RAIN News at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards

The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.

RAIN News attended the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards presented by Capital One on January 18. The celebratory event was hosted by Holly Frey, Charlamagne Tha God, and Bobby Bones, along with livestream host Mario Lopez. The show attempted to reach as many potential audiences and podcast fans as possible, with a broadcast of the ceremony across more than 150 radio stations and a Twitter livestream. At the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles, many notable figures from podcasting appeared to recognize the successes of the audio format.

In addition to listener-awarded prizes for different genres and show types, the show included nods to a few luminaries of podcasting. Dr. Drew presented Mark Smerling with the Podcast Innovator award, recognizing his work as host of Crimetown and The RFK Tapes. Aaron Mahnke, creator of Lore, presented the Podcast Pioneer award to NPR, and Senior Vice President for Programming and Audience Development Anya Grundmann accepted on behalf of the broadcaster.

Gabriel Roth accepting the big prize for Slow Burn.

The ceremony included video breaks where nominees shared what they loved about podcasting. Many emphasized the format’s vulnerability and intimacy, as well as the close connection listeners felt when a voice is “right in their ears.” Several winners voiced the same sentiment in their acceptance speeches and in interviews with backstage host Mario Lopez.

Here is the list of winners and RAIN News’ photos from the show:

Red carpet at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.

Podcast of the Year: Slow Burn
Best Business Podcast: RISE Podcast
Best Comedy Podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience
Best Crime Podcast: Up and Vanished
Best Food Podcast: Sips, Suds, & Smokes

Dr. Drew presents the Podcast Innovator award to Mark Smerling.

Best Entertainment TV Podcast: Whine Down with Jana Kramer
Best Curiosity Podcast: Stuff You Should Know
Best Health & Fitness Podcast: Sleep With Me
Best History Podcast: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Best Kids & Family Podcast: Wow in the World
Best LGBTQ Podcast: Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

A lovefest on stage between Bobby Bones and indie rockers Matt & Kim.

Most Bingeable Podcast: Dr. Death
Best Multicultural Podcast: The Breakfast Club
Best Music Podcast: Bobbycast
Best News Podcast: The Ben Shapiro Show
Best Scripted Podcast: Wolverine: The Long Night

The energetic Fantasy Footballers team accepts their award from Mike Tyson and Mario Lopez.

Best Sports Podcast: Fantasy Footballers
Best Science & Tech Podcast: Reply All
Breakout Podcast: Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
Best Branded Podcast: DTR – The Official Tinder Podcast
Best Social Impact Podcast: Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods, whose sentence was recently commuted, send their thanks to the show attendees.

Anna Washenko