iHeartMedia announced this week that they are starting their very own awards ceremony, and declared that it “will be the first live awards show for podcasting where listeners will decide on the winners.” Plenty in the podcast industry were quick to point out that many such events already exist, and to gently mock the corporation for coming in so late but so very confident.
However, Night Vale’s Jeffrey Cranor posted a thread on Twitter that made a more serious case for why moves like this could have a detrimental effect on the industry. “Podcasts are still struggling to get mainstream media coverage,” he wrote. “When a brand like @iheartradio starts an awards show, they draw coverage.” He went on to say that the selection of shows involved felt unimaginative, and that the whole enterprise smacked of a corporate attempt to cash in on a nascent media form.
I’m not sure it’s as drastic an issue of that, but it’s certainly a bit of a tone deaf move by a corporation that’s getting more and more involved in podcasting. It just feels a bit like a classic case of nobody in the office performing a google search before sending out the press release.