, “Crimetown”; Jake Brennan, “Disgraceland”; Alex Blumberg, Gimlet; Conal Byrne and Chris Peterson, iHeartMedia; Aaron Mahnke, “Lore”; Anya Grundmann, NPR; Max Cutler, Parcast; Owen Grover, Pocket Casts; Maggie Taylor, PRX; Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, “Stuff You Should Know”; Holly Frey, “Stuff You Missed in History Class”; Donald Albright and Payne Lindsay, Tenderfoot TV; Sim Sarna, Unqualified Media; and Hernan Lopez, Wondery will determine the winner in five major categories: Podcast of the Year, Breakout Podcast, Best Branded Podcast, Best Social Impact from Podcast/Host and Podcast Innovator Award.
Fans can vote for their favorite podcasts beginning today through January 6, 2019 online and socially across Twitter and Instagram. Visit iHeartPodcastAwards.com for a complete list of nominees and voting details. Winners will be announced during the live show and stream filled with unique celebrations at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.
“The podcasting space is on fire and we are excited to recognize its leaders, as decided by the fans and a panel of industry creatives and experts,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “We are delighted to use our expertise with events and awards shows to build the first major industry awards show for podcasts, to use our unparalleled size and scale to promote and market the event – and to include these great companies and luminaries in the celebration.”
Nominees include podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms — not just those developed by or available on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards is part of iHeartMedia’s roster of incredibly successful, nationally recognized events, including the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Music Awards, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour Presented by Capital One®, iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio ALTer Ego and iHeartRadio Wango Tango.
iHeartRadio carries more than 20,000 podcasts from its own podcasts to other major podcast publishers ranging from NPR, Wondery and WNYC to ESPN and Gimlet. iHeartMedia also recently acquired Stuff Media, LLC, the leading for-profit publisher of entertaining and informative podcast content, which includes the HowStuffWorks podcasting business. Conal Byrne, President and CEO of Stuff Media has now become the President of the iHeartRadio Podcast Division.
iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK:IHRTQ). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.