The Verge and On Air Fest Announce Hot Pod Summit Lineup


Today, The Verge and On Air Fest announced the lineup for Hot Pod Summit, the invite-only conference for those building the future of the audio industry. Returning to On Air Fest for its 5th year, Hot Pod Summit kicks off on February 24 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 . senior reporter Ashley Carman, who writes the Hot Pod newsletter. This year’s Hot Pod Summit picks up where the industry left off in March 2020, with talks about the burgeoning podcast subscriptions, audiobooks, YouTube, and more, including:

  • New Money in Audio: Subscriptions, Audiobooks and IP Over the past year, the two largest podcast platforms – Apple and Spotify – have widely introduced subscriptions to their users. Is this the beginning of a new era? Plus, can IP sales build a business and what can the industry learn from audiobooks? Pushkin Industries CMO heather fain, QCODE CEO Rob Hertig, and Tenderfoot TV co-founder Donald Albright join in to discuss.
  • Compete with Big Tech how to recruit and retain talent as you take on the giants: With more technology companies entering the podcast space, competition not only for shows and listeners’ attention, but also talented employees. What can public media and independent shops offer new recruits? Founder and CEO of LWC Studios Juleyka Lantigua Williams, Multiple CEOs Amanda McLoughlin, and PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman discuss mission statements, unions, and ad revenue sharing, among other ideas.
  • Automated Ads: The move to programmatic and how it could change podcasting forever: The podcasting industry has often relied on host-read ads, mediated through personal relationships between podcasters and brands. But the industry wants to scale, and part of that journey depends on automating and targeting ads. There will inevitably be bumps along the way and bigger questions about how this could change podcasting forever. Oxford Road CEO and Founder Dan Granger and Acast head of automatic for America Ellie Dimitroulakos discuss.
  • YouTube is formally entering the podcasting arena: what now?: Many podcasters already use YouTube to distribute their shows, but late last year the company made its first official podcast rental seemingly in an effort to take on a bigger role in the space. In this chat we talk to popular tech YouTuber and Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast host Marquis 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 Do More to Moderate?: As the podcast industry grows and more people listen, concerns about what is shared and promoted on podcast apps are growing. 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 for a panel discussion.
  • Independent creators who make it work: While companies are seeing more and more opportunities to make money in podcasting, several podcasters have started their own business and addressed their fans directly. We will chat with podcasters including Who? Weekly’s Lindsey Weber and Others Making Their Way—Maintaining Discords; running Patreons; and include bonus content – in space.

Hot Pod is the premier publication on the podcasting industry, founded by Nicholas Quah in 2014 and acquired by The Verge in 2021. Hot Pod Summit is by invitation only, produced in conjunction with On Air Fest and work x work. Tickets for On Air Fest are on sale and available at, featuring speakers such as Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, Dr. Jane Goodall, Object of sound’and Hanif Abdurraqib, Death Sex & Money’and 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, featuring: Explained today co-hosts Sean Rameswaram and Noel King discussing the future of news audio, and New York Audio magazine’s editorial director, Hanna Rosin, interviews Lily Kay Ross about their new podcast research series, 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 channels, 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 leading companies, including the Concert publishing-led marketplace, the Chorus publishing platform and the entertainment and podcasting division of Vox Media Studios.


On Air Fest is the premier cultural event for audio creatives and inspired listeners. Entering its sixth year in 2022, the Brooklyn flagship festival features more than 100 artists bringing innovative ideas and showcasing new work. On Air Fest is the only festival of its kind that tells the art of sound, podcasts and stories.

Past headliners include Ira Glass, Terry Gross, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Bridges, To be over‘s Krista Tippett, Frances Ford Coppola, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Roxane Gay, Jenny Slate, Laurie Anderson, Ben Folds, Wyatt Cenac, the daily‘s Michael Barbara and more.


Aude White, [email protected] (Hot Pod Summit)

Meryl Cooper, [email protected] (On Air Fest)

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