UK Podcaster Awards 2016

Oh, yes, I know. I don’t mean to impose. Far be it from me to tell you what to do with your life. It is indeed a free country, you’re quite right. Nope, I don’t have any authority and no the UK isn’t a dictatorship. I just– it’s only that– I’d like to– yes, but– if you’d just let me speak!

Agh!

Nominating your own podcast for an award in the hope that people will vote for it seems a frightfully self-obssessed and ultimately worthless exercise in egotistical hubris. You scratch my back, and I’ll continue to use both of my hands to keep scratching my front thanks to this particularly arrogant strain of …shingles?… that I appear to have contracted.

I’d like to think I’m self aware enough to know that as weird as it is for me to put my own podcast forward for an award, quite honestly, you don’t podcast every week for four years unless you like the attention and recognition that comes with it – even if it’s just a smidge.

Being squished in between Kermode Uncut and the Barbican Film Podcast on iTunes’ Film Fanatics list is pretty cool, though. Making it to the iTunes front page recently is even cooler. But still, I selfishly want more.

Rather than be professional about all of this and wait until somebody else considers the show good enough to nominate it themselves, I added it to the list of nominees for you. No need to thank me. If you want to vote for the Failed Critics Podcast in the New Media Europe Awards 2016, then please vote via this Facebook poll before the 29th May.

If you haven’t heard of the UK Podcaster Awards before – don’t worry. It’s not just you. There’s a huge and engaging community of UK Podcasters on Facebook, which is updated all the time with useful bits and bobs. People share their expertise and experiences; most are even happy to chat off the main group too.

In fact, that’s what I did last year, which led to me interviewing co-creator of New Media Europe and the UK Podcaster Awards, Izabela Russell.

Inspired by their experiences of how podcasting and new media is treated in the US, Izabela and Mike Russell set up a smaller scale meet-up for UK Podcasters in March 2014 upon their return home.

Their very first event rather impressively had just slightly under 30 people pop along. Shortly afterwards, the larger UK Pod 14 was set up as a 1 day event, which around 100 people attended.

I spoke to Izabela Russell back in November 2015 for a news story I was working on about Wikishuffle, the winners of the inaugural Best Comedy Podcast award last year, who described the original event as “incredible”.

“We thought this is it. This is great,” she said.

“We are making friends the same way we made friends back in the US – and most of all, it’s great to see all of the podcasters that are out there, and they are very serious about podasting. This is definitely a growing niche.”

The success of UK Pod 14 led to the event doubling in size the following year, with the inception of New Media Europe expanding to encompass more than just podcasting. Over 200 podcast and other media enthusiasts and professionals attended the now 2-day long event. The third conference – and importantly for us, the awards ceremony – will be held in just over a month’s time on the 18th of June.

Aggressively going after votes in awards has never been a thing for us; excusing our own end of year awards, of course. Although we have (what I would consider to be) a healthy number of subscribers and downloads for each episode of the Failed Critics Podcast, it’s not necessarily the reason why Steve and I turn up every week. We treat the show as just a relaxed chat amongst pals about whatever films we’ve seen lately and would probably still do it even if we didn’t hit the record button.

But if I denied that even a little part of me wasn’t interested in winning or being nominated for an award at some point, I would be lying. I guess you could call it an ambivalent ambition? If it happens, great. If not, oh well.

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about this. But I do feel proud to be a part of the indie UK podcast scene at the moment that is rife with talent. Black Hole Media, The Explosive Alan Podcast, Cinematic Dramatic, Podcasts from the Pub, Retro Asylum, Futhead, and they’re just some of the ones not nominated yet!

If you’d like to nominate a podcast or vote for Failed Critics, just visit our Facebook Page on the link below.

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