Steve Ahern, Radioinfo
This is the first Asia Podcast Awards hosted in Radiodays Asia. Radioinfo has been operating for 25 years as the premier trading publication for the Australian radio industry. It has now evolved into the Asia podcast industry. The two winning podcasts are The Evaporated, a major Japanese podcast alongside The Reading Room, a Singaporean indie podcast. The People’s Choice Votes went to The Land Before Bedtime and Viva La Vida.
A year ago, Shoko, Jake, and Amy began in a tiny room with a strict deadline by Sony for the podcast. Unaware of a bomb threat called upon their building, they finished their podcast in this tiny room. The Evaporated details missing people in Japan, an anthology ranging from midnight movers to North Korean abductions. As podcasts are transmitted through headphones, audio quality was a huge priority – Voice actors couldn’t sound like voice actors and the sound had to be just right.
Their biggest takeaway is to have fun. Staying sane while covering true crime is essential, but so is having fun. “You have to be serious about your work, but you must also enjoy it.” Jake shared, “The reason why we could pull off The Evaporated is because we really cared about the podcast, and about each other.” Secondly, take your time with translation to give your interview justice. “A voice actor is only as good as your script,” Jake said. Lastly, identify your teammates strengths and use them.
The Reading Room is a biweekly, lighthearted Mandarin podcast. Tan Li Yi and Chang Cheng Yao both loved reading as radio presenters but knew Mandarin reading was not popular enough. However, podcasts were the perfect medium for their concept. They quickly gained positive feedback regarding their discussions and opinions on books. Evolving from appealing to just readers, they also interviewed authors to reach audiences who were interested in other literary related fields. Understanding media consumers are not as loyal as in the past, they also created Facebook reading events to keep their listeners engaged.