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Sharjah Media City (Shams) to launch podcast competition

Winners will receive a free license, access to co-working spaces and recording studios, and a AED10,000 cash prize.

Sharjah Media City (Shams) is gearing up to host a podcast competition and training bootcamp targeting podcast enthusiasts and creative minds looking to become successful podcasters in the Arab region.

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Applications to enter the competition –– can be submitted on the registration page on Shams’ website (https://www.shams.ae/podcast) until November 25, 2021. Once submissions are evaluated, 40 candidates will be shortlisted to join an exclusive training bootcamp, after which 10 participants will progress to the final stage. Three winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and announced at the end of the process; they will receive a free license from Sharjah Media City, free access to co-working spaces in the free zone, and free access to a recording studio, in addition to an AED10,000 cash prize.

“Shams is committed to its mission to advance the media sector in Sharjah and firmly position the emirate as a hub for media, creative industries, entrepreneurship, and innovation,” said His Excellency Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams). “Upskilling media professionals and aspiring talents is a major part of this mission. And with that in mind, we are constantly introducing programmes and training courses to help aspiring creatives reach their full potential and carry their bold and innovative ideas to fruition right here at Sharjah Media City.”

“The podcast competition and training bootcamp we are organising in partnership with Finyal Media is part of this effort. The programme will support and empower podcast enthusiasts to hone their skills and learn what it takes to build and scale their own podcasts,” H.E. added. “Podcasts have quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the media industry.. This is a powerful platform, and we, at Shams, are committed to helping talented people in the emirate and elsewhere seize this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Leila Hamadeh, CEO of Finyal Media, noted: “We are delighted to be partnering with Shams on this project and helping grow the pool of podcasting talent in the UAE. The podcast industry in the region has grown rapidly over the past year and we are looking forward to bringing more creative minds and ideas to the sector and further boosting the output of content from the UAE.”

Titled ‘Podcasting 101’, the training includes workshops, self-study material, and interactive exercises. The bootcamp aims to teach podcast beginners the basics of podcast production, as well as how to take their content to market. Participants who complete the bootcamp will develop a deeper understanding of how to develop, record, and produce their own podcast. They will learn how to build up their podcast audience and explore the options they have for monetising their content.

The programme is made up of five modules: Ideation and Concept Development, where participants learn how to turn an idea into a podcast, set a structure, and create an episode outline or storyboard. Module number two, Pre-Production, explores how to research, script, and prepare for each episode, as well as how to find the right guests for a show and put together a production schedule. The module includes a special session titled ‘From a Podcaster’. Next is Recording, Editing, and Finalisation, which teaches participants about the kind of recording equipment and software they will need, as well as how to prepare for each recording session, ensure a high quality of sound, edit their episodes, and add music or sound effects.

In the Distribution and Monetisation module, participants explore the best audio management software and how to use it, key considerations for podcast monetisation, the different forms that monetisation can take, and how to create a pitch deck for clients. The fifth and final module – Analytics – outlines the various metrics that are available for podcasters, key figures they need to analyse, and how to use these analytics with potential sponsors.

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