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JulyDiaz

Paywall Special Announcement

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Hi! Just wanted to pop in to clear up some questions I've been getting on Twitter...

 

Where is the $2.91 deal?!?

Sorry for any confusion, the current discounted annual plan, $35 per year shakes out to about $2.91 per month. So if you go HERE and join the annual plan that is what you will pay for Howl, you'll just pay it all at once.

 

The app only shows $44.99 as the annual price!

Yeah, the app stores get to do whatever they want and they don't like to deal with coupons and discounts. So that special $35 price is only available if you sign up on the Howl website. You'll still be able to use the app, you just need to pay us directly to get this discount or to use a monthly promo code like HDTGM

 

I don't see the 25 extra episodes yet!

Depending on your app, you may need to either just pull to refresh or I have heard with some apps that you need to unsubscribe and re-subscribe. But they are all there, I promise!

 

What else do the Howl subscribers get out of this?

YALL. The "lost episodes" of Smurfs and Green Lantern are on Howl RIGHT NOW. I've had people asking me about these episodes for YEARS!! And you can find them all at the bottom of the list, episode 14 and 16 :D Go go go listen

 

 

And if anyone has other questions, needs help joining, needs help with their account or just wants to write an all caps curse out rant to tell me you hate me, you can contact me at support@howl.fm

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Most of the ads only pay if people actually go and buy the product. That's why they have the promo codes in each one. So if someone goes to the site, does the free trial or whatever and then enters the promo-code, then they get something. Do you think everyone is doing that that is listening to the episodes?

Absolutely not. And if I were an advertiser and I hear of this paywall fracas I would not advertise on HDTGM. I would have seen posts on social media and varioius forums made by fans who started off saying how much they love the podcast, how much it has helped them during difficult times, how it helps them get through traffic/workdays/bank lines etc. followed immediately by the kind of righteous moral outrage last directed at Martin Shkreli when he raised the price of an HIV drug from $13.50 per pill to $750. I would then think that if these fans won't pay $5 (or $2.91 with the promo code) a month for something they love, they are not going to pay for a subscription to food, razors, clothes, socks, toys, etc.

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Most of the ads only pay if people actually go and buy the product. That's why they have the promo codes in each one. So if someone goes to the site, does the free trial or whatever and then enters the promo-code, then they get something. Do you think everyone is doing that that is listening to the episodes?

It's not that they don't pay for the ads if people don't sign up; it's more likely that they pay per thousand impressions (in this case, per 1k people that listen to the episode). BUT, any advertiser is going to keep track of the ROI (return on investment) of their ad spend. So, let's say they spend $2500 (a number I pulled straight out of my ass), but they're only getting $1500 in revenue from it (that could be in direct signups for a subscription service like Blue Apron; it could be in a calculated lifetime value - LTV; or it could be a single purchase), they'll probably not continue advertising.

 

Now, the point remains that if people don't buy stuff, Earwolf will probably lose ad revenue over time, but it's just a slightly different model. Source: I work in Marketing and used to help manage our PPC/CPM advertising budget.

 

Note: this is just an assumption based on common advertising models. I don't have any inside info on Earwolf, their advertisers, or how any of their contracts are structured.

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Finally got to listen to the announcement, and I just wanted to add that this sounds like a decent compromise and good incentive to get people to subscribe if they want to. Thank you, Paul, for working so hard for us.

 

 

Man, we were at Quiznos the other day and I saw their sign for their points system and it reminded me of the show lol. I wish I could sign up, but we only go a couple times a year, because the one that used to be down the street closed down. We miss it.

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Really weirded out by the number of commenters hoping for failure for Earwolf. I get the disappointment in having to pay for something that previously was free, but the idea that you should get things your way or they should fail is very sad and gross.

 

Also, listening to ads is a meaningless way to "support" a podcast if you aren't buying the product. If you're balking at $3 a month, how many $700 mattresses can you buy in a year? How many $25 pairs of underwear? Any $60/week Blue Apron subscribers out there? Advertisers don't give a shit about your whining on forums, they care about revenue. How many podcasts are Casper/Warby Parker/et al sponsoring, hundreds? A thousand? How much do you honestly think they are paying for indie web comedians to read some copy?

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Did I understand it right that there will be some new episodes that are only for subscribers? Will there be an annoucement here when one is available? Because I probably won't subscribe to Howl right now, but I likely will if/when a new subscriber-only episode is released. Does anyone know more about that?

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Did I understand it right that there will be some new episodes that are only for subscribers? Will there be an annoucement here when one is available? Because I probably won't subscribe to Howl right now, but I likely will if/when a new subscriber-only episode is released. Does anyone know more about that?

 

As a current subscriber, I can say that there are certain show eps that don't get put on here, primarily shows done on tours (Comedy Bang Bang) or some special eps that were done at conventions, and mini-series and specials done by Earwolf people apart from their regular shows (Lauren Lapkus' Wild Horses stuff, for example). For HDTGM, there aren't any that I can think of that haven't also been on Earwolf thus far, but I could be mistaken.

 

Edit: this is not counting the stuff that Paul talks about in this podcast, this is my experience up to this point

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It's not that they don't pay for the ads if people don't sign up; it's more likely that they pay per thousand impressions (in this case, per 1k people that listen to the episode). BUT, any advertiser is going to keep track of the ROI (return on investment) of their ad spend. So, let's say they spend $2500 (a number I pulled straight out of my ass), but they're only getting $1500 in revenue from it (that could be in direct signups for a subscription service like Blue Apron; it could be in a calculated lifetime value - LTV; or it could be a single purchase), they'll probably not continue advertising.

 

Now, the point remains that if people don't buy stuff, Earwolf will probably lose ad revenue over time, but it's just a slightly different model. Source: I work in Marketing and used to help manage our PPC/CPM advertising budget.

 

Note: this is just an assumption based on common advertising models. I don't have any inside info on Earwolf, their advertisers, or how any of their contracts are structured.

 

Interesting stuff.

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Really weirded out by the number of commenters hoping for failure for Earwolf. I get the disappointment in having to pay for something that previously was free, but the idea that you should get things your way or they should fail is very sad and gross.

 

Also, listening to ads is a meaningless way to "support" a podcast if you aren't buying the product. If you're balking at $3 a month, how many $700 mattresses can you buy in a year? How many $25 pairs of underwear? Any $60/week Blue Apron subscribers out there? Advertisers don't give a shit about your whining on forums, they care about revenue. How many podcasts are Casper/Warby Parker/et al sponsoring, hundreds? A thousand? How much do you honestly think they are paying for indie web comedians to read some copy?

 

Yeah, some of these comments are fucking gross.

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It sounds like Paul needs to come to group therapy with me about his anxiety. It's okay, Paul. The internet will freak out over ANYTHING. Remember when Jason got his MA geography wrong?

 

But also thanks for giving me more episodes. I was sad when "where does the butt start?" disappeared.

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I would love it, if all content providers put everything behind the paywall (like Financial Times and The Times of London. They have no free trial subscriptions, no 10 free articles a month.) This culture of free content is ruinous. I have seen sites that I frequented shut down or reduced/changed its contents. Sites like Videogum, Television Without Pity, The Toast and A.V. Club (all of them have hundreds of extremely active commenters). The number of magazines and newspapers keep shrinking. And taking their place are things that are crap and fake.

 

I have worked in customer service my entire life. Customers aren't always right. And we don't try to retain every customers. There are good customers and there are bad ones. Bad customers are high-maintenance and keeping them are costly. So shoppers who throw stuff at cashiers are banned from grocery stores, abusive callers are hung up on mid-rants, chronic no-shows are dismissed from clinics. We would rather spend the time, effort, and money on being extra nice to the good customers.

 

I like and respect Paul a great deal but I wish he had handled this differently.

 

1) Whatever he thinks of the paywall, I think he would agree that the time and effort he, June, Jason, the guests, the engineers, the interns and other staff put into the podcast is worth $5 a month. Stand by that.

 

2) He is fostering poor fan behavior and entitlement. This solution to the paywall is a messy one (to whoever responsible for keeping track of which ep is going behind the paywall and when, I hope you are compensated for the extra work. Or maybe not. If the talent don't deserve $5 a month why should you--faceless drone--be compensated. You are lucky to have this job--paid or unpaid--for the connections and exposure.) and will generate more complaints in the future. He might have stopped a one-and-done tsunami, but he will have a long future of drips and drabs of complaints to contend with.

 

3) Paul has a big voice in the comedy world. He should come out stronger for paid content to help out those with lower profile. People look to the top for how to act. I'm seeing many comments pointing to Paul when they argued for free content.

 

The $5 a month. Like I've said earlier, I have always worked in customer service. And I'm now a 40-year-old undergrad studying math full-time. My financial situation has always vacillated between tight and desperate. I own 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of rain boots. I have worn the same set of clothes from Wal-Mart and Old Navy for 4 years. I get a haircut once a year. I look like a bag lady. I also have a serious medical condition that requires the care of expensive specialists and expensive medications. I can't afford health insurance. I'm not taking the amount of medication I need and am rationing it. I won't be able to scrape together the hundreds of dollars a month for healthcare, but I can scrape together $5. I eBay stuff, I take part in surveys, I become a human guinea pig.

 

We all have sob stories. Because life is hard. Life is uncomfortable. Life is not fair (when people talk about fairness outside of discussions of systemic injustices like sexism and racism, it sounds like a child whining.). And still, the world owes us nothing. Certainly not podcasts.

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Just gonna quickly mention that a paywall for older episodes is the exact format Doug Loves Movies uses and its never been a problem. Kk peace out

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Guys, I tried to watch The Dictator last night and Jason is no longer in it! Apparently, after a fixed period, they put his character behind a paywall??? Unbelievable!

 

g5beYin.gif

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Just gonna quickly mention that a paywall for older episodes is the exact format Doug Loves Movies uses and its never been a problem. Kk peace out

 

And don't forget he charges for big episodes like the '12 guests' and 'tournament of champions' etc.

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e8sksg.jpg

 

all I have to say about pay wall... and Paul Scheer, you are Earwolf, not the other way around. you could move your show to any site and we will follow you. Please don't forget that for one minute.

 

Mind you I think you did that before, or did I dream it. Earwolf pop.

 

any other show this marketing method could work, but with HDTGM we already have to buy the videos or movies to enjoy the show already if da pay wall came with the movies in question for free maybe I would buy into that system but we have to go out of our ways to find and collect these movies to watch them and enjoy the show. didn't enjoy giving some guy on amazon 40 dollars US to enjoy the apple. a movie i will most likely never watch again. I would of rather give that money to you Paul. No real amazon rentals here in Canada.

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https://twitter.com/...664179527385090

 

Anyone think this was paywall related?

 

As I stated in the Earwolf newsletter today, this was scheduling related. Hannibal wanted to be able put out a podcast whenever he had time to, and our ad team needs for shows to put out episodes on a consistent schedule. Simple as that. Amicable split.

 

Sorry. Not in the mood for conspiracy theories today.

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https://twitter.com/...664179527385090

 

Anyone think this was paywall related?

 

Considering his podcast started well after Howl was created (so there must have been some discussion of the future paywall when he signed with Earwolf) and his podcast hasn't even gotten to 6 months of backlogged episodes (i.e. none would even be going behind it), No. I think it's exactly what they said it was. He's too busy to for a committed schedule. Going independent allows him to release episodes at his leisure.

 

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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As I stated in the Earwolf newsletter today, this was scheduling related. Hannibal wanted to be able put out a podcast whenever he had time to, and our ad team needs for shows to put out episodes on a consistent schedule. Simple as that. Amicable split.

 

Sorry. Not in the mood for conspiracy theories today.

 

I had your back. Sorry I didn't get to it fast enough :)

 

top-gun-high-five-580-100538112-large.gif

 

But would you like to comment on whether or not Mr. Aukerman is, in fact, a lizard person?

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I want to be clear when I say this, as I can tell this is corporate greed and not because of the hosts of the show which have nothing but respect for.

This is BS. One of the biggest shows on earwolf is this one. This is entirely greed based and not "because other shows do it." I do subscribe to shows I lovery. The way this was handled was awful and now I will never pay a dime for their subscription services. Horrible horrible way of handling something like this.

I still have all respect for the hosts and will listen to new episodes still... assuming they aren't pay walled too.

Not cool at all Earwolf. Not cool.

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I would love it, if all content providers put everything behind the paywall (like Financial Times and The Times of London. They have no free trial subscriptions, no 10 free articles a month.) This culture of free content is ruinous. I have seen sites that I frequented shut down or reduced/changed its contents. Sites like Videogum, Television Without Pity, The Toast and A.V. Club (all of them have hundreds of extremely active commenters). The number of magazines and newspapers keep shrinking. And taking their place are things that are crap and fake.

 

I have worked in customer service my entire life. Customers aren't always right. And we don't try to retain every customers. There are good customers and there are bad ones. Bad customers are high-maintenance and keeping them are costly. So shoppers who throw stuff at cashiers are banned from grocery stores, abusive callers are hung up on mid-rants, chronic no-shows are dismissed from clinics. We would rather spend the time, effort, and money on being extra nice to the good customers.

 

I like and respect Paul a great deal but I wish he had handled this differently.

 

1) Whatever he thinks of the paywall, I think he would agree that the time and effort he, June, Jason, the guests, the engineers, the interns and other staff put into the podcast is worth $5 a month. Stand by that.

 

2) He is fostering poor fan behavior and entitlement. This solution to the paywall is a messy one (to whoever responsible for keeping track of which ep is going behind the paywall and when, I hope you are compensated for the extra work. Or maybe not. If the talent don't deserve $5 a month why should you--faceless drone--be compensated. You are lucky to have this job--paid or unpaid--for the connections and exposure.) and will generate more complaints in the future. He might have stopped a one-and-done tsunami, but he will have a long future of drips and drabs of complaints to contend with.

 

3) Paul has a big voice in the comedy world. He should come out stronger for paid content to help out those with lower profile. People look to the top for how to act. I'm seeing many comments pointing to Paul when they argued for free content.

 

The $5 a month. Like I've said earlier, I have always worked in customer service. And I'm now a 40-year-old undergrad studying math full-time. My financial situation has always vacillated between tight and desperate. I own 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of rain boots. I have worn the same set of clothes from Wal-Mart and Old Navy for 4 years. I get a haircut once a year. I look like a bag lady. I also have a serious medical condition that requires the care of expensive specialists and expensive medications. I can't afford health insurance. I'm not taking the amount of medication I need and am rationing it. I won't be able to scrape together the hundreds of dollars a month for healthcare, but I can scrape together $5. I eBay stuff, I take part in surveys, I become a human guinea pig.

 

We all have sob stories. Because life is hard. Life is uncomfortable. Life is not fair (when people talk about fairness outside of discussions of systemic injustices like sexism and racism, it sounds like a child whining.). And still, the world owes us nothing. Certainly not podcasts.

 

 

While I stand by the thanks I wrote earlier, I don't disagree with you. In fact, my first reaction upon hearing today's message was, "That's BS!" I felt like, not only were they capitulating to the dissenters, but they were kind of throwing their peers and co-workers under the bus by saying, "Don't subscribe. Just wait and download them when you can." I mean, I believe that's all well and good for three well-to-do, successful (outside of just this podcast) actor/ comedians, but what about the engineers, human resource staff, custodians, etc? I'm thinking, doesn't part of the revenue that your podcast brings in go to pay their salary? This is why I signed up for Howl on Day 1. As one of, if not the, most popular podcasts on the network (at least according to the iTunes ratings I've seen), don't they have a responsibility to add value to the Howl service?

 

It also felt like he was treading a fine very line between loyalty to the company and maintaining fan support. Still, I think they sincerely have their fans' interests at heart and that that is first and foremost in their mind. I can't help but respect them for that.

 

Ultimately, I think their decision is actually the very best. Although keeping the majority of their catalog behind the paywall would add value to the Howl service, this same popularity kind of makes it more important that they keep many of their episodes free. This way, HDTGM becomes the vanguard for Earwolf/Howl. I mean, I would never have tried CBB, Spont, IWTT, or any of the other shows on Earwolf if it wasn't for HDTGM first. Likewise, by leaving a greater number of episodes outside the paywall, new listeners (once indoctrinated into the ways of HDTGM) might be enticed to listen to other shows on Earwolf.

 

Of course, all of this is a totally unscientific and unresearched-lol. It just helped me wrap my head around the decision a little better.

 

Regardless, even if they decided to make their entire catalog free forever, and even though I am not currently listening to any other Earwolf shows, I still think Howl is worthwhile.

 

The one thing I could truly use less of though, is people complaining after Paul has already come forward and offered this extremely generous solution. Right now, I am so over hearing people continue to complain even after their side has essentially won. I hear enough of that in my day-to-day.

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So I see both sides of it at this point. I can definitely understand the frustration that comes from assigning a monetary value to something that previously didnt have it before. I also work in a restaurant, and the idea that customer satisfaction should be more than enough to compensate me for my time and work is such an insane fucking notion.

 

There was roughly 17 billion spent on advertising on radio in 2016. I cant help but hope that there will indeed be a day where the bulk of that or more will be spent advertising on podcasts and internet shows instead. Radio just feels so analogous to coal mining in terms of how behind the times its falling. I just think that right now were going through growing pains as podcasts figure out a way to be better compensated for their work. Ad revenue for podcasts should be exponentially higher for the quality of entertainment thats being generated and their popularity which has only steadily increased.

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I hesitate even to write this. But I'll say one thing very clearly, This was not at reactionary decision. This decision wasn't capitulation to dissenters.

 

Jason, June and I have always had issues with the paywall. Not the idea of a paywall. But how a paywall could/should work for us.

Our show isn't like Maron, DLM or CBB. People find it differently. They might listen at first for a specific film like, The Room or Con Air and go deeper. By taking our entire library away we lose a lot potential listeners stumbling on the show. Believe or not we get a lot of listeners who never listened to podcasts but find these as companion piece to films. So we want to keep that discovery alive in what's avail to new listeners and not just what was recently released.

 

My anxiety is more directed towards the idea that no one was prepared for the decision nor did they hear from us first. I didn't like that. I believe podcasting and radio is a personal medium and I want to communicate with you all before we make a decision. That relationship is important to me.

 

I also understand that some people can't afford to subscribe to 4-5 different services.. I get to a point of overload too (see my unused but paid for Seeso account). So I wanted to find a balance that works and is fair. What I would want as a listener.

 

And on the other hand I love the show ad free. I think if you are big fan. It's a giant value and we will continue to add to that value because that's fair. You support us. We support you.

 

Also this show is a discussion. As you can tell from the ever growing mini eps. I love the community aspect. So when people are upset. I listen. We all do. We try to distill it and address the common issues.

 

As far as artists getting paid. I agree. 100%. In the work I've personally done in the last year and advertised in the show.. I have sold specials on Vimeo for. I have done series on Fullscreen, Hulu and Go90 all pay services. June does a show on Netflix. Jason has had movies on iTunes. We are charging but we don't have to make everything gated at all times. I believe setting an example that free and pay can coexist is a stronger one. That's why a lot of us still do unpaid $7 dollar shows at UCB on a weekly basis.

 

We don't want to go independent. I appreciate the sentiment. But we love Earwolf. I personally have created shows with some amazing people on this network. I believe in Chris and Eric and how they want the network to grow. So I don't want to bail on that community.

 

But most importantly we appreciate you - every donation you have gave, when you buy our stuff, and when patronize our sponsors. This is a big complex eco system and their are many ways to have art, commerce, and fun intermix.

 

-P

 

PS I'm not part owner of Earwolf. By any means. I worked for them to help build Howl which folded into Earwolf.

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all I have to say about pay wall... and Paul Scheer, you are Earwolf, not the other way around. you could move your show to any site and we will follow you. Please don't forget that for one minute.

 

Mind you I think you did that before, or did I dream it. Earwolf pop.

 

any other show this marketing method could work, but with HDTGM we already have to buy the videos or movies to enjoy the show already if da pay wall came with the movies in question for free maybe I would buy into that system but we have to go out of our ways to find and collect these movies to watch them and enjoy the show. didn't enjoy giving some guy on amazon 40 dollars US to enjoy the apple. a movie i will most likely never watch again. I would of rather give that money to you Paul. No real amazon rentals here in Canada.

 

Isn't Paul part of the ownership? I thought he got a stake in all of this when the Howl stuff was announced? Am I just making that up? I remember a time period when it was announced that Paul was now a bigger stakeholder of Earwolf etc?

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