With the Android app’s launch in June, the Google Podcasts creator program was also teased to promote inclusive storytelling and increase diversity in podcasting. Google is now opening sign-ups for a training program that will feature seed funding to create unique and sustainable shows.
The Google Podcasts creator program aims to address two imbalances as the industry is skyrocketing in popularity: “Women and people of color are still underrepresented as hosts, and many of the world’s most popular podcasts hail from western, urban areas.” It has three main pillars:
- Empowering and training underrepresented voices through an accelerator program
- Educating a global community with free tools
- Showcasing participants’ work as a model for others
The first pilar begins now, with Google partnering with PRX to lead and manage the program, including the 20-weeks of training. Interested partners can submit pitches for unique shows that highlight diverse viewpoints.
A global advisory committee will select teams to receive mentorship, seed funding, and what Google calls an “intensive 20-week training.” This involves technical assistance and editorial input, as well as lessons on marketing, promotion, budgeting, visual branding, and the best social media practices.
Exact criteria for what the creators program is looking for includes:
- Represent a range of geographies, backgrounds, views, voices and styles
- Either self-identify as marginalized in the podcasting landscape – whether due to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, economic background, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities or some other reason – or intend to reach an audience that self-identifies as marginalized in the podcasting landscape
- Have a fresh and compelling podcast idea
- Are interested in making their podcasts sustainable in terms of growing revenue and audience
In addition to this program, at the end of the training session, PRX will publish podcast 101 videos in multiple languages to meet the second pillar. Applications close on November 18th.