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The Verge and On Air Fest Announce Hot Pod Summit Lineup

The Verge and On Air Fest Announce Hot Pod Summit Lineup


The invite-only event focused on the future of audio will take place on February 24th, bringing the audio world’s biggest movers and shakers together in one room.

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Today, The Verge and On Air Fest announced the lineup for Hot Pod Summit, the invite-only conference for the people building the future of the audio industry. Hot Pod Summit will return to On Air Fest for a 5th year, kicking the festival off on February 24th at the Wythe Hotel in New York City for a day of conversations with the audio world’s biggest movers and shakers.

Hot Pod Summit is hosted by The Verge’s senior reporter Ashley Carman, who writes the  Hot Pod newsletter. This year’s Hot Pod Summit will pick up where the industry left off in March 2020, with conversations on the burgeoning podcast subscription business, audiobooks, YouTube, and more, including:

  • New money in audio: subscriptions, audiobooks, and IP: In just the past year, the two biggest podcast platforms — Apple and Spotify — introduced subscriptions widely to their users. Is this the start of a new era? Plus, can selling IP build a business, and what can the industry learn from audiobooks? Pushkin Industries CMO Heather Fain, QCODE CEO Rob Herting, and Tenderfoot TV co-founder Donald Albright join to discuss. 
  • Competing with Big Tech: how to recruit and retain talent when you’re up against the giants: More tech companies are entering the podcast space and with that comes not just competition for shows and listeners’ attention, but also for talented employees. What can public media and independent shops offer new recruits? LWC Studios founder and CEO Juleyka Lantigua, Multitude CEO Amanda McLoughlin, and PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman discuss mission statements, unions, and sharing ad revenue, among other ideas.
  • Automated ads: The move to programmatic and how it might change podcasting forever: The podcasting industry has often relied on host-read ads, brokered by personal relationships between podcasters and brands. But the industry is looking to scale and part of that journey hinges on automating and targeting ads. There will inevitably be bumps along the way and bigger questions around how this might change podcasting forever. Oxford Road CEO and founder Dan Granger and Acast head of automatic for the Americas Ellie Dimitroulakos discuss. 
  • YouTube formally enters the podcasting arena: now what?: Lots of podcasters already use YouTube to distribute their shows, but late last year, the company made its first official podcast hire seemingly in an effort to take on a larger role in the space. In this chat, we’ll talk to popular tech YouTuber and Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast host Marques Brownlee and Rooster Teeth’s head of The Roost Podcast Network AJ Feliciano about what podcasters even need or want from YouTube and what the platform could do.
  • Should podcast platforms be doing more to moderate?: As the podcast industry grows and more people listen, concerns around what’s being shared and promoted on podcast apps are intensifying. What obligation do podcast platforms have to moderate the shows they distribute? How does that change when platforms sign exclusive deals? Platformer’s Casey Newton joins senior research fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University Evelyn Douek and TrueFire CEO Owen Grover for a panel discussion.
  • Independent creators making it work: Although corporations increasingly see money-making opportunities in podcasting, various podcasters have set out on their own, appealing directly to their fans. We’ll chat with podcasters including Celebrity Book Club co-host Lily Marotta and Who? Weekly’s Lindsey Weber about maintaining Discords, running Patreons,  recording bonus content, and more.

Hot Pod is the preeminent publication covering the podcasting industry, founded by Nicholas Quah in 2014 and acquired by The Verge in 2021. Hot Pod Summit is invite-only, produced in partnership with On Air Fest and work x work. Tickets to On Air Fest are on-sale and available at, with speakers including Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, Dr. Jane Goodall, Object of Sound’s Hanif Abdurraqib, Death Sex & Money’s Anna Sale, For Colored Nerds’s Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse, Keep It’s Ira Madison III, and many more. Vox Media Podcast Network will host two panels at On Air Fest, with Today, Explained co-hosts Sean Rameswaram and Noel King discussing the future of news audio, and New York Magazine’s editorial director for audio Hanna Rosin interviewing Lily Kay Ross about their new investigative series podcast, Cover Story: Power Trip. 

Sponsors for Hot Pod Summit include Adswizz, RedCircle, and Veritonic.


As the leading independent modern media company, Vox Media tells stories across digital, podcasts, TV, streaming, live events, and print. The company’s editorial networks include Vox, New York Magazine, The Verge, The Cut, Eater, Vulture, The Strategist, Polygon, SB Nation, Intelligencer, Curbed, Grub Street and Recode. It is also known for industry-leading businesses, including the Concert publisher-led marketplace, Chorus publishing platform, and Vox Media Studios entertainment and podcasting division.


On Air Fest is the premier cultural event for audio creatives and inspired listeners. Coming into its sixth year in 2022, the flagship festival in Brooklyn features over 100 artists who bring forward innovative ideas and present new work. On Air Fest is the only festival of its kind exploring the art of sound, podcasts and storytelling.

Past headliners include Ira Glass, Terry Gross, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Bridges, On Being’s Krista Tippett, Frances Ford Coppola, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Roxane Gay, Jenny Slate, Laurie Anderson, Ben Folds, Wyatt Cenac, The Daily’s Michael Barbaro and more. 


Aude White, (Hot Pod Summit)

Meryl Cooper, (On Air Fest)