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Scott Aukerman

QUESTIONS FOR SCOTT RE: HOWL

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I'm creating a forum account just to add my opinions to the discussion. Not that anything I've got to add hasn't been said already, I just want to stress that these issues are important to many of your listeners.

 

First off, I have absolutely no problem paying $5/month to support the Earwolf network. I already do the same for Maximum Fun. But I have to say that putting old episodes behind a paywall will undoubtedly make certain podcasts less accessible to new listeners. Just because it works for Maron doesn't mean it will work for the format of every podcast. Nerd Poker, Hollywood Handbook, and CBB in particular will be far less accessible than they were before.

 

Additionally, rolling out this service without an Android app available at launch is a pretty hard pill to swallow. Just the whole concept of having a separate podcast app forced on users is pretty hard, for me, to accept. I don't want to use two podcast apps. Nobody does. RSS links to allow users to listen in the app of their choice is absolutely needed.

 

Downloading the files to your device is the single biggest issue here. I understand wanting Howl to be a Netflix-like streaming service, but downloading files for offline listening is an essential feature of podcasts for many many listeners. Myself included.

 

I've read other people saying that episodes can be downloaded temporarily in the app(I'm unable to use it, on iOS7 and android), but not from the howl.fm site. I personally put a huge chunk of episodes on a USB drive and plug that straight in to the car's stereo for road trips. Sometimes I burn a CD full of my favorite episodes for a friend, to introduce them to a show I love that I think they will enjoy too. That's going to be impossible now, unless I only want to use new unarchived episodes.

 

Those are my complaints. I'm really hoping some or even all of them can be addressed, considering Howl has only just launched. That said, I'm genuinely happy for Earwolf and all the podcasters being able to make a little more money.

i think everyone has interesting points about the downloading - we will look into it. maybe like a package of "Best Of" complete episodes that are downloadable from the EW store and iTunes? Sort of like what SNL used to do?

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First up, I'm excited to finally give back and pay for my Earwolf content, and I'm super excited for the miniseries and comedy albums.

 

That being said, I started listening to Comedy Bang Bang from an episode that was over a year old, because it had guests I knew. When I started on HDTGM, I started with the first episode (that was also older than 6 months). The same can be said for I4H, Who Charted, and even the Apple Sisters. I'm worried this paywall is really going to discourage new listeners for Earwolf shows, I never would have heard any of the shows had it been up and I know everyone I've recommend the shows too has done similar things.

 

I'm just curious why you opted for a paywall rather than, say, when you added Pepsi next ads to the beginning of older episodes in the archive?

Haha, because everyone hated them!

 

I promise I will work on ways of how to grow the show with new listeners - thank you for trying to get people into it over the years, and I hope you continue to. I'm more interested in how you, the current listeners feel about it!

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HI SCOTT!

 

I wanted to say thank you to you and everyone in your podcast cartel for making Earwolf and all shows that my wife and I love to listen to every week. I'm grateful that I have a chance to pay for all these great shows in addition to our small monthly donations.

thank you, lovey

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I had a classic case of poster's lament and edited my original post. HOW EMBARASSING.

 

Honestly, I do wish you guys well and I'll subscribe once all the kinks are worked out... but I'll never be able to take a buddy's phone and download an old Cake Boss episode for them to listen to. That just sucks. OH MARON.

aw don't worry about it! You're okay by me.

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I agree, but I don't really think everybody is intending it. I reread my own comment after posting and it sounded pretty whiny, but while writing it I was just genuinely asking a question with no malice intentions. Text is just a hard medium to not sound like a jerk in.

 

Bingo, lack of implied meaning can be a killer.

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What are the chances of a Howl exclusive podast for Brent Weinbach's BeBe Dubbs character?

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haha, sorry to come off snarky - just trying to take the analogy to its logical conclusion.

 

so here's what i'm trying to say about a comic store - if you walked in, you would have ONE issue of X-Men (the current one), to browse through in the store. Then they would have back issues for sale in boxes somewhere, wrapped in plastic. You would have to pay for any of them (which is where the analogy breaks down - we're letting you walk out of the store with the "issues" from the last six months for free). But it would be insane to walk into the store, and on a table in front of you, there were hundreds of issues for you to sift through. And you would have to decide which to read first.

 

Dear Hit Choplomein,

 

HUUUGE fan, love the tvshow... Lovetheradiopodes... But we have the Internet now and ebay tells us what comics to like...

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For the record, the new Lauren Lapkus psychic-themed podcast is surprisingly touching. I'm not a believer in psychics, but it was compelling to say the least!

 

So it's not a comedy/character kinda thing? I was worried, it seemed like she's been stuck striking a single chord in her work recently with all the psychic satire on WSG.

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So it's not a comedy/character kinda thing? I was worried, it seemed like she's been stuck striking a single chord in her work recently with all the psychic satire on WSG.

 

Not a satire at all. Not really even comedy.

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Scott, I need a 'sclusie. Are there plans for video episodes through the subscription?

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Hey Scotty,

 

Sorry people are being grouchy, though I do get it. People have a strong emotional connection to podcasts because it like having friends in your ears and no longer being able to access your memories of spending time with them without paying. "You'll remember those good times for a little while and get to continue seeing your buddies, so be happy about that." People don't like when their friends are taken away.

 

I don't actually have a smartphone because I am a willfully a dinosaur, but I guess I do have one for work that I'll try the android app on whenever that is released. I suppose that I'll be a bit reluctant to jump in an listened to CBB on my work phone because even though you say it isn't, it sometimes is that kind of show.

 

It isn't as though I'm opposed to spending money on podcasts or entertainment. I briefly had a subscription to the WTF app.I've had Netflix and Hulu subscriptions for years. I've got a massive pull list at my local comic book shop. Heck, I'm sitting on the checkpoint page of an Earwolf advertiser right now just waiting to click the confirm purchase page. And yes, I'm using the CBB code. Don't worry. I've got you.

 

Still, like many others I am conflicted about this change. It feels like the barrier to entry is a bit higher now for long running shows. I am happy that there will be a way to support less commercial podcasts, though. I'm worried that older episodes will be forgotten about. I'm excited that there are going to be new places for new voices to be heard. I'm self-conscious about not having a smartphone and also feel like I'll be left out in a lot of ways.

 

Maybe it just that this feels like a way of monetizing something that's already been monetized: the deluxe edition album released less than a year after initial release forcing you to buy it again for the bonus tracks. Maybe it is just that it feels like we're kind of being sold a promise, one that I'm sure you'll deliver on, but that isn't fully accessible for all users just yet. The fracturing of how we're able to consume things also bothers me, but that might be more because I'm lazy than not wanting to spend another few dollars per month.

 

In all likelihood, I will be subscribing to HOWL because I love the content and I've gotten so much joy from you and the whole Earwolf family over these past years. So not really any questions, just some thoughts and concerns.

 

Ok. Bye.

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'Cleaning up the archives,' can only be a dumb idea or a lame justification for putting what used to be free to listen to behind a paywall. I was fucking Deee-Lited to discover a massive archive waiting to be listened to when I discovered a new podcast. What's 'impenetrable' is a paywall--as much as I'd like to support Earwolf, I can't afford to pay for a 'podcast Netflix' in addition to the Netflix I already pay for. If I couldn't have gone back and listened to the greps recommended to me by friends, I never would've started listening to CBB. I can't get into a show through a 'best of'; I always feel like I'm missing something.

 

If I didn't feel so connected to some of the people who do shows on Earwolf, I'd unsubscribe from everything on the network. This looks to me like podcasting finally getting taken over by corporate assholes and that's kind of sad. Only kind of, though. 'Cause we'll all fucking live--won't we, guys? (And I know no one would care if I did do that--no need to point that out.)

 

So anyhoo, I hope ya'll make a lot of money--I really do. I really hope all this user-unfriendly corporate bullshit at least helps out the ridiculously talented people who do ridiculously good shows I won't be able to recommend to my friends anymore.

 

Byeeeeeee!

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haha, sorry to come off snarky - just trying to take the analogy to its logical conclusion.

 

so here's what i'm trying to say about a comic store - if you walked in, you would have ONE issue of X-Men (the current one), to browse through in the store. Then they would have back issues for sale in boxes somewhere, wrapped in plastic. You would have to pay for any of them (which is where the analogy breaks down - we're letting you walk out of the store with the "issues" from the last six months for free). But it would be insane to walk into the store, and on a table in front of you, there were hundreds of issues for you to sift through. And you would have to decide which to read first.

 

Thanks for the clarification, I see where you're coming from. I'd prefer to keep the backlog free but I understand your position.

 

Have a heynong man day (that's the catchphrase, right?)

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'Cleaning up the archives,' can only be a dumb idea or a lame justification for putting what used to be free to listen to behind a paywall. I was fucking Deee-Lited to discover a massive archive waiting to be listened to when I discovered a new podcast. What's 'impenetrable' is a paywall--as much as I'd like to support Earwolf, I can't afford to pay for a 'podcast Netflix' in addition to the Netflix I already pay for. If I couldn't have gone back and listened to the greps recommended to me by friends, I never would've started listening to CBB. I can't get into a show through a 'best of'; I always feel like I'm missing something.

 

If I didn't feel so connected to some of the people who do shows on Earwolf, I'd unsubscribe from everything on the network. This looks to me like podcasting finally getting taken over by corporate assholes and that's kind of sad. Only kind of, though. 'Cause we'll all fucking live--won't we, guys? (And I know no one would care if I did do that--no need to point that out.)

 

So anyhoo, I hope ya'll make a lot of money--I really do. I really hope all this user-unfriendly corporate bullshit at least helps out the ridiculously talented people who do ridiculously good shows I won't be able to recommend to my friends anymore.

 

Byeeeeeee!

 

What a dildo.

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all jokes are salads, but i told the my wife i married and broke up with about this new howl thing and she did the whats up hot dogs face and then she said it has been a while since we first heard of the banned youtube

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Hey Scott,

 

Love the new app and the new shows, but just one BIG question. Can I pay for Howl in cash? It's legal tender for all debts, public and private.

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This looks to me like podcasting finally getting taken over by corporate assholes

 

...

 

So anyhoo, I hope ya'll make a lot of money--I really do. I really hope all this user-unfriendly corporate bullshit at least helps out the ridiculously talented people who do ridiculously good shows I won't be able to recommend to my friends anymore.

 

 

This is why I never made an account until today. Most of you are assholes.

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What a dildo.

 

Kind of a dildo but he's right on a lot of things - I don't see how this will grow the audience. I'll pay for Howl after years of established goodwill and love for so many Earwolf shows but for the new listener it's a turn off. Netflix is $8 a month and feels cheap, Howl is $5 a month and feels expensive. I also wish they could have figured out how do a paywall without making people have to now use multiple podcast apps. Hopefully they'll keep adding more exclusive stuff and iron out the technical issues with the player on the site and whatnot

 

One thing I would like to know - is it at least possible for the Howl subscription to offer backlog episode downloads with a monthly limit? For me downloading isn't the biggest deal breaker but there are the odd times when it's nice to have a bunch of old rando CBB eps loaded on an iPod like long plane/road trips or for instance I'm in the military and I was deployed for months to a place with crummy/no wifi

 

Also I agree with other people - the ads are great and I'll miss them if they get completely scrubbed from all the old eps

 

Hey Scott,

 

Love the new app and the new shows, but just one BIG question. Can I pay for Howl in cash? It's legal tender for all debts, public and private.

 

 

Or how about with stamps printed from stamps.com?

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'Cleaning up the archives,' can only be a dumb idea or a lame justification for putting what used to be free to listen to behind a paywall. I was fucking Deee-Lited to discover a massive archive waiting to be listened to when I discovered a new podcast. What's 'impenetrable' is a paywall--as much as I'd like to support Earwolf, I can't afford to pay for a 'podcast Netflix' in addition to the Netflix I already pay for. If I couldn't have gone back and listened to the greps recommended to me by friends, I never would've started listening to CBB. I can't get into a show through a 'best of'; I always feel like I'm missing something.

 

If I didn't feel so connected to some of the people who do shows on Earwolf, I'd unsubscribe from everything on the network. This looks to me like podcasting finally getting taken over by corporate assholes and that's kind of sad. Only kind of, though. 'Cause we'll all fucking live--won't we, guys? (And I know no one would care if I did do that--no need to point that out.)

 

So anyhoo, I hope ya'll make a lot of money--I really do. I really hope all this user-unfriendly corporate bullshit at least helps out the ridiculously talented people who do ridiculously good shows I won't be able to recommend to my friends anymore.

 

Byeeeeeee!

i understand, and hope in a week (or day), after you've calmed down, we can discuss some more!

 

seriously - i've been through change so much in my career (name of show, bandleader, etc...) that i understand the cycle of people being upset at first. (and maybe remaining upset!) god bless you, my child. much love

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One thing I would like to know - is it at least be possible for the Howl subscription to offer backlog episode downloads with a monthly limit? For me downloading isn't the biggest deal breaker but there are the odd times when it's nice to have a bunch of old rando CBB eps loaded on an iPod like long plane/road trips or for instance I'm in the military and I was deployed for months to a place with crummy/no wifi

That seems like a smart idea. Think the Marvel Unlimited app, but with the download feature working better and more consistently.

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This is why I never made an account until today. Most of you are assholes.

D-I-L-D-O.

 

You know, maybe that's the wrong word. Maybe the word is 'childish'. Childish is how I'd describe angrily ranting at someone who gave you 350+ episodes of a show for free once or twice a week for six years, having never taken a week off in that time. Most of those episodes being 1.5-2 hours of comedy for FREE each and every week for six years.

 

Disagreeing with the decision-making, the pay model, etc. is more than fine. Acting like a child and throwing all of your toys out of the pram makes YOU the asshole.

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