2019 Grants Challenge


Idea by Earios

In growing an entire media network we need support to continue to build out a podcasting studio, hire technicians, producers, purchase equipment and develop podcasts with our creators by hiring them support staff.


Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that podcasts have had on the modern media landscape. An example is Sarah Koenig’s, Serial, which exposed shortcomings in the justice system and resulted in Adnan Syad having another chance to plead his innocence. On a more intimate note, a podcast called Spermcast that is produced by founder, Amanda, and will transition to Earios this Spring, has had a great personal impact on it’s creator and community. At 39, with no man and a great desire to have child, comedian Molly Hawkey decided to take her destiny and fertility into her own hands and use a sperm donor to create a family. She chronicaled her journey by doing a podcast called Spermcast. Knowing that fertility treatments that she would likely need were expensive, she hoped that starting a podcast might help alleviate some of her cost. And she was right. Spermcast resonated with the community and Molly was able to raise a modest amount on her Patreon each month, which has helped her with medical costs.

After launching Spermcast, Molly began receiving hundreds of long emails from listeners with all of THEIR stories: planning for the future, freezing embryos, miscarriages, inseminations, commiseration, edification...all of this has come from talking about her private conundrum, publicly. Spermcast was featured on the Huffington Post and Washington Post. Molly is currently fielding interest to adapt her podcast into a book and a TV show, while she continues to take steps to make her dream of motherhood come true.

Additionally, after honing her editing and producing skills with her own podcast, Molly was able to start working as a podcast editor for several other Earios shows.

This is the kind of thing a podcast can achieve—by finally giving more women an opportunity to use their voices they can tell urgent and necessary stories that otherwise would not see the light of day. While Earios is guaranteed to create jobs for creators and content that would otherwise not be made, this is the ultimate goal: to make something that transcends the medium and makes a real change, sparks a real conversation, creates more jobs.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?​​

Jobs per capita

Minority- and women-owned firms

Arts establishments per capita

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to CREATE?

Under the guidance of our three founders—Amanda, Maria and Priyanka—we have recruited and will continue to recruit high-profile and emerging female creators like Margaret Cho and Aasha Davis to develop podcasts on our network. We work with them to develop their idea (with the proper resources) provide them with support staff and marketing teams to help with the production and airing of their podcasts. Our founders have extensive experience with the podcasting industry, they have the expertise and drive to nurture the diverse voices of female creators.

Despite the fact that podcasting is growing at an adoption rate faster than cable television and 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly (5x more than go to the movies!) only 22% of podcasts are hosted by women and an additional 11% are co-hosted by women. 44% of podcast listeners are women. The diverse hosts we have already started developing podcasts with bring huge audiences in traditional and social media: the top 10 Earios hosts will have an outreach of over 100 million followers across social media. Earios hopes to become the most influential place for women's voices.

Podcasts educate, entertain, investigate, and spark essential conversation, but when women’s voices are excluded, only a small portion of experiences are represented. Through Earios, we will not only reach the huge amount of Americans that already listen to podcasts, but we will engage with audiences that have previously been ignored. This network isn’t just about hiring and amplifying women’s voices, it’s also about providing a necessary perspective to a public conversation already taking place on an enormous scale.

We have already recording six shows that we plan to launch with in Spring of 2019. Over the next few months, we will need to take these six shows into full production with the intention to backlog at least five episodes by end of April.

Now, what lays in front of us are challenges we cannot overcome without adequate funding: we plan on either acquiring or renting studio space to record and edit the podcasts. We need to hire support staff: Producers, researchers (if necessary), social media, legal and accounting, and marketing experts.

Earios aims to give women a chance to develop, produce and record their own podcasts in an industry that has largely excluded them. The organization will give women of all colors the opportunity to build careers in all areas of the podcasting industry—from hosting to producing to managing the network, the goal is to offer women a chance to helm their own creations.

The potential and possibilities that Earios would offer creators are endless: Podcasts have gone on to be adopted into award-winning television shows and films, inspired books, and have long acted as launching pads for careers of comedians, journalists and pundits. By lending this kind of platform to women exclusively, Earios will offer a necessary equitable opportunity to create.

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Pilot project (testing a new idea on a small scale to prove feasibility)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Like any media company, we will be keeping a close eye on download numbers for all of our shows and hope to make a profit with ad sales. The most important objective for Earios in the first year, however, will be audience engagement and growth. We want to create a community where our listeners engage with our hosts and each other, both on our individual show's Facebook pages and on the Earios website. We will also gauge each shows performance by how steadily their listenership is growing, not necessarily the initial number of downloads.