IAB Podcast Upfront: Schedule and speakers released

In the first online-only version of the annual IAB Podcast Upfront, the virtual format is allowing a greatly expanded version of the event.

Running from September 9-11, the 2020 edition of this podcast showcase to advertisers expands from one day to three days. While past years have spotlighted 12 podcast networks at most, this year will feature 20.

New publishers to the lineup include ViacomCBS, The New York Times, Forever Dog Productions, Sony Music Entertainment, Barstool Sports, Vox Media Podcast Network. Repeat presenters include NPR, ESPN, Westwood One, Stitcher, Wondery, and others.

Here is the complete network roll call:

  • NPR
  • ESPN
  • Westwood One
  • Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, both part of Entercom’s podcast network
  • Barstool Sports
  • PMM
  • Forever Dog Productions
  • ViacomCBS
  • ART19
  • AdsWizz (“Insight Session”)
  • Vox Media Podcast Network
  • Authentic
  • Stitcher
  • American Public Media
  • Meredith Corporation
  • Wondery
  • Acast featuring BBC
  • WarnerMedia Podcast Network
  • Podsights (“Insight Session”)
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pushkin Industries
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • The New York Times

On the speaker side, the easy-to-participate virtual format results in the most intense podcast celebrity packing in the history of this event. Here is a partial list, as we are told that more speakers will  be added:

  • Rob Lowe and Oprah Winfrey (Stitcher)
  • Will Ferrell (iHeartRadio)
  • Dax Shepard and Brie Larsen (PMM)
  • Andy Cohen and Al Franken (ART 19)
  • Scott Van Pelt and Nate Silver (ESPN)
  • Sean Rameswaram (Vox Media Podcast Network)
  • George The Poet (Acast featuring BBC)
  • Michael Barbaro, Sarah Koenig, Kara Swisher, and more (The New York Times)
  • Charli & Dixie D’Amelio and Kevin Durant (Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, both part of Entercom’s podcast network)
  • Sanjay Gupta and Lala Kent (WarnerMedia Podcast Network)
  • Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg (Pushkin Industries)
  • Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (Stitcher), BJ Armstrong and Scott Galloway (Westwood One)

“Our industry has focused a lot of attention on the explosion of streaming and Connected TV, but there’s another explosion happening at the same time, and that’s streaming audio. Before the pandemic, we had been seeing healthy year-on-year growth, but today streaming audio has surpassed 50% of overall audio consumption,” said David Cohen, President, IAB. “Additionally, the total podcast audience is growing at a compound average growth rate of 20%, and represents a nearly $1B marketplace. Consumers are listening, and so are brands and agencies.”


Brad Hill