Move over Oscar and Tony. The Ambies have arrived.

The newly formed Podcast Academy this weekend hands out its first awards, the Ambies, for the best in a booming industry that has room for everyone from Britain’s Prince Harry and reality TV star Kim Kardashian to a student with a smart phone.

Some 56 per cent of Americans over the age of 12, or 162 million people, have listened to a podcast at least once, according to the 2021 research report The Infinite Dial. That is up from 36 per cent five years ago.

All that is needed for podcast makers is a great idea and a microphone, fuelling the rapid growth in content.

“People can try it without having to invest a lot of money, whereas if you want to make a TV show you can’t just go do that,” said Mr Donald Albright, chairman of the Podcast Academy.

“But you can make a podcast from your apartment and in several months you could be the No. 1 podcast in the country. That doesn’t exist in many mediums.”

The Podcast Academy on Sunday (May 16) will hand out statuettes in 23 categories ranging from sports and true crime to spirituality and comedy.

Dirty Diana, a scripted erotica series starring actress Demi Moore, horror series The Left Right Game and Cold War cultural show Wind Of Change lead nominations. Podcasts from recent deals with Kardashian, and Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have yet to air.

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