BBC Sounds Audio Lab returns to amplify more next-gen podcasters

Audio Lab returns with a new programme to find the next generation of audio creators and turn their ideas into podcasts for BBC Sounds


BBC Sounds

Audio Lab returns for a second year with a new programme to find the most exciting next generation of audio creators and help them turn their ideas into podcasts to be showcased on BBC Sounds.

BBC Sounds Audio Lab’s hugely successful first year supported a series of brilliant, original podcasts by emerging audio creators, with some going on to win broadcasts on BBC Radio 1Xtra and 4 Extra, be championed in the Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 and be critically acclaimed alongside some of 2022’s biggest hits including Pod Bible’s best podcasts of the year.

Audio Lab is a unique accelerator initiative and this year, each successful creator will receive a full-time salary for eight months (May-Dec 2023) at Assistant Producer level, plus a comprehensive package of practical and professional training that includes dedicated production support and a bespoke training plan.

Also new for this year, Audio Lab will embed the creators with one of its production partners from across the UK. Each partner will lead development and production, and join Audio Lab to help choose the best ideas. They include BBC Scotland production, BBC Long Form Audio in Salford, BBC Audio Pop & Speech podcast production and in another first, a UK independent production company.

Next week, BBC suppliers based in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Salford, Birmingham and London will be invited to express their interest to work with BBC Sounds Audio Lab. Further details will be announced next week via BBC Radio Commissioning and the Audio Lab website.

Khaliq Meer, commissioning executive for BBC Sounds Audio Lab, says: "We set out to create an immersive space where emerging talent can hone their skills and ideas. I’m incredibly proud of the podcasts our first year creators produced, some of which were broadcast alongside world class programmes on BBC radio.

“More people are listening to podcasts than ever before and we’re passionate about helping the next generation access the right support and resources, achieve next-level ambition and reach new audiences on BBC Sounds.”

To support applicants with their submissions, there will be an Audio Lab webinar presented with BBC Academy Fusion with reflections and an opportunity to ask questions about the eight month development programme. Find out more and sign up for tickets here.

Audio Lab is for those with some experience of making fresh audio, telling great stories or producing narrative content. Applicants will have a range of content making experience they want to develop including writing, interviewing, recording, editing and presenting. They may have self-published audio or video on well-known social media channels, have produced or presented at smaller radio stations or previously held junior production roles. A passion for audio and podcasts is essential, along with an idea for a conversation, story or perspective to develop into a distinctive podcast. Further information and terms and conditions can be found on the Audio Lab website.

Audio Lab is open to all and encourages applications from all UK under-represented groups including Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic; LGBTQIA+, disabled and lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Applications open on Tuesday 17th January via the Audio Lab website and BBC Careers Hub, and close on Sunday 12 February 2023.

Meet some of the year one Audio Lab creators

Hamza Salmi, Who Was Michael X creator, says: “I wanted a place to help me realise my idea and Audio Lab has heightened the quality of my podcast. Having constant support from the team enabled me to add dimensions to this podcast that would have previously been impossible. The team around me have always been supportive and I’m extremely grateful for their unshaking belief in me as a creator.”

Hanna Adan, The Museum Of Bad Vibes creator, says: “I had this idea that wouldn’t leave me alone and Audio Lab helped me bring it to life. It gave me access to fantastic mentors and experts who really know what they’re doing. They helped guide me to make the podcast even better than I could have imagined.”

Adam Zmith, The Film We Can’t See creator, says: “Audio Lab has given me confidence in my creative ideas. I learnt loads of skills – recording different kinds of sounds, inventing some new sounds, editing, mixing and mastering – much more than I had ever done before. The Film We Can't See would not exist without Audio Lab’s incredible support.”

Tomi Dixon, Colouring In Britain creator, says: I wanted to create an immersive storytelling experience and Audio Lab helped me to structure stories and understand what the most important part of my narrative is. I can definitely say it wouldn’t have happened without the support of everyone at Audio Lab, my production mentors and all the people who took part.”

Find out more about the first set of Audio Lab creators here and here, and listen to their podcasts on BBC Sounds

Who Was Michael X? By Hamza Salmi
The Museum of Bad Vibes by Hanna Adan
Blossom Trees and Burnt-Out Cars by Talia Randall
The Film We Can’t See by Adam Zmith
Colouring in Britain by Tomi Dixon
The Reset by Jade Scott

Champions for this year’s Audio Lab feature some of the stars from across the BBC’s audio talent including co-host of hit BBC Sounds podcast Brown Girls Do It Too, Poppy Jay, BBC Asian Network presenter and host of YouTube series Corner Shop, Mistah Islah, BBC podcast Access All co-host Emma Tracey, BBC Radio Leicester breakfast show presenter Summaya Moghul and host of BBC News and 1Xtra’s If You Don’t Know podcast, De-Graft Mensah. Meet the BBC Sounds Audio Lab Champions below.

Source BBC Sounds

January 18, 2023 4:00am ET by Pressparty  


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