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Webby Rankings November 16, 2021

The 2021 Webby Podcast Industry Index

Meet the top 10 Podcast Companies and Distributors honored at the hallmark 25th Annual Webby Awards.

As the audio industry continues to experience exponential growth, this proliferation of podcasts and audio storytelling is reflected in The Webby Awards. And it shows no sign of slowing down. Podcasts are the fastest growing industry in The Webby Awards, with a 40% increase in submissions to these categories in 2021. Furthermore, between 2020 and 2021, companies like Spotify experienced 22% YoY revenue growth according to its Q1 Shareholder Letter, while iHeartMedia reported a 142% growth in podcast revenue.

It has become abundantly clear that the future of audio belongs to those who are telling high-quality and compelling stories. The 10 companies featured in our 3rd Annual Webby Podcast Industry Index represent creators who are doing just that. Our index showcases the 10 audio producers with the most Webby-recognized projects across podcast categories in the 25th Annual Webby Awards (2021). In addition, we’ve highlighted pieces of work by each of the featured companies. 

HOW IT WORKS: To start, we analyzed which industries over indexed in the 25th Annual Webby Awards. We then ranked which companies produced the highest-performing podcasts—the top 10 podcast creators were included to better reflect the proliferation of podcasts in The Webby Awards. *Companies are listed with the highest-performing projects top to bottom. Webby Wins are weighed more heavily in calculations.*

The 2021 Podcast Industry Index

BY THE NUMBERS  

  • Crooked Media leads the competition with 7 wins and 2 honors. 
  • This year, four media companies with strong in-house podcast teams made the index, including Team Coco, HBO, Vox Media and Motherly Media, reflecting a continuous growth of brands and media companies making podcasts.
  • The programs honored this year reflect an industry shift by major podcast companies to leverage more public-facing talent to tell purpose-driven stories.

BEHIND THE RANKS

1. Crooked Media

They are a media network that believes we need a better conversation about politics, culture, and the world around us—one that doesn’t just focus on what’s broken, but what we can do to fix it. They showcase stories, voices, and opportunities for activism that inform, entertain, and inspire action, because it’s up to all of us to do our part to build a better world. Crooked earned many Webby wins for their election-focused work, as well as popular pop culture podcast Keep It! View the work below.

2. Spotify

The Swedish audio streaming and media services provider is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription provider, with 381 million users worldwide. They are on a mission to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it. Spotify’s honored podcast programs represent their work to commission great storytellers and sound engineering teams. View the work below.

3. Team Coco

Built on the spirit of Conan O’Brien’s brand of smart and silly comedy, Team Coco is a fan-centric multi-platform media company that reaches over 55 million fans per month. Team Coco is driven by O’Brien and a carefully curated network or other top comics. Their work honored during last year’s Webby Awards reflects its talent-driven podcast shows. View the work below.

4. Motherly Media

Motherly was born to send expert ideas and mom-to-mom inspiration to women exactly when they need it. The community-driven lifestyle brand is redefining motherhood on behalf of a new generation of mothers through expert information, podcasts, classes, videos and more. Motherly was honored for its individual episodes, touching on tough topics for mothers. View the work below.

5. Vox Media

As one of the leading independent modern media companies, Vox Media is dedicated to getting the future right. Their Podcast Network, with more than 200 active shows from their editorial networks and partners, their programming connects advertisers with audiences when they’re tuned in most. Vox Media received recognition for some of its most popular programs, and cultural deep dives. View the work below.

6. Tenderfoot TV

Founded in 2016 by Atlanta director and independent filmmaker Payne Lindsey, and music industry veteran, Donald Albright, Tenderfoot launched onto the podcasting scene with the award-winning true-crime podcast, “Up and Vanished.” Last year, their podcasts zeroed in on telling diverse stories, both scripted and news-focused. View the work below.

7. Lemonada Media 

Founded in 2019, is an award-winning women-run podcast network that shares the unfiltered version of the human experience. Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer, the creative forces behind Lemonada, launched the women-run podcast network to help listeners  through all the ugliness, weirdness, awkwardness, and darkness life can hurl at you. Lemonada received recognition for their top talent-led podcasts that cover today’s most pressing issues. View the work below.

8. Cadence13 

Cadence13, an Audacy company, is a leading podcast studio dedicated to premium storytelling and production. Their mission is to create, distribute and build audiences for premium, on-demand audio content, in partnership with leading creators and influencers, and in the process elevating podcasting as a media format. Last year, Cadence13 received recognition for their work across talk shows, sports and documentaries. View the work below.

9. Acast

Founded in 2013, the Swedish company is a leading independent podcast company that helps creators and advertisers of all sizes to reach listeners in the most immersive environment in the world. Podcasters can use Acast to host shows and grow their audience across every podcast listening app. Acast received recognition for the crime, documentary and culture podcasts they host on the platform. View the work below.  

10. HBO

As a television network and streaming service, HBO has been recognized for decades as one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world. Their recent venture into podcasts reflects a growing interest by its audience to engage with more in-depth conversations around HBO’s original content. View the work below.

To join the best podcast creators in the world, enter the 26th Annual Webby Awards. New categories for: Creativity & Marketing, Sustainability & Environment, Health & Wellness and more. The Final Entry Deadline is on Friday, December 17th!

READ THE FULL SERIES

The Webby Podcast Industry Index is part of our larger Webby Industry Index Series that showcases the companies who have made the highest caliber of work across their respective industries. Read the full series to see this year’s best Agencies, Brands, Game Creators, Media Companies, Production Companies and Tech Companies.

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Enter by the Final Deadline on Dec. 17th

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