Podcasts played a prominent role as the Audio Production Awards held a ceremony to announce the 2022 winners in London on Wednesday night.
Helen Zaltzman was among the well-known podcasters who presented awards, many of the winning producers were recognised for their work on podcasts, and the event itself was hosted by Poppy Jay and Rubina Pabani from BBC Sounds.
With gold awards for freelance producers such as Geoff Bird (arts and culture) and Meera Kumar (entertainment), independent production company Reduced Listening (pictured above) taking top honours and popular freelance forum the UK Audio Network (UKAN) picking up the organisers’ AudioUK Award, this was an important year for independent audio creatives.
Held at the British Film Institute on London’s Southbank, there was a noticeable shift away from the dominance of radio-first content (the APAs started life in 2010 as the Radio Production Awards) and the inclusion of more newcomers to the industry. The success of podcasting is obviously a big part of that and the willingness of AudioUK to embrace the medium was clearly evident.
Diversity and inclusion was also a big theme at the awards, with the learning disabled-led Carousel Radio winning the Grassroots Award, multicultural voices prominent among winners and presenters, and Joby Waldman, the managing director of Reduced Listening, making a plea for all producers to consider the role they can play in improving inclusion in the industry.
There was also more recognition for The Long Time Academy. Fresh from taking gold for Best Independent Podcast at the ARIAS, silver in the Climate Award at the British Podcast Awards and winning Moment of Visionary Leadership at the International Women’s Podcast Awards, it added another gold in the Sustainability Award, while co-founder of its production company Scenery Studios, Lina Prestwood, won Best Lifestyle and Society Producer – both new categories for this year.
Kumar was recognised for her work on podcasts Cheat! and Dish, with the judges praising “an extraordinary production talent with an incredible understanding of audio, and how to create impact”. Bird’s recognised work included the podcast Wilderness Tracks with Simon Armitage.