AUSTIN, Texas – The podcast market is saturated. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of shows and dozens of genres. So how does a podcast business make an impact and stand out in a crowded field? For Texas-based Hot Pie Media, it’s a mix of diverse content, seasoned media creators, and keeping business in the family.
Hot Pie Media’s chief content officer, Natalie Peyton, finds herself increasingly busy as the business grows. Although they won’t officially launch until October 2021, their offices are expanding – they’re adding an additional podcasting studio, live streaming, and recording some of their biggest podcasts on video.
Peyton said when the company made the decision to add video, it was difficult to get equipment.
At the start of the pandemic, when Hot Pie Media was newly formed, businesses were scrambling to go virtual, including churches, which Peyton said “had the market on all cameras.”
Peyton herself was a resource the company had no trouble securing. She joined Hot Pie Media nearly two years ago after a phone call with her father and co-founder John Peyton.
“My dad called me and said he had started a business with his partner Robert (Walker) and that I would have to leave New York to work with him. At the time, I was doing stand-up and I was playing. But when I came back and realized what they were doing, I was so excited that I became the first employee,” Natalie Peyton said.
It was March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was disrupting businesses and events around the world. Natalie Peyton said it was the perfect time to leave bustling New York City and return to Texas.
Coming home meant more time with family, including at work. His office is next to his father’s and they often spend the day chatting through the wall they share.
John Peyton said welcoming his daughter to the business was smooth, but he faced a challenge early on.
“We changed protocol after a board meeting,” John Peyton said.
“When I called him daddy,” Natalie Peyton added. “He’s my biological father. It’s not like a scary work thing.
While Natalie Peyton is busy managing content, she has also found the time to create some. She will join her aunt, actress Marcia Gay Harden (seen on “Mystic River” and “The Morning Show”), in an upcoming children’s podcast called “Snoriezzz.” Natalie Peyton said it was the start of Hot Pie Media’s children’s division.
“We include affirmations and mindful conversations,” she said. “And a meditation section to calm your body.”
She hopes parents can turn on the podcast for their children before bed to help children find calm and eventually sleep.
Hot Pie Media is relatively new to the podcasting game, but they already have chests swollen with content, with podcasts hosted by nationally recognized celebrities like Chris Noth (“Sex and the City”) and the founder of Steppenwolf John Kay, well known to former Texans as former Austin radio host Deb O’Keefe.
They also have a lot of experience creating content. Co-founders Robert Walker, John Peyton and Chris Jagger each bring decades of experience in television, music and content creation. In Jagger’s case, he brings all that and his brother Mick. He will join his brother’s podcast at the end of 2022.