Heynong Man. Thanks for taking some time to answer questions about the new service. I read through your post and have a couple of thoughts about the points you made. Spoiler alert...overall, I think this is a C+ announcement.
I agree that advertising isn't the best way to monetize all podcasts. I'm excited to hear what other types of "content" will be available with Howl.
This one I'm not sure about. You see, I already have a place from whence upon I listen to all my favorite things; it's my RSS-enabled podcast app of choice. Howl introduces a second place for me to listen to things. Now I have to remember whether the show I like is on Netflix or HBO Go. I think this is a poor experience for users, but the only thing that matters is Howl's ability to provide enough value to its users to offset the inconvenience.
I think a curated list of episodes removes the "paradox of choice" for new listeners. In this case, a time-based curation makes sense.
As someone who has gone back and listened to hundreds of older episodes I'm absolutely behind this. I always imagined podcast advertising as a sort of gamble where an ad might end up on a classic ep with a long tail but the advertiser never knew before the fact how good an episode would be.
I know this has been said already, but the lack of Android app at launch is not good. People are pushing the Howl app right now (I just saw a Marc Maron video about it on YouTube) and the majority of smartphone users are going to open their app store, search "Howl", and find nothing. Some of them will put in more effort to find out how to give away their money, but others won't.
I would cancel Netflix, HBO, Hulu, etc. if Howl included video eps. Earwolf/Wolfpop podcasts bring me more enjoyment than any other service I currently pay for.
A couple of actual questions:
I've read that users will be able to download episodes for offline listening within the Howl app. What happens to these downloaded episodes if a user unsubscribes from the service?
Does Earwolf have plans for archiving episodes in the very, very long term so that historians can study them? I've enjoyed imagining future generations listening to Earwolf podcasts thanks to services like Archive.org that are backing up as much of the open internet as possible. While typing that I realized I have a very boring imagination.
Alright, that's more than enough from me. Thanks for everything. I'm excited to be able to start paying all my favorite podcasters on the reg.