LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Evergreen Podcasts, a Lakewood-based company, has made storytelling a business.
The podcasting company, run by CEO Michael DeAloia, publishes its own original series and works with organizations across the country to help them produce and manage their own podcasts.
And Evergreen hopes to grow even further, with the ambition of becoming a major presence in the burgeoning international podcasting industry.
Evergreen’s independent roots stand out in a scene dominated by large corporations, such as Radiotopia, Gimlet, iHeartRadio, National Public Radio and American Public Media.
Still, it made a strong impression with popular shows, a range of hosts and guests, and some major program sponsorships.
“We are widely seen as a key player in the podcast market and are truly part of the next generation of truly influential networks,” said DeAloia. “We’ve seen significant growth, but a lot of it has taken place over the past two years with Evergreen. “
Evergreen Podcasts dates back to the 2000s, when founder Joan Andrews created a few family shows. Andrews later regrouped them under a fledgling network called “The Front Porch People”.
“She was just tired of talking on the radio,” said Evergreen production manager Brigid Coyne. “She came up with the idea for a very well-crafted, pre-recorded audio narration, which is really what podcasts are now.”
DeAloia, a Cleveland area business executive, investor and entrepreneur, became CEO in 2017. The project was renamed Evergreen Podcasts in 1018. 2014-18.
When it started out, the company had four original podcast programs with 17,800 downloads. Some of the platform’s initial shows, such as “Professional Book Nerds” and “Novel Conversations,” attracted strong fans and continue to air today.
Since then, the network has grown. In 2020, Evergreen Podcasts oversaw the production of more than 65 shows, which were downloaded over four million times, DeAloia said.
Some of the shows that gained momentum in 2020 included the moviegoer show “Movie Marathoners,” “From First Lady to Jackie O.,” a companion project to the book of the same name by author Paul Brandus, and two HR podcasts: Chad & Cheese Podcast ”and“ Recruiting Future with Matt Alder ”.
Recently, Evergreen added an important new show to its list: “Five Minute News,” a popular show hosted by Anthony Davis. He also covered two local sports podcasts, “Cleveland and Beyond” and “The Nail in the Coffin”.
Evergreen Podcasts currently employs 19 full-time or part-time people, as well as a few dozen entrepreneurs, DeAloia said. Partner podcast producers have the opportunity to present and launch their own concepts. For example, producer Hannah Leach runs a show called “Sleepover Cinema” and producer Leah Longbrake runs a show called “Weddings Unveiled”.
“’Weddings Unveiled’ is the podcast for planning your wedding but if you are also a devotee; if you’re like me and still love to watch ‘Say yes to the dress’ even when you’re already married, ”Longbrake said.
“Sleepover Cinema”, meanwhile, targets a younger fan base. Leach also produces “Sleepover Cinema” content on TikTok, where she has gained over 27,000 subscribers.
Evergreen Podcasts stood out in Greater Cleveland, which has seen many podcast creations, but many companies have focused solely on the medium.
“How I would describe the podcast scene in Cleveland, would be nascent. It’s tiny, ”DeAloia said. “There are clearly people podcasting in Cleveland, I’m sure there are hundreds of shows coming out of town, I’m sure. Whether it is a market, I would say no. I think we’re one of the only pure podcasting companies in Northeast Ohio.
“It’s interesting to be here, but nobody really knows we are,” said David Moss, CCO of Evergreen.
Evergreen Podcasts has caught the attention of big business. Last year, Evergreen started working on “Banking Transformed” with Jim Marous – a show that got sponsorship with Microsoft, according to Longbrake.
Moss said the company aims to network with other local podcast makers and set up meetups, once it is possible to get together again, after the coronavirus pandemic. He also hopes to create other local podcasts focused on sports and music.
While Evergreen Podcasts want to involve their local community, DeAloia said they don’t want to be limited by local topics.
“We never wanted to be seen as just a Cleveland podcast company,” he said. “The aspirations were that we wanted to create a national, even international podcast network. “
And Evergreen Podcasts is already optimistic about this goal. According to DeAloia, the company aims to reach more than 120 shows in the network by the end of 2021 and wants to continue acquiring properties.
“We have had significant growth plans,” he said. “We have to figure out how to become a powerful player in podcasting. “
You can view all of Evergreen Podcasts’ programs at evergreenpodcasts.com.
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