It might seem like you’ve now got podcasts covering any and every conceivable topic, but comedy writer and actor Maria Blascucci argued that there’s still “this whole untapped market” — namely, podcasts created by women.
Certainly, some of the most successful shows are hosted by women — but if you look at list of popular podcasts, you’ll see a lot of men. Similarly, most of the major podcasting networks and companies (like Gimlet, Crooked Media and Earwolf) were founded by men.
So Blascucci teamed up with her friends Amanda Lund (also a writer and actor) and Priyanka Mattoo (a former agent at United Talent Agency and William Morris Endeavor) and created a new company called Earios. They raised $26,000 on Kickstarter last year, and launched their first shows this week.
“As we saw the landscape of podcasts changing and becoming more like television … we started to realize that we might as well carve out a space for ourselves, a community of funny women, instead of just letting it happen to us,” Lund told me.
The goal is to launch 12 shows this year, including four this week — Filling the Void (where “Love” creator Lesley Arfin talks to her friends about their passions and hobbies), Foxy Browns (with Mattoo and Camille Blackett discussing beauty and wellness from the perspective of women of color), Web Crawlers (where Melissa Stetten and Ali Segel explore strange and mysterious things on the web) and The Big Ones (where Blascucci and Lund discuss moral dilemmas).
Upcoming shows include titles from comedian Margaret Cho and musician Feist.
“What we have trying to do is just trying to do projects and [find] really interesting voices and perspectives that alone will make our shows stand out,” Lund said. “With podcasting, there is a template for it. It sounds like this, and your art looks like this, and we’re conscious of not necessarily falling into that same template. We’re still trying to do things outside of the box whenever possible and keep the medium cracked open, in a way.”
As for monetization, while there are startups exploring subscriptions and paywalls (with some hiccups), Earios is focused on running ads in partnership with Acast.
Mattoo suggested that there’s a similar untapped market here, recalling that as she talked to ad sales companies, “The refrain we heard over and over again was, ‘We have all these ads targeted at women and nowhere to put them.’”