Podcasting has been around for years, but it's only taken off in a big way recently. And for most of that time, finding a good podcast has been hit or miss. That's about to change, because the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards are coming soon, featuring the best of the best -- from fan favorites to the critically-acclaimed. According to the Hollywood Reporter, winners will come from 22 categories, many of which will be voted on by fans. Five top awards, such Podcast of the Year, will be voted on by a a blue-ribbon panel of industry figures.
So it will be a mix of the most critically-acclaimed, to the podcasts your friends are talking about and recommending to us. That's how we discovered Serial -- a friend's recommendation. We listened to the story of Hae Minn Lee, who was allegedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, and haven't stopped listening to podcasts since. That show, along with host Sarah Koenig, has won every major broadcasting award; and for a while, I thought it might be the podcast that broke podcasts. What I mean is this: Serial is so good, it's going to be hard to top.
Then came S-Town, which is from This American Life and Serial. The show, which tells the story of a possible murder in Woodstock, Alabama -- the "sh&* town in question -- emerges as something so much more. It's ultimately a character study of John B. McLemore, one of the most interesting Alabamians you could ever meet. It's engrossing, heartbreaking, and incredible storytelling. This is currently my all-time favorite podcast.
Since these two groundbreaking podcasts, my wife and I have looked for new podcasts to listen to. We tried a scripted podcast called Homecoming. Maybe we need to give it a bit more time, but we never got past the first episode. Nevertheless, the series is being made into a TV series with Prime Video. (For that matter, S-Town is going to be a movie).
The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will give listeners an easy source to find the best podcasts. Who was nominated? Who won? Which podcasts were fan favorites? Voting in the fan categories has begun, and the awards show itself will happen January 18th from the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles.
These are the nominees for Podcast of the Year: Atlanta Monster, The Daily, Dirty John, The Habitat, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, The Joe Rogan Experience, Radiolab, Serial, Slow Burn, and Stuff You Should Know. (I'm cheering for Serial).