- 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, 2o15- March, 2016
- Any interpretations of this eligibility and final say will default to the Board.
- 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.
- 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 Audio
- The Board will then compile all votes from all judges, and the highest scored podcast from each category will be declared the winner.