There are plenty of excellent reasons to be excited about the upcoming British Podcast Awards, now in its seventh year (and still time to get your entries in); it’s the best and most prestigious awards ceremony for podcasting in the UK, and the reason that podcasting has become a fixture in the media landscape. Without the BPAs, the podcast sector wouldn’t be anything like as big as it is today, and it’s the biggest party in podcasting, to boot. However, recently I’ve added a slightly different reason to be excited about this industry-defining accolade.
As I write this, I’m nursing a mild hangover and a sense of disbelief, because last night, PodPod attended the annual Publisher Podcast Awards, where we were nominated for Best Podcast Launch - and against all odds, we actually went and won the bloody thing.
To say I’m absolutely flabbergasted would be an understatement. Not that I’m not immensely proud of the work that we’ve done in the six months since PodPod launched; it’s been an enormous effort, and one that I think has paid off with industry-leading results. It’s an enormous credit to the team that make PodPod a reality - from our host Rhianna Dhillon and producer Emma Corsham, to our art director Chris Barker and commercial director Jennie Meynell.
One thing I didn’t anticipate about winning is that it’s given me a new perspective on the real impact of podcast awards, and the value they can bring for podcasters. From talking to previous winners of The British Podcast Awards, I’ve heard about all the ways that a win like this can open doors and accelerate conversations, but actually having it happen really illustrates the advantages.
For instance, we’re in the process of adding our brand-new award into our media decks, our sales team are already using it in conversations with potential partners, and you can bet it’s going straight into my email signature and Twitter bio.
Not only that, its also given the whole PodPod team a real sense of validation. Podcasting can be somewhat isolating in many ways, and it can sometimes feel like you’re screaming into the void. That’s particularly true when you’re a niche podcast like PodPod, and especially when you’re writing about shows like The Rest Is Politics, raking in countless listeners.
While our downloads can’t quite match Stewart and Campbell’s (...yet), it’s heartening to know that our industry peers both recognise and value the work that we’ve been doing. After all, that’s who we’re making the podcast for.
More importantly though, it’s given me renewed enthusiasm for supporting the British Podcast Awards as well; I now know from firsthand experience what it feels like to have your name called out, walk up to the stage and take hold of a trophy acknowledging the blood, sweat and tears that you’ve poured into your podcast. I know the sense of giddiness and elation, and I know how it can reinvigorate your drive to push your show even further.
Although I’m grateful to be nominated for all of the awards that we have been so far, I wasn’t seriously expecting to win last night - but it just goes to show that if you’re confident in the quality of your work, it’s always worth throwing your hat into the ring. It can make a real difference, and you never know how far you’ll get - in the words of Scottish indie rockers Del Amitri, even long shots make it.