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Podcast Academy Unveils 164 Nominees for Inaugural Ambies Awards

Client: Theresa Caputo – Talent

The Podcast Academy, an industry association looking to establish the premiere awards program for the fast-growing world of podcasts, announced nominees for the first Ambies awards.

The group announced a total of 164 Ambies nominees spanning 23 categories (see full list below), selected by voting members of the Podcast Academy.

The Ambies winners will be announced in a hour-long ceremony to be livestreamed on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms on Sunday, May 16, 2021, starting at 5 p.m. PT with a pre-show starting at 4:30 p.m. PT. New members of the org will be able to vote to determine this year’s winners if they register by March 26; the membership fee is $100 ($75 for students).

The 10 podcasts nominated in the Podcast of the Year category are: “Blockbuster: The Story of James Cameron” (Epicleff Media/Cadence13); “Bunga Bunga” (Wondery); “Chasing Cosby” (L.A. Times); “Detours” (WGBH); “Dirty Diana” (QCode); “Dying for Sex” (Wondery); “For Life: The Podcast” (Sony Pictures Television/ABC); “Forgotten: Women of Juarez” (iHeartRadio); “Say Their Name” (DCP Entertainment); and “The Happiness Lab” (Pushkin Industries).

Podcasts that scored the most Ambies nominations — with four nods each — were “Dirty Diana,” a scripted erotica series starring Demi Moore, QCode’s sci-fi/horror series “The Left Right Game” and Pineapple Street Studios/Crooked Media’s “Wind of Change.”

Founding financial backers of the Podcast Academy are Spotify, iHeartMedia, NPR, PRX, Amazon Music (which now owns Wondery), NPR, Tenderfoot TV, SiriusXM’s Stitcher, Entercom’s Pineapple Street Media, Sony Music Entertainment, On Being Studios, Libsyn and UTA.

The association was founded last year with the mission “to foster inclusivity, elevate awareness and build excitement for podcasts through initiatives, programming and our annual awards,” said Donald Albright, Podcast Academy chairman and president/co-founder of podcast studio Tenderfoot TV. “Today, we celebrate the community with the announcement of our first-ever Ambies nominees. They are just as diverse as the creators, both in front of and behind the mic, and are reflective of the far reaching medium.”

Originally, the Podcast Academy, whose formation was announced in February 2020, planned to call the awards the “Golden Mics.” The group later decided on the Ambies, which is phonically similar to other entertainment awards like the Emmys and Grammys.

Separately, iHeartMedia has run the iHeart Radio Podcast Awards for three years running.

The Podcast Academy received more than 1,000 submissions from 358 different individuals or companies for the Ambies (officially dubbed the Awards for Excellence in Audio). Two-thirds of the nominees have either a female, Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern or LGBTQ+ host or hosts. Entries eligible for consideration for the 2021 Ambies were required to have published at least three episodes between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020.

The nominees were picked by a panel of over 100 Podcast Academy members over a six-week period, who collectively listened to over 4,000 hours of podcasts.

Best Personal Growth/Spirituality Podcast

  • Borne the Battle

  • Dare to Lead with Brené Brown

  • Dear Therapists

  • Hey Spirit!

  • Meditative Story

  • On Being with Krista Tippett

  • Stay Calm with Bob Roth

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