Selection and Awards Process

The Academy of Podcasters Awards are a set of honors awarded every year to the best of the best in podcasting. Through a unique take on the voting process that does not reward popularity as much as it does quality content, we believe this ceremony has already become the most prestigious in the industry.


  • Qualified shows released: April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018
  • Nominations period: April 1, 2018 – April 30, 2018
  • Final 10 in each category announced: May 15, 2018
  • Sample submission period from finalists: May 15, 2018 – June 15, 2018
  • Judges evaluate finalists and submit their scores: June 15, 2018 – June 30, 2018
  • Winners announced: July 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA.

Academy of Podcasters Award Eligibility

  • Qualifying podcasts must be available free of charge via subscription or download.
  • Qualifying podcasts are eligible to be nominated as a finalist in a maximum of one category, plus the Best Overall Podcast of the Year.
  • Qualifying podcasts must be originally distributed via podcast, and not re-purposed content from a television show, terrestrial radio show, a live event, etc.
  • Qualifying podcasts must have been active during the qualifying period of April 1, 2017- March 31, 2018

Any interpretations of this eligibility and final say will default to the Board.

How Winners are Chosen

Winners will be chosen as a part of a unique two-step process:


  • 10 Podcasts will be nominated as finalists in every category. Those 10 are selected as follows:
  • 5 podcasts will automatically qualify by being the top 5 eligible podcasts (see eligibility & criteria) in their respective category inside iTunes for the voting year.
  • 5 podcasts will be nominated by members of the academy in an open nomination process. This is specifically a part of the process to not leave out “under the radar” or smaller podcasts.


Winners are chosen from 10 finalists through multi-judge voting:
  • Each category will be assigned 5 unique judges, who are members of the Academy. These judges will not have any affiliation with the podcasts in their category, nor will they have a podcast of their own in that category. While the voting members of the Academy will be made public, the judges assigned to each category will not be.
  • The judges will listen to a sample episode from each of the ten podcasts. The sample episodes will be submitted by the nominated show themselves, or chosen at random if they choose not to submit a specific episode.
  • The judges will then score each podcast from 1-10 in each of a number of different criteria categories (see eligibility & criteria), and determine their total score for each podcast. All five judges’ scores are tallied for all ten podcasts, and the top scoring podcast will be declared the winner. The Board will be the only ones who know the winners until they are announced.
  • The winners will be announced at the Awards Show.

Voting Criteria

Five independent judges who are members of the Academy will be assigned a category containing ten finalists.

Each judge will score each podcast on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following categories, for a maximum score of 25. The Board will then compile all votes from all judges, and the highest scored podcast from each category will be declared the winner.

  • Quality of Audio: Can each person be clearly heard? Is the overall loudness good? Is there enough dynamic range across the episode without requiring listeners to adjust their playback volume? Is the audio processed pleasantly, or is it overprocessed? Is the file compression such that that the audio quality is maintained, or is the file too compressed?|
  • Quality of Content: Is the comedy funny? Is the teaching helpful? Is the news interesting? Are the interview questions good?
  • Quality of Presentation: How well is the information communicated? Is the presentation confident and clear? Is the conversation easy to follow, or are people talking over each other and getting off-topic? How well is the time used—is it wasted or efficiently used for the content? Is the content presented prominently, or is there a lot of “fluff” first?
  • Quality of Show Production: Does the audio branding fit? Is there too much, or too little audio branding? Is there too much, or too little editing? How well does the production enhance the message, or does it distract?
  • Quality of Voice: Is the host easy to understand? Does he or she enunciate clearly or do some of his/her words run together? Are they articulate and enjoyable to listen to? Digestible? Quality of Voice: Is the host easy to understand? Does he or she enunciate clearly or do some of his/her words run together? Are they articulate and enjoyable to listen to? Digestible?