Podcast platform Acast has today confirmed the winners for the Irish edition of its podcast incubator programme, Acast Amplifier, including shows on Irish culture, Queer history, and literature.
The programme aims to help podcasters bring new ideas to life, and includes a prize package worth up to €100,000 (£86,770) for each of the winners, including cash funding, mentorship and logistical support with elements like equipment and promotion.
Winners from this year’s programme include Blow-Ins, a podcast by millennials Kara Golden and Craig Hunter which explores Irish culture, history, and politics through their personal perspective as outsiders, Queer as Fliuch, a podcast by comedian Sinead Walsh on the evolution of Irish Queer history, and I Think You Should Read which features book lovers Rachel O’Neill and Áine O'Connell interviewing guests about their book recommendations. Release dates for the podcasts will be announced later this year.
“The three winners represent exactly what we were looking for in the Amplifier entries, both from a content perspective - originality, a strong sense of narrative and an idea we think podcast listeners will enjoy - and a commercial angle,” said Acast Ireland creator network director Jennifer Dollard. “We were humbled by the number of entries we received and the level of detail people took with their response - judging and selecting the winners was no easy task. We are now working closely with the winners to plan their production and launches.”
This represents the first year that Acast has run the Amplifier programme in Ireland, following its successful UK launch last year. Since submissions opened in March, the company has received over 160 entries from podcasters based in the Republic of Ireland.
Entries were judged by a number of podcast professionals based in the region, including Jane Gogan, host of true-crime podcast The Witness, Irish History Podcast host Fin Dwyer, Kevin Twomey, co-host of comedy podcast I’m Grand Mam, Adrian Carty, producer of music podcast Nothing is Real, and many more across the Acast Creator Network.
Previous winners from the Acast Amplifier Programme in the UK include Damian Kerlin, creator of LGBTQ+ nightlife history podcast Memories of The Dancefloor, Amanda Kingsley and Ziporah Banda, creator of the Stacked podcast exploring literature and how it intertwines with politics and pop culture, and Poppy Greenfield, creator of the Call Me Disabled podcast, which removes stigma around disabilities.
The Acast Amplifier programme joins events such as the Irish Podcast Awards in helping to drive greater recognition for podcasting excellence within Ireland. Entries for the Irish Podcast Awards are open until 27 June.