The Verge is excited to announce that Hot Pod Summit — our invite-only event for creators, decision-makers, and trendsetters in the audio industry — is returning to Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. On February 23rd, we’ll be holding a day-long summit of panels, conversations, and interactive programming exploring the latest developments in podcasting, audiobooks, and more. The event will be led by Ariel Shapiro, Hot Pod’s lead writer, and feature appearances from Nicholas Quah, author of Vulture’s 1.5x Speed newsletter and the founder of Hot Pod, and Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge.
We’re thrilled to once again be partnering with the incredible team at work x work to produce the event. Hot Pod Summit is part of work x work’s On Air Fest, the premier cultural event for audio creatives and inspired listeners. This year’s creative festival is being held February 23rd–25th at Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, featuring Audie Cornish, Kara Swisher, Talib Kweli, Krista Tippett, John Cameron Mitchell, Craig Finn, Kevin Morby and special sessions with Audible, Paramount, Topic Studios, Simplecast, Stitcher, Pushkin, Vox Media Podcast Network, and more. You can learn more and buy single and two-day tickets at www.onairfest.com. Plus, On Air is hosting the first-ever podcast fan experience with exhibitions and immersive rooms by Radiolab, On Being, My Favorite Murder and more. The Podcast Experience runs all day February 23rd–26th. Tickets are available at www.experiencepodcasts.com.
Hot Pod Summit programming
The blurring line between audiobooks and podcasts
Hot Pod writer Ariel Shapiro sits down with experts in the audiobook industry to discuss the opportunities ahead as major audio platforms embrace longform stories and writing in a big way. Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s global head of audiobooks, Dan Zitt, senior vice president of content production at Penguin Random House Audio, and Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and host of the Happier podcast, join Shapiro to share what the audiobook explosion looks like from across the industry.
The future of narrative podcasts
1.5x Speed writer Nicholas Quah sits down with Rococo Punch co-founder John Perotti to discuss where narrative podcasts are headed as a business in 2023 and beyond. As Quah wrote in a recent column surveying hundreds of people in the podcast industry about their predictions for the year, “There was quite a bit of concern about the longer-term viability of the limited-run narrative series with several people arguing that the current ad-driven economics behind the format simply cannot hold.” So what might a sustainable business model look like — and is there one out there at all?
Decoder Live with iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne
Decoder host and Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel will sit down with Conal Byrne, iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO, for a live recorded interview to discuss iHeartMedia’s expansive podcast network, competing in the crowded digital ad market, and where the radio giant is headed next. Decoder is a weekly podcast from The Verge that asks executives, innovators, and policymakers how they make decisions and where their industries are headed. You can tune in here.