The film indus­try has the Oscars, and the music indus­try has the Gram­mys, so the pod­cast indus­try wants its own awards show. A group of indus­try lead­ers span­ning net­works, includ­ing from Spo­ti­fy, NPR, Won­dery, and Sony Music, announced today that they plan to launch a new awards show: the Gold­en Mics. The group has also formed the Pod­cast Acad­e­my, a mem­ber­ship-dri­ven not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion whose mem­bers will vote on Gold­en Mics win­ners. The group says it’ll start accept­ing appli­ca­tions this spring, and the first show will be in Los Ange­les next year.

As more com­pa­nies invest in their own shows, par­tic­u­lar­ly long-form nar­ra­tive pro­gram­ming, cre­ators want recog­ni­tion for their work — under­stand­ably. A pod­cast awards show makes sense, although it might pro­vide cre­ators with a brag­ging point more than out­sized atten­tion. Tech­ni­cal­ly, a pod­cast awards show already exists: iHeartRa­dio launched its own awards show in 2019 as a way to hon­or qual­i­ty shows, but peo­ple in the indus­try found it fishy that the net­work nom­i­nat­ed its own shows for awards and sub­se­quent­ly won them. These new awards are clear­ly a rejec­tion of that idea, and no one from iHeart is a Pod­cast Acad­e­my found­ing mem­ber.

But a new awards show launch doesn’t mean peo­ple will auto­mat­i­cal­ly care or respect them. The Oscars, Gram­mys, and Gold­en Globes are well-known (and, in the Oscars’ case, near­ly 100 years old). Audi­ences already revere them. Plus, they come with the spec­ta­cle of well-known celebri­ty hosts and musi­cal acts.

The pod­cast­ing indus­try is dif­fer­ent. There aren’t many well-known names that could draw a crowd, and unlike music, film, or TV, most pub­li­ca­tions don’t employ offi­cial pod­cast review­ers. The press machine isn’t well-oiled for pod­cast cov­er­age. Dis­cov­er­ing shows can be dif­fi­cult, too, with­out many tastemak­ers in the space.

The Gold­en Mics could be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to call atten­tion to the best of audio, or it might end up just giv­ing shows a chance to send out a press release in the hopes that peo­ple pay atten­tion. Start­ing an awards show is a first step to bring­ing more pres­tige and press to the indus­try, but the rest of the media machine has to work in tan­dem for the awards to grab more of people’s time and respect.

Pho­to by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

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