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Judging Criteria

Podcast entries will be judged based on the following criteria. Some criteria (e.g. Engagement & Listenership for Podcast Advertising) are for specific categories. 


In a flooded market such as Podcasts, it is important to stand out. Is the story or concept unique? Is the storytelling or narrative coherent, and does it hold your attention? Determining the quality of concept considers all the elements that go into the podcast and how successfully the original idea is communicated.

Content & Writing

Even in the most off-the-cuff podcasts content planning and writing are key. Is the content and writing engaging and thought-provoking? Does the writing have resonance and stay with you long after listening? 

Creativity & Innovation

As the podcasting medium evolves, how are podcasters keeping things fresh? Are new formats, forms of story-telling or especially creative ideas brought to bare on the work, craft, hosting or other important components of the entry? 

Quality of Craft

Determining the quality of craft focuses on production quality and technical execution. This includes the quality of the editing, sound design and audio integration, and all the aspects that account for a memorable listening experience. If applicable it can also include appearance and quality of video and/or original music. This is of course relevant to the category entered. Quality of Craft means more than just clean audio, and it doesn’t necessitate that it be cutting edge or trendy.

Engagement & Listenership

What strategies have been put in place to engage listeners and keep them returning to the Podcast? How has listenership been successful?

Overall Experience

The overall experience encompasses content, storytelling, and production, as well as the intangibles that provoke the listener’s response. Repeat listening generally indicates a positive overall experience.

Judging Process

Award Winners are selected by members of The Signal Awards Judging Academy from the best work entered through the Call for Entries. Evaluated against a number of criteria, the work undergoes a rigorous process to win a Signal Award.


How Work is Judged

Signal Jurors independently evaluate each entry submitted during the Call for Entries, rating each one based on its respective judging criteria. Every entry is evaluated by multiple experts. The top entries are then included on category-specific shortlists and further evaluated. Finalists are eligible to be selected as Gold, Silver or Bronze Signal Award Winners and are then eligible to participate in the Listener’s Choice Award. Gold, Silver or Bronze designation is determined based on scoring thresholds, which is why some categories may include multiple Gold, Silver or Bronze Winners – or none at all. Jurors may not vote in any category in which they have a conflict of interest.


We understand that conflicts of interest are a potential threat, and we take these conflicts very seriously. We do everything in our power to minimize occurrences of conflicts while ensuring that the best work is recognized.

Signal Awards does not influence the judges in any way. We select a diverse body of judges who we feel are objective, respected, and knowledgeable in their category. Recognized Podcasts are entirely in the hands of these Judges, who select and vote on the entries through an independent process. Jurors are not allowed to participate or vote in a category where they have a conflict of interest. 


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