All Ears – Podcasting Awards Announce 2020 Winners

Bird's Eye View, a docu-series about women in a Darwin correctional centre won Podcast of the Year; Schwartz Media's 7am took best newcomer, and some ex Bachelor contestants won audience fave.

Black Lives Matter, life in lockdown and the nature of the virus were recurring themes in this year’s Australian Podcast Awards nominees and winners. So too, the complexities of sex, dating, queer culture and challenges around mental health.

The winners of the 2020 Australian Podcast Awards were announced on Saturday night (21 November) in a virtual ceremony hosted by Aussie comedian, presenter and podcast fan Froomes. Presented across 24 categories, the live-streamed awards hooked up with more than 100 nominees, with winners giving acceptance speeches from home.

Founded by independent Sydney-based podcaster Dave Gertler and now in their fourth year with a growing list of sponsors and supporters, entries for the awards are self-nominated, with more than 20 categories judged by a panel of experts alongside a public popularity vote for Listener’s Choice.

The jury of independent judges represent podcast creators, publishers, press, listeners and audio industry execs, and was chaired by Sophie Harper. Judges in each category were looking for ‘a unique and compelling listen that excels in its chosen genre’ with particular recognition given to entries offering ‘fresh perspective, innovative formats or presentation, or that give a voice to those underrepresented in traditional media platforms.’

Birds Eye View, a revealing docu-series about life in a Northern Territory women’s prison, executive produced by Johanna Bell, was named Podcast of the Year as well as Best Documentary. The judges said it was: ‘Raw, insightful, heartbreaking and empathetic. Like Ear Hustle, the show offers a window into the lives of incarcerated people, but here, centring the voices and inner lives of women in a men’s prison. As an independent project, this represents a high creative, sonic and ethical watermark for Australian podcasting.’

Best Arts and Culture Podcast winner was Bad Behavior, hosted by two queer friends, Nikila Cranage and Rosalind, who interview guests on the unusual and the taboo, to challenge preconceived notions of identity, openness and vulnerability. The judges said: ‘Bad Behavior captures the spirit of podcasting, through the rapport where the listeners can sense the hosts’ longstanding friendship, and through their choice of topics and guests that deserve more airtime than they are given in other forms of media.’

Life Uncut, hosted by The Bachelor alumni Laura Byrne and Brittney Hockley, was named the Listeners’ Choice after a public vote of over 45,000 listeners, which just goes to prove the power of having a reality TV presence. ‘Talking all things love, life, lust, and a bunch of other stuff. Nothing is off limits in this podcast that navigates relationships and dating in the modern day.’ Despite some preconceptions about this, the podcast looks surprisingly intelligent from the blurb for its most recent episode promising chat about ‘resilience, SAS Australia, same sex relationships and BLM.’

Audience winning podcast Life Uncut’s hosts, Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley.

Other big winners from the ceremony included Schwartz Media’s daily news show 7AM (Best New Podcast), Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast (Moment of the Year for their reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests), and Science Vs (Spotlight Award ‘for its remarkable foresight in imagining a fictional pandemic’). 

Audiocraft Festival was named as Podcast Champion of the year.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) podcasting network won network of the year. It led the nominations with seven across five categories including two nominations for hallmark production Coronacast.

Here is the full list of winners with links. There’s lots to listen to if you’re looking for something new.

Podcast of the Year supported by PodcastOne Australia

  • Winner: BIRDS EYE VIEW (StoryProjects with women in Darwin Correctional Centre)

The Listener’s Choice

  • Winner: Life Uncut Podcast (Laura Byrne, Brittany Hockley & iHeartPodcast Network Australia)

Podcast Champion supported by Nova Entertainment

  • Recipient: Audiocraft Festival

The Spotlight Award supported by iHeart Podcast Network Australia

Moment of the Year supported by Acast

The Bullseye Award supported by Acast

The Creativity Award supported by iHeart Podcast Network Australia

Best Lockdown Podcast

Best New Podcast supported by Acast

Best Arts and Culture Podcast

  • Winner: Bad Behavior (Nikila Cranage, Rosalind Anketell, Namcheja Maghembe)
  • Silver: Margin Notes (Yen Eriksen and Zoya Patel)
  • Bronze: Eyes on Gilead (Fiona Williams, Natalie Hambly, Sana Qadar, Haidee Ireland and Jeremy Wilmot for SBS) 

Best Branded Podcast supported by PodcastOne Australia

Best Business Podcast supported by Nova Entertainment

Best Comedy Podcast supported by Spotify for Podcasters

Best Current Affairs Podcast supported by Spotify for Podcasters

  • Winner: Background Briefing (The Background Briefing Team for Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  • Silver: Full Story (The Guardian)
  • Bronze: 7AM (Schwartz Media)

Best Documentary Podcast supported by PodcastOne Australia

Best Entertainment Podcast supported by Podfollow

Best Family Podcast

Best Fiction Podcast

Best Indigenous Podcast supported by SoundCartel

Best Interview

Best Radio Podcast supported by Omny Studio by Triton by Triton Digital

Best Sex & Relationship Podcast supported by Piccolo Podcasts

Smartest Podcast

Best Sports Podcast supported by Whooshkaa

Best True Crime Podcast supported by Whooshkaa

Best Wellbeing Podcast

Best Network or Publisher supported by Omny Studio by Triton Digital

  • Winner: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Silver: PodcastOne Australia
  • Bronze: The Squiz

Find out more about the Australian Podcast Awards here.

Read: POC Game developers celebrate diversity with #IamPOCinPlay

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