Irish Podcast Awards Categories

As well as excellence in content and production, our judges are asked to look for entries that offer podcast audiences:

  • Fresh perspectives
  • Innovative formats or presentation
  • Give a voice to those underrepresented in traditional media platforms

Don’t forget to check the full rules to confirm that you qualify, and see what you have to submit. There’s also guidance on the entry page and there’s some FAQs too.

Supporters

Standard Categories

These are generally audio-focused categories that require you to submit entries through the system.

Sales & Marketing Awards

These recognise commercial achievement and marketing prowess and are submitted through the entry system.

Free Additional Awards

The Bullseye Award, The Spotlight Award and Moment of the Year are free to enter, when you submit an entry in a Standard Category. Use the checkbox in the submission system to opt-in to these.

Special Awards

Podcast of the Year and The Creativity Award are judged from the submitted entries. Podcast Champion is chosen by the Awards judges. The Listeners’ Choice will open in August and no entry is needed.

Standard Categories

Best Arts & Culture Podcast

Celebrating arts and criticism across all cultures: the podcasts that encourage us to seek out new releases or forgotten classics – through reviews, interviews, discussion…. any or none of the above.   

Outstanding entries in this category will go beyond episode recaps or the typical ‘thumbs up/down’ critiques and give listeners fresh angles on the arts they love, with genuine and passionate presentation or will deeply reflect artistic or cultural subjects in their output.

Subjects could include Arts, Books, Craft, Hobbies, Film, Music, TV and Video Games

Best Business Podcast supported by Subly

Inspiring the next generation of CEOs, COOs and other acronyms. You could be showcasing stories of great leadership, or helping listeners make every penny count. 

As with all our categories, we’re looking for shows that reflect the diversity of ideas, backgrounds and industry in our country. So the best entries will need to be fresh-sounding, personable and inclusive.

Subjects could include Business, Careers, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Management, Marketing and Non-Profits

Best Comedy Podcast

Not to be confused with our entertainment category, this is for podcasts that aren’t just funny… but have finely crafted jokes inside. From panel shows to parody, improv to sitcoms – and entirely new formats that only podcasts can create – judges have been instructed to reward the podcast that made them laugh, not necessarily the ones that have mass appeal

We recognise there are different types of comedy: it could be belly laughs, sweet-natured, angry or timely satire, just plain surreal… all are welcome.

Subjects could include Comedy, Improv, Stand-Up, Sitcoms

Best Current Affairs Podcast

Whether you are a business, news and current affairs programme, publishing regular discussion formats or original journalism, we want to hear podcasts that have sought insight into our complex society.  

Outstanding entries in this category will find new angles on recent events, beyond the headlines and 24-hour news cycles, retaining relevance with an audience beyond the week they were published.

Subjects could include News, Business News, Entertainment News, News Commentary, Discussions, Politics, Reporting and Tech News

Best Daily Podcast

Recognising the rise of the daily podcast (and all the production resource that may require), this category is for shows whose 24-hour deadlines allow for a different relationship with their listeners. 

Whether you produce sport, entertainment, news or something else entirely, your entries should reflect how the daily mechanism allows you to produce your best show… and how you maintain your quality every single day. Entries from year-round shows or ones with daily seasons.

Subjects could include anything from News to Wellbeing, from Facts to the Event coverage.

Best Documentary Podcast

Documentaries take listeners into new worlds and experiences through real people, places, and events. But it’s not just about providing facts; we’re interested in how producers weave them into an overall narrative that’s compelling as well as truthful.

Outstanding entries in this category will combine excellent scripted narration with field recordings and interviews, sophisticated editing and sound design, all to achieve the most natural, accessible storytelling.

Documentary podcasts can be one-offs, themed seasons or stand-alone series.

Clips and durations are different to other categories (more details)

Best Entertainment Podcast

Incorporating music shows, magazine programmes, true storytelling and chat-based formats. If you put a spring in your listeners’ step, if you provide toe-tappin’, tear-jerking, LOLing or first class escapism… you should apply within.

Outstanding entries in this category will revel in their eclecticism, curating content or features that your subscribers unquestionably consume with open hearts.

Best Family Podcast

Recognising the shows that entertain children and their families with either high quality storytelling, amazing facts or very silly jokes.

Outstanding entries in this category will… educate their audience in an accessible and entertaining manner. Children’s podcasts should demonstrate how they engage listeners through format, casting and tone.

Subjects could include Magazine shows, Education, Pets & Animals and Stories for Kids

Best Fiction Podcast

Incorporating drama, readings, and ground-breaking new formats for storytelling.  

Outstanding entries in this category will incorporate production that suits the story/stories and sound design that acknowledges an audience primarily of headphone users. New writing, new talent, new ways of looking at the world – these will be noted favourably.

Clips and durations are different to other categories (more details)

Best Interview

Incorporating interview formats across many topics: from books, to comedy, to health, to human interest. Whether your guests are super famous or just damned interesting… perhaps they’re edited with a light touch, or cut down to size… either way, we want our judges to discover the finest, most compelling, incisive conversation produced this year.

The Best Interview category can reward either a single interview or an Interview Podcast.

Clips and durations are different to other categories (more details)

Best Live Podcast

Whether you’re playing landmark venues or 50-seater function rooms, we’re looking for the best podcast episodes recorded in front of an audience and made available as a podcast.

Entries should demonstrate how you make the most of a crowd in your format, and how to make the audience listening at home feel as important as those in the room. If not more so.

Audio can be submitted form a single live episode, or multiple live episodes (more details)

Best New Podcast supported by Podfollow

We want to champion the best launch of a show across any genre – if you have managed to start well and keep getting better, tell us how. To qualify, you will have started the podcast – and published at least six episodes between 1st 2021 to 31st March 2022.

Outstanding entries in this category will demonstrate the creative potential of the show, through new talent, writing or formats, rather than its current listener reach. Judges will want to label the winner ‘the ones to watch’ and forever claim they were listening from the beginning.

Best Radio Podcast, supported by RadioCentre Ireland 

This category recognises the radio programmes that appeal to podcast audience’s sensibilities, and the key aim of the Irish Podcast Awards: to recognise programming that honours fresh perspectives, new formats or alternative viewpoints unheard in mainstream media.

The radio programme this is connected to must be available on a licensed, broadcast radio station.

Best Sex & Relationships Podcast

Recognising the great work being done in sex education and relationship advice; or representing a wider variety of sexual experiences than has previously been the case in mainstream media. 

Outstanding entries in this category will have a high standard of research (whether in terms of guests or subject matter) and presentation that confronts taboos in an entertaining and accessible way.

Best Factual Podcast

From why we need bees to the intricacies of language – entries here should improve our understanding of ourselves and the world in an entertaining and accessible way. 

Whether your thing is entertaining trivia or any number of gloriously niche subjects, to be the Best Factual Podcast at the Irish Podcast Awards is to make audiences smarter the longer they stay listening. 
Outstanding entries in this category will elevate the potentially driest of subjects to unmissable listening, making best use of podcasting’s unique qualities.

Subjects could include: Education, Government, History, Religion, Science, Society & Culture and Technology

Best Sport Podcast

Maybe you have incisive analysis, exceptional pundits and great access – or perhaps the discussion is merely a sideshow to the blossoming, unspoken romance between your contributors. Regardless, if you have a loyal audience and an entertaining show, you should enter.  

Outstanding entries in this category will be able to demonstrate a fanbase loyal to the podcast beyond the dreams of most sports clubs. Audience size is not a factor: making niche sports accessible to wider audiences would be as valued here as much as any show pegged to a major sporting tournament.

Best True Crime Podcast

Still one of podcasting’s most popular genres, winners in this category will be outstanding in their field. Whether it’s original investigations or pure storytelling, judges will be looking for well-researched programmes, with evocative storytelling and human stories at its heart.  

Outstanding entries in this category will have crafted a format around the material available, whether that’s archive, original interviews or other techniques, playing with this most established of podcast genres to create something unique.

Best Health or Wellbeing Podcast

Showcasing the best self-help, improvement and health podcasts.

Your audio entry should illustrate how you tackle sensitive and sometimes traumatic issues with compassion, and/or provide a toolkit for listeners to apply to their own lives. Alternatively demonstrate how you support or inspire a listeners’ health and fitness regime.

Our judges are people too, so please add any trigger warnings to your track-listing.

Best Podcast In The Irish Language

Entries in this category should feature Gaelic as the predominant language. It can be from any genre – entries will be judged, like our other awards, by their ability to represent ideas, people and perspectives not catered for in existing media; a great listening experience that opens hearts, minds and ears.

Best Network or Publisher

This category is for companies that have a public-facing brand around a slate of shows. 

Like other categories, your entry should be between three and five clips. This can be from any of your network’s podcasts but should demonstrate the range and quality of content you’re producing. In addition, your written submission should detail your success during the March 1st 2021 to March 31st 2022 period, in whichever ways you define that success.

People Awards

The Rising Star Award supported by Acast

Calling all new producers and presenters! If you have under two year’s experience in podcasting and doing great things we would like to hear your story. 

This is a category for INDIVIDUALS rather than a show. In the written section outline your achievements over the last two years, and if relevant attach up to 15mins of audio of your work. Be sure to reference in the track-listing your involvement in the audio you include. 

You can nominate yourself or a colleague.

Sales and Marketing Categories

These are a suite of awards that reward the best commercial and marketing activity, driving new audiences and revenue into our industry. whether a single podcast or a large network, we’re interested in hearing about your success.

Best Branded Podcast

Showcasing the best examples of brand-funded podcasts, where both the editorial and sponsor’s aims are seamless and beneficial… and, above all, make a great listen.  

Outstanding entries in this category will demonstrate either added value to the brand’s established consumer base, or reach beyond to new audiences.

Note – this is for shows created with a brand. Regular podcasts who have worked with a commercial entity on a campaign should enter Best Commercial Campaign.

Best Commercial Campaign

The Irish Podcast Awards is looking to celebrate the most innovative advertising campaign of the past year. 

The judges will consider the following:
* Does the campaign bring a great creative idea to life using the unique characteristics of podcasting (eg. subscription based, dynamically targeted, audio-first, loyal listenership)
* Does it demonstrate great craft in terms of writing and production?
* Does it surprise, innovate or push the boundaries of podcast advertising?
* Did it generate a return for the advertiser?

Branded Podcasts should not be entered for this category. See above.

Best Marketing Campaign

The Irish Podcast Awards is looking to celebrate the most innovative marketing campaign of the past year. 

This award will be made to the person, team or network that has, in the opinion of the judges, produced the most outstanding marketing campaign to promote a show outside of the audio they have produced. This could be an excellent video execution of a show that has grown awareness on digital platforms, a social media strategy that has generated great returns or some out of the box thinking that has generated sampling of shows.

Judges will consider coverage of local, national and international media (as appropriate) as well as social reach and engagement but particularly the effect it’s had on streams or downloads. Creativity and innovation both in terms of approach and use of resources will also be taken into consideration.

This category is as relevant to small shows as large ones, our judges will taken into account success relevant to size.

Best Sales Team

This award will be given to a team that has sold the medium of podcasting well, created great podcast-specific solutions for advertisers and delivered strong revenue. 

We’re particularly interested in teams that have increased podcasting’s share of an advertiser (or agency’s) total media budget. Judges will also be looking for fresh and innovative thinking which has delivered real and tangible results.

As well as showing financial success, we would like to hear about specific examples that really make the Sales Team stand out. This could be a creative approach which introduced a significant new client to the sector, a programme of commercial activity which resulted in an agency changing its attitude to podcasting, or a particular campaign which pushed the boundaries of podcast advertising.

Free Additional Awards

All of these Awards are free to enter, when you submit a traditional entry to one of the above categories. Just ise the checkbox in the submission system to opt-in to these that are relevant to you or your show.

Moment Of The Year

The most impactful, visible, compelling audio produced this year and exclusive to an Irish podcast. 

Outstanding entries in this field… will have kickstarted a national debate, got the social networks a-buzzin’, or been widely shared to non-podcast audiences.

Your written submission will need to provide evidence of the impact the moment had on the Irish public.

The Bullseye Award

This category honours the podcasts that are producing exceptional listening experiences for niche audiences and those underrepresented in other Irish media.

Open to shows with under 5,000 listens per episode (and who have selected the lower entry fee).

The Spotlight Award

This is one for the big hitters out there: podcasts with sizeable audience (over 50,000 listens per episode) that are bringing the medium into the mainstream and are delivering brilliant audio to their listeners. 

Open to shows with over 5,0000 listens per episode.

Special Awards

No need to enter these Awards, they are chosen by our judges or the Irish listeners

The Creativity Award

Chosen at the discretion of the judges, this award recognises an audio entry so creatively dazzling that it deserves its own trophy. That could be the result of great storytelling, sound design, performance, editing… or any combination of the above. Just enter any standard category to be considered.

The Listeners’ Choice

Our public poll involves getting your listeners to vote for you, for free, on our website.

All Irish podcasts qualify, you just need to get out the vote!

Voting begins in August 2022, at the conclusion of the nominations announcements.

Podcast Of The Year

The highest honour of the night, with the winner chosen from the Gold winners of the categories above – so anyone who wins their category has a chance of winning this most prestigious of prizes.

Outstanding entries in this category will have outstanding presentation, original research or writing, appropriately superb sound design and boundary-pushing material that showcases the very best of what Irish podcasting can achieve.