The podcast sector is going from strength to strength, with production undergoing an unprecedented boom in recent years. And now, as a way of paying tribute to the most outstanding work in the industry, the Ondas World Podcast Awards have held their very first edition at Malaga’s CaixaBank Soho Theater. The night’s 21 big winners included: Marion Reimers for her production Fútbol a muerte; the Podium Podcast fiction La esfera; Transportista for Best Nonfiction; Isabel Calderón and Lucía Litjmaer for ¡Deforme semanal ideal total! and the podcaster Molo Cebrián and the production company El Terrat for their outstanding contributions to the sector.
Gala presenters Carolina Iglesias and Victoria Martín, the creators of the successful podcast Estirando el chicle, brought their trademark humor to proceedings. The pair have two Ondas awards under their belt, the first of which they won last November at the traditional Ondas Awards held in Barcelona. This time, the jury of the Ondas World Podcast Awards honored them with Best Podcast of the Year Award, which they shared with ¡Deforme semanal ideal total!
The Ondas World Podcast Awards, organized by PRISA Audio and Cadena SER, in collaboration with Spotify, are set to be the key event dedicated exclusively to this sector in the Spanish-speaking world. The first edition has enjoyed the support of the Malaga City Council and the provincial authority of Malaga, the Costa del Sol tourist board, CaixaBank, BMW, El Corte Inglés, Seagram's, with train company Renfe offering its services as official transport provider for the event. Malaga proved to be the perfect choice to host the gala, with the region celebrating the 40th anniversary of SER radio broadcasts in the province.
More than 600 guests attended the event, including representatives of local and regional government and leading figures from the worlds of culture and entertainment. Dignitaries included: the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juan Manuel Moreno; his Chief of Staff and head of Public Administration Elías Bendodo; the president of the Diputación de Málaga, Francisco Salado; and the mayor of the city, Francisco de la Torre.
There were also representatives from a range of audio platforms, including Spotify’s Managing Director for Southern and Eastern Europe Federica Tremolada, and the company’s Head of Studios for the same region, Eduardo Alonso. The Spain Country Manager of Podimo, Juan Galiardo, and Twitter’s Country Manager in Spain, Javier Pagán, also attended the gala.
PRISA was represented by the Group’s Deputy Chairperson, Rosauro Varo; the Executive Chairperson of PRISA Media, Carlos Núñez; the managing director of PRISA Audio, María Jesús Espinosa de los Monteros; the managing director of Cadena SER, Ignacio Soto; the Director of Content of the radio network Cadena SER, Montserrat Domínguez; representatives of SER in Andalusia and Malaga, Antonio Yélamo and José Manuel Atencia; and José Gutiérrez, PRISA Media’s Chief Solutions, Digital and Technology Officer
The 21 winners from across 15 categories had been previously announced on February 23 and most of them were on hand to pick up their gongs at the two-hour gala which paid tribute to a fresh and dynamic industry that fosters innovation and embraces a wide range of genres, subjects and styles, including comedy, entertainment, investigative journalism, mental health, feminism and journalism. Isabel Calderón and Lucía Litjmaer, for example, thanked all those who believed in their humorous, feminist podcast, which, they said, has been "smart, tough and simple", from the very outset. “We were free and we had a blast. We dedicate our award to all women out there”, said the winners.
On the red carpet ahead of the gala ceremony, the creators of the popular podcast ¡Menudo cuadro! enlivened proceedings by interviewing winners and prominent guests. The podcaster Molo Cebrián, creator of the popular Entiende tu mente and who received the award for most outstanding contribution to the industry, spoke of the sector. “In podcasts we can do what we want, it fills us. And so we can connect with our true feelings. When we create without freedom we can’t really be ourselves 100%. With a podcast, I can be myself and do what I want to do.” Asked whether everything had by now already been done or whether this is just the beginning, he said: “There’s still much to discover. Or rather, rediscover when it comes to the potential of audio. Audio gives us a clearer image, clearer even than that of the highest definition screen. I’m referring to the imagination.”
The gala featured Víctor Elías and his band, as well as beatboxer Pablo Mora, and songs dedicated to the world of podcasts, including one with a flamenco twist composed for the occasion and performed by María Peláe.
Among those picking up their awards were Luis Zahera, who won the award for best actor for La Esfera; Nuria Pérez, for best episode (Gabinete de Curiosidades); and Javier Aznar, who won the award for best branded podcast for his Hotel Jorge Juan. Andreu Buenafuente was unable to attend the gala but sent a video message. Meanwhile, comedians and leading figures from the world of culture were on hand to hand out the prizes, including podcasters and comedians Manuel Burque, Lalachús and Quique Peinado, who gave the best newcomer award to Pablo Juanarena and his podcast Saludos Cordiales.
The managing director of PRISA Audio, María Jesús Espinosa de los Monteros, hailed the truly global nature of the awards, featuring as they do a range of countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Chile, France and the United States. Speaking of podcasts, she added: "When it comes to getting away from yourself and letting your imagination take flight, there is nothing better than a good story," she said, quoting journalist Mar Abad. "We are narrative beings, we have built ourselves out of the stories we have seen and read and, now, the stories that we have heard," said the PRISA Audio boss.
The presenters of the gala, Carolina Iglesias and Victoria Martín, followed a script by El Terrat, and the pair won their award for best podcast at the very end of the ceremony. Accepting the award on their behalf were their collaborators Henar Álvarez, Lalachús, Nacho Pardo and Patricia Espejo, who thanked the presenters for the podcast's successful two-year run.
In addition to the 21 winners, the jury for the Ondas World Podcast Awards awarded five special mentions. The winners were selected from a total of 888 contenders from more than 15 countries, with the number of submissions confirming the success of the genre.
- Best podcast of the year: Estirando el chicle and Deforme semanal ideal total (joint winners).
- Best fiction podcast: Caso 63.
- Best narrative nonfiction podcast: Transportista and Gal: el triángulo (joint winners).
- Best conversational podcast: La cruda.
- Best branded podcast: Hotel Jorge Juan. Special Mention: ¿Sigues ahí?
- Best experimental podcast: Solaris. Special mention: Diles q mi vida fue maravillosa.
- Best international non-Spanish-language podcast: L'echo du bataclan.
- Best podcast in a co-official language of Spain: Lokatza.
- Best sound production and design: La esfera.
- Best podcast script: El sicario. Special Mention: Uribe acorralado.
- Best podcast production: Guerra 3. Special Mention: Toxicamanía.
- Best podcast host: Marion Reimers for Fútbol a muerte.
- Best podcast actress: Lolita Flores for Formidable.
- Best podcast actor. Luis Zahera for La esfera.
- Best podcast episode: Gabinete de curiosidades and Las raras. (joint winners).
- Special Ondas Award for best newcomer podcast: Saludos Cordiales. Special mention: Lo que quieren las pibas.
- Ondas Special Podcast Award for most outstanding contribution to the industry: Molo Cebrián and El Terrat. (joint winners).
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