The second annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival happens this weekend, Oct. 4 – 6. Since L.A. seems to be home to the greatest density of well-known comedy podcasters, that is also the general emphasis of the festival, featuring appearances from comedian hosts like Marc Maron, Doug Benson, Greg Fitzsimmons and Jimmy Pardo. The festival will also have sessions for podcasters, covering topics like patent trolling, podcast networks and technology.
At this point it can be argued that the category “comedy podcast” has outgrown the “comedy” part. That’s because many comedians’ podcasts are focused much more on interviews, like Marc Maron’s WTF and Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, while others, like Paul Gilmartin’s Mental Illness Happy Hour, take on serious issues, albeit with some lightheartedness mixed in. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that a mass migration of comedians and humorists into podcasting in the last few years brought new life and popularity to the medium.
The People’s Podcast Awards will hold its ninth annual ceremony this coming January during New Media Expo in Las Vegas. Nominations are now open to the general public. Award categories span a wide variety of programs, such as LGBT, Health/Fitness and Science, in addition to overall awards like Best Produced and People’s Choice.
New Media Expo and the People’s Podcast Awards seem to fly a bit under the tech and media press radar, though there seems to be quite a few attendees. I only found out about the 2012 awards after they happened, and even then they were not well covered elsewhere. Already I get the impression that the L.A. Podcast Festival has garnered more attention, and it’s only in its second year.
Regardless, it is good to see more attention paid to podcasting as a growing sector of audio media.