Carmel High School students look to expand podcast’s reach

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By Chris Bavender

What started as a simple conversation between two friends has grown into a podcast by two Carmel High School seniors – Live from Spruce Drive. And its creators are looking to expand their reach.

Shiva Vallabhaneni and J.D. Arland are the creators of Live from Spruce Drive. (Submitted photo)

“We wanted to provide commentary on current events and sports, and it turned out a few of our friends enjoyed listening to us,” CHS senior J.D. Arland said.

That was last fall. Arland and classmate Shiva Vallabhaneni now have released approximately 10 shows, each 30 minutes long, focused on a mix of news and sports. They’re available on SoundCloud, iTunes and Google Play Music.

“In a market of young-adult listeners, purely news stories or purely sports stories are not interesting in a 30-minute show,” Arland said. “We wanted to provide enjoyable commentary for all listeners.”

Topics have ranged from celebrity news to the 2016 presidential election to local high school sports and professional leagues.

“One of our episodes entitled ‘Confusing Exotic Matter’ was my favorite to record just because of the interesting mix of segments we had,” Arland said. “But to be honest with you, every week’s show is my new favorite. I think our quality has gotten better each time.”

The podcast is recorded at Arland’s home  on Spruce Drive or at the Carmel Clay Public Library.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” Arland said. “Our friends and family love the show and often engage us in conversation about it.”

Now, the duo is looking for sponsors to cover operational costs and keep the podcast running.

“We are looking for $15 a month to pay SoundCloud for our unlimited upload time,” Arland said. “We are selling airtime and other bonuses, available on our fundraising page. We have three levels, bronze, silver and gold, all with corresponding rewards like behind-the-scenes content or airtime.”

Arland and Vallabhaneni plan to continue the podcast after graduation this spring. Arland will attend Butler University with a double major in sports media and strategic communication, while his podcasting partner, who hasn’t decided on a school, plans on studying aeronautical engineering.

“We want to continue to have fun and produce content,” Arland said. “We’ve blown away our goals just by producing a show each week with actual listeners, so all of this is amazing.”

For more information or to sponsor the show, visit patreon.com/livefromsprucedrive. To listen to Live from Spruce Drive, visit bit.ly/2j1Bvk5.

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