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Podcasts dominate 1st annual Stitcher awards

Marc Maron hosts the 2012 Stitcher Awards

Marc Maron hosts the 2012 Stitcher Awards

Popular podcaster and comedian Marc Maron hosted the 2012 Stitcher Awards Tuesday night in San Francisco. 160,000 Stitcher users voted for radio shows and podcasts across 20 categories for this first installment of the awards.

When I first wrote about the awards in October I wondered if they would be dominated by familiar and popular broadcast radio programs that are also podcasted, or if pure-play podcasts would win the day. It turns out that pure-play podcasts took home 14 out of 20 awards, although public radio’s This American Life walked away with the Best Overall Show award, in which it competed against 4 other public radio shows and the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. In fact, 5 of the 6 broadcast radio winners were US public radio programs; 1 winner was the BBC World Service’s Global News.

This American Life is also the #1 podcast on the iTunes Store’s top podcast list. In fact, 13 of the Stitcher winners are in the iTunes top 100. But, honestly, I was expecting the winners to map onto the iTunes top 20 or 30 more. Apparently the Stitcher awards voters listen to a more varied lineup than the iTunes top 100, although the most popular podcasts, like This American Life, Radiolab and Nerdist, are popular all around. Probably not coincidentally, the same winners in the iTunes top 100 are also in the Stitcher List, though not necessarily in the same order.

Although I think that the Stitcher Awards are a milemarker in the road of podcasting’s maturation as a medium, the show hasn’t yet garnered much media attention. USA Today’s Pop Candy covers podcasting regularly and guest blogger Eric Greenberg covered the awards. Greenberg also gave out his own “Greenie Awards” for his choices for top comedy podcasts, soliciting short acceptance speeches from his winners, including Adam Carolla and Jimmy Pardo.

There is another podcast award show, simply called Podcast Awards, which happens Jan. 7 during the New Media Expo in Las Vegas. This is the 8th annual edition of the awards, although I’m somewhat chagrined to note that this is the first one I’ve heard of. Yet, the organizers claim that the ceremony will be streamed live to “over 300,000 podcast fans.”

The nominees don’t seem to be particularly dominated by broadcast programs, and there isn’t much overlap with the Stitcher nominees either. I am curious to see who the winners of the Podcast Awards are, and will be certain to share them with Radio Survivor readers.


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