HeadStuff launches new podcast competition with prize worth €50,000 in production costs

Winner will have a chance to launch full season on Headstuff’s network

Irish podcast network Headstuff has launched a new podcast incubator programme with a chance to win a €50,000 (£43,000) recording deal to create and publish an original podcast series, the company has announced.

Headstuff’s ‘Join The Cast’ competition is free to enter and open to anyone with an idea for a podcast that they want to create but don’t have the resources for. The winning podcast will be part of Headstuff’s new pilot series and will receive full podcast production support at The Podcast Studios, a marketing campaign to launch the show, guidance from the Headstuff team, and an opportunity to join the Headstuff Podcast Network for season two of the show. 

"I have no doubt that there is loads of podcasting talent out there just waiting to be discovered,” said Alan Bennett, CEO of HeadStuff and The Podcast Studios. “We're hoping this competition will bring some of the best and brightest to our attention, and we'll be able to help them reach their potential and make a great podcast.” 

To apply, entrants must upload a short clip around three minutes long, explaining what the show is, who hosts it, ideas for guests, and why people would love it, along with a form listing additional details about the show. The deadline to submit applications is 19 November and all entries will be analysed by the competition’s panel of judges. 

Judges for the competition include the host of Tony Cantwell’s Hit Show, The Nesser Show’s Vanessa Ogbonna, The Irish Passport’s Naomi O’Leary, The Black & Irish Podcast’s Kenny Olaniyi, Tis Yourself’s Nicola Bardon, Agony Rants’ Gearóid Farrelly, Real Life Ghost Stories’ Emma Ozenbrook, Poz VIbes’ Enda McGrattan ‘Veda Lady’, and Words To That Effects Conor Reid. 

The finalists will be revealed in the new year, and each of them will get a chance to record a pilot episode at The Podcast Studios’ facilities off Pearse Street in Dublin. The pilot episodes will then be broadcast across HeadStuff’s channels, and listeners will get the opportunity to vote on who they believe should be rewarded with a full season of their own podcast. 

Runners-up will also receive smaller prizes including a ‘Podcaster Starter Kit’ for both second and third place, as well as year-long access to the company’s hosting service and a one-hour consultation with an expert from the Headstuff team for the second place winner. 

HeadStuff is among Ireland’s largest podcast networks, and has received seven nominations for this year’s upcoming Irish Podcast Awards, including Best Branded Podcast, Best Climate Podcast, Best Comedy Podcast, Best Factual Podcast, Best Interview Podcast, and Best Network or Publisher.