2024 Hot Pod Summit At On Air Fest Recap

5 min read

On Air Fest, often known as the “Sundance of Audio,” is a time for industry professionals, content creators, and artists from all walks to talk everything podcasting, monetization, and more. This year, Simplecast and AdsWizz teamed up as sponsors of the kick-off event, Hot Pod Summit, a full day of engaging conversation covering a variety of topics, led by an opening panel that included Kelli Hurley, VP and Global Head of Revenue Partnerships at SiriusXM, (the mothership for AdsWizz and Simplecast). From there, our team got to rub elbows and be in the room for interactive dialogue and idea generation at On Air Fest, featuring special guests like This American Life host Ira Glass and Seth Myers and Josh Meyers from Family Trips with the Meyers Brothers

Read the highlights from this year’s event below.

The Future of Podcast Distribution and Monetization 

The 2024 Hot Pod Summit kicked off with an engaging panel discussion moderated by Hot Pod’s Ariel Shapiro. It featured Kelli Hurley and Tomas Rodriguez, Senior Director of Audio Partnerships at The Trade Desk. Education and the need for greater education across the industry were resounding themes that echoed throughout the day. The better we utilize accurate data to build use cases and establish industry norms, the better for the industry.

Industry Education 

By far, our favorite part of the day was the breakout sessions. Our own Grace Kane, Director, Business Development, Simplecast & AdsWizz, co-hosted as moderator with work x work’s Jeff Weiner, Director, Business Development. Picking up on the education theme in the opening panel, attendees in the room—which included indie, midsize, enterprise publishers, podcast networks, and industry executives—shared their unique thoughts on some key misnomers that still linger. Podcasting is still a fragmented medium in the media landscape and can confuse anyone who doesn’t live, eat, sleep, or breathe all things podcasts. 

Know Your Audience

The power of data cannot be underestimated. Attendees in the breakout session gave testimonials and spoke at length about the incredible value and power of knowing your listeners and communicating and educating others on who they are. LWC Studios Founder and CEO Juleyka Lantigua spoke about how their team secured a large sponsorship by doing exactly that. By being able to pulse their audience regularly, they discovered that 22% of their listeners are moms. This was the stat that got them the job. (You guessed it, the sponsorship was a child-focused brand.) Whether through social media outreach, surveys, or other grassroots efforts, content creators must stay up-to-date on the makeup of their listening audience.

Monetization Mistakes (and Happy Accidents)

Knowing how and when to start your monetization journey is a subject near and dear to our hearts—and we got to chat more about it in an informative and engaging breakout room. Canadaland’s Alan Black shared how they have had success with their annual giving campaign, and Patreon’s Tom McNeill added insights into the power of content combined with the community. Creators should feel empowered to call on their community to support their growth. 

Like all good things, monetization doesn’t come without its hurdles. As it applies to growing listenership, we discussed a few important topics and answered some questions:

What’s best from platform marketplaces: Direct sales or backfills?  

It’s not about one or the other but more about the marriage of the two. Adequate platforms can manage both direct and marketplace inventory, with the podcaster controlling who gets what. 

Can you get true programmatic advertising with Simplecast?

Absolutely! Our podcast marketplace has been providing 200+ podcast shows with amazing results that matter, like higher fill rates, higher CPM, and access to a wide variety of premium advertisers.

What about reporting and measurement? 

You betcha. We offer advanced campaign management that includes state-of-the-art targeting tools and real-time reporting to produce key results for your monetization. Plus, we offer advanced Ad Trafficking and Targeting tools. 

Brand Safety

The continued conversation on brand safety and being able to provide assurances to the advertising community came at the end of our breakout session. AdsWizz, our SiriusXM sister company, has led the forefront in providing innovative solutions to combat bot fraud, which you can read more about here. The best part: our relationship and product integrations allow us to use the same enterprise-level tools for mid-sized podcasters. The line between publishing relevant, timely, and impactful content—which continues to be an area where podcasts have shown to be a formidable space to achieve this—and creating a safe space where advertisers can place buys and see the ROI will continue to be a hot topic in any room.

Audio Continues to Inspire

We were inspired, invigorated, and renewed by the energy in the room. Hearing from industry titans like Ira Glass, networking with old and new connections alike, and coming together to discuss our challenges and the optimism for the opportunities, put air in our sails. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the capabilities of Simplecast, reach out here