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Scott Aukerman

QUESTIONS FOR SCOTT RE: HOWL

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I am another Android person who downloads pods to listen to in the car. For all that Earwolf offersI find $4.99 a month to be a fair price point, however I am dismayed that in its current form it is indeed a step behind what I currently get for free using the Player FM app.

 

You can't take out the ads on Hollywood Handbook! They are absolutely part of the show.

 

Ms. Muffin summed up my situation precisely. I have no problem with the price, and have already signed up, but I also don't have an iPhone, and I can't stream during my commute, and so I download the episodes every morning on Podcast FM. It's literally the second thing I do every day after turning off my alarm. I would also be very sad to lose the Reality Show Show and Hollywood Handbook ads, to say nothing of the ads on Spontaneanation and CBB.

 

Losing the archive also just FEELS bad. Long story short, I was unemployed and depressed for most of 2014, and specifically having 100+ episodes of new shows to listen to really helped. I started off with HDTGM, listened to every one at least twice, and then burned through all of improv4humans however many times. I learned about almost every comedian I enjoy through Earwolf shows, by hearing someone new on an episode, and then going to listen to older appearances. I wouldn't know who Stephanie Allynne, Betsy Sodaro, Joe Wengert, Pamela Murphy, Neil Campbell, Paul Rust, etc... were if I wasn't able to dig through their appearances in the archives. And, being unemployed at the time, having access to all of this for free when I was completely broke was a huge help in making me feel less shitty every day.

 

I want to make it clear I'm excited for the new shows (including a Wild Horses show? what?!), and the old albums, and I'm happy to pay. The problem is that even after I give you my money, my access to content is still restricted in comparison to before this announcement. I lose the ability to download old episodes, I can't listen to the exclusive content I'm paying for when I would most want to, and I lost all the old ads (Earwolf being the only place where that's a complaint).

 

This complaint isn't just to vent frustration. I believe that Earwolf sincerely does care, and that they will be interested in solving the problems that seem to be fairly common across a not insignificant portion of your listenership.

 

I just don't want less Earwolf in my life. It's a really silly thing that means a lot to me.

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I'm always too nervous to post in that forum because it's so incestuously esoteric and I'm on the outside, so I am worried this is some bit I don't get, but I thought it was a great fuckin' episode too.

 

 

 

god damn it

1. yeah, not worth it.

2. i re-edited. sorry.

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I'm always too nervous to post in that forum because it's so incestuously esoteric and I'm on the outside, so I am worried this is some bit I don't get, but I thought it was a great fuckin' episode too.

 

 

 

god damn it

valerie will take you in and give you a big hug, she likes to "break in" the new posters if you catch my drift

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The first time I met Jeff Ullritch (today, 2015), I was all set to give him a piece of my mind. There was some kind of change in the way podcasts were going to be done on the internet, and all I know is that a bunch of my friends have opinions about it. For me? I just listen to them on my computer. I click the little button that kind of looks like an arrow but is more of just a triangle with the pointy end facing to the right. Anyway, if you know anything about me you know that I like to participate in what other people are talking about, so I said "Jeff, what are you doing on the internet, with the podcasts!? Don't you know how many opinions you are making people have? Did you even consider that for one second? That is so typical of something that you, Jeff Ullritch, would do!" He said, "I'm not Jeff Ullritch, I don't know who that is. But if you aren't going to order anything, I'm going to have to ask you to step out of line so I can help the customers behind you." I said, "Well played, Jeff Ullritch, you aren't fooling me one bit. I'll have a footlong tuna salad on the whole wheat bread." Then I said, "No, wait. I want the parmesan bread."

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valerie will take you in and give you a big hug, she likes to "break in" the new posters if you catch my drift

still sore

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Android version, pleeeeeeaaaasseeeeeee!!! It's so depressing to hear you talk about how great this app is going to be, and how content is about to be pulled, knowing I am 100% frozen out because I use an Android. :( I don't understand why Android users are being disregarded in this fashion.

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I don't know how it works, but the Amazon Prime music service has a way to DL albums to your device so they can be listened to at any time within the amazon music app without burning data but the files are such that they are not actually accessible to be shared from the device. It is a DRM thing I am sure, but that would be a nice feature for those that want to listen in the car or wherever outside of a wifi connection. I am sure the programmers can get right on that. ;)

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Long time lurker, first time poster. First of all, I want to say how much I love Earwolf and, specifically, Hot Saucerman, who I've been listening to since 2009. You guys put out great work and I will probably pay for Howl, even though I have many misgivings that have been addressed earlier in this thread. However, I just wanted to say two things and ask two quick questions, as long as the floor is still open:

 

I've always viewed comedians being paid for podcasting in the same way that I've viewed the UCB paying performers. UCB gives performers stage time and exposure, which can lead to paying gigs that jumpstart a career. In return, the performers get paid nothing and the theater makes a tiny profit. There was controvery about this, but I believe Besser said something along the lines of, "If you're headshot is not on the website and this isn't leading to paying work, maybe this is not the place for you to be." As Scotty can personally attest to, podcasts have so far worked in a very similar way, with people like PFT, Lapkus, Maron, Hardwick, and many more turning their podcast popularity into bigger career opportunities. I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am), but Midroll served as a way to break even for Earwolf and other networks and that should be enough. If a comedian could be doing something that would lead to better paying gigs, then they should stop podcasting. (As a sidenote, the paywall will definitely deter listeners, limiting the exposure of these extremely talented and deserving comedians.)

 

My big fear with Howl is that this will lead to mass pirating of Earwolf shows, hurting the comedians this is trying to benefit. As much as I would love to see Weirder Scott's little butt sue Napster, this would truly be the worst outcome for all.

 

Can we get a breakdown of where the 5 dollars go, preferably on an episode of Talkin' Bout Money?

 

And I thought the announcement of Earwolf NYC was supposed to come with Howl. Any word on that?

 

Also, please don't hate me Earwolf world. It takes all stars and stripes!

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I actually want to give you money, so I don't mind the subscription. It's unfortunate that you're removing old episodes for download in the RSS feeds, but I've already set up gPodder to download anything and everything.

 

I mostly dislike being forced to use an app that I doubt will be anywhere as intuitive as BeyondPod or PocketCasts. Other sites (like Giantbomb), have succeeded in adding premium content requiring a username and password to their RSS feeds. I guess you could get some useful analytics if a lot of people used the Howl app, but I don't really care about that.

 

Change scares me :(

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I don't think I will be getting this app. I listen on my iPod in my car and that is all. To listen another way in my car would cost me >$100 to set up. Also my computer is quite awful so using the website would be a no go for me. I realize I am a minority here and am fine with that, you can't cater to every weirdo.

 

However, regarding backlogs, your reasons for monetizing it make a lot of sense but except for new user concerns. If I see episode 370 I'm still intimidated even if the oldest I can see is 345. You could also just as easily put the Best Ofs or samplers at the top of a show's page on the site. Not having backlogs will suck but I do get it from a remonetizing perspective.

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However, regarding backlogs, your reasons for monetizing it make a lot of sense but except for new user concerns. If I see episode 370 I'm still intimidated even if the oldest I can see is 345. You could also just as easily put the Best Ofs or samplers at the top of a show's page on the site. Not having backlogs will suck but I do get it from a remonetizing perspective.

Yeah this doesn't make sense to me. If the concern was "there's too much content," I don't see how there still being content but not giving me the chance to even try without paying you helps. Its just like "well now I'll definitely never start listening to this show since I can't"

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Scott, are you going to be appearing on any of these new podcasts?

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Hey Scott,

 

Thanks for all the good stuff, big fan, all that.

 

The one thing I'm looking at as a drawback is that the premium content is not downloadable on the desktop. Obviously it's been stated, and it seems like if that one thing changed this could work for everyone regardless of OS. I'm still trying to complete all these shows. I still want to do that. I can't afford to buy an iPhone and pay $60 a year for the premium. I'm not seeing the logic in going from content that is free and downloadable to content that you pay for but is not downloadable. That dog don't hunt.

 

You smell what I'm steppin' in bro?

 

Thanks again, Pete.

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Rather technical point about streaming content through Howl:

 

Let's gloss over the fact that the relatively new custom of streaming content is hugely degrading audio quality

in general. People who have heard the difference between in-browser Netflix and the SuperHD service will know.

That is comparing 64kbps and roughly 384kbps.

 

Now for podcasts, the quality of the audio can be quite limited without hurting the listening experience.

That is unless the program regularly features professionally recorded music. But considering the

app might be streaming only, it would be helpful to know exactly at what bit rate it will run. This

is mainly a concern for people who got into the habit of listening during their commute for example.

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All gripes and freaking out over change aside, I'd like to ask about the money as well. I'll gladly pay the $5 a month, but let's assume that I never use the app, or mostly just use it for exclusive content. I'll probably continue using my podcast app of choice to listen to all newly released episodes. Where then does my money go? Just to Earwolf overhead? Even split with all podcasters? Could there possibly be a way to set up a "favorite podcasts" list in your account management to let you guys know which particular podcasts we'd like the money to benefit?

 

Rather technical point about streaming content through Howl:

 

Let's gloss over the fact that the relatively new custom of streaming content is hugely degrading audio quality

in general. People who have heard the difference between in-browser Netflix and the SuperHD service will know.

That is comparing 64kbps and roughly 384kbps.

 

Now for podcasts, the quality of the audio can be quite limited without hurting the listening experience.

That is unless the program regularly features professionally recorded music. But considering the

app might be streaming only, it would be helpful to know exactly at what bit rate it will run. This

is mainly a concern for people who got into the habit of listening during their commute for example.

I'd like to know what bitrate the stream will run on as well, just out of curiosity.

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The first time I spoke to Jeff Ulrich was in 2009, at a Hooters in Phoenix, AZ.

 

After putting up with me going on about how great it is, my brother has been making his way through the Comedy Bang Bang archives. He has an android phone but I have an iphone. If I get Howl premium is it alright if I let him borrow my phone to listen to a few episodes?

 

Thanks!

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Rather technical point about streaming content through Howl:

 

Let's gloss over the fact that the relatively new custom of streaming content is hugely degrading audio quality

in general. People who have heard the difference between in-browser Netflix and the SuperHD service will know.

That is comparing 64kbps and roughly 384kbps.

 

Now for podcasts, the quality of the audio can be quite limited without hurting the listening experience.

That is unless the program regularly features professionally recorded music. But considering the

app might be streaming only, it would be helpful to know exactly at what bit rate it will run. This

is mainly a concern for people who got into the habit of listening during their commute for example.

 

Has this been an episode of Great Bit(rate)s?

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I feel like I must be Thom Yorke because this forum is full of paranoid androids

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Obviously everyone here is talking about the app Howl, which is the Netflix of podcasting.

 

But Howl is really the app for show like Comedy Bang Bang and the WTF show.

 

I want to know, will WolfCool be releasing its own podcasting app any time soon?

If so, will it be exclusively for Android and will it be named "Owl"?

 

Scott, can you speak on this? If not, could you get Sean/Hayes to help...

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I like to re-listen to every episode of Hollywood Handbook each week before the new one drops, just to re-familiarize myself with all the running jokes and continuity. Now I'm really glad that I went ahead and got the dialogue for every episode tattooed onto my body -- I'll be fine and won't have to give my hard-earned cash to Scott Moneyman. It'll be tricky to read the ones that are on my back, but I can probably use a mirror.

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I feel like I must be Thom Yorke because this forum is full of paranoid androids

"I'm not an android and I'm sick of the question!"

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To keep on the topic, someone posted this on the Earwold Reddit earlier today:

 

"Hi. I'm Lex. I work for Earwolf. Premium RSS feeds are definitely on the roadmap. More soon!"

 

This is great news, if true (maybe someone from Earwolf can confirm this?). Will definitely be subscribing to Howl once the Android app is ready.

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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!

 

Thank you, Scott! I think is one of the best answers I've read, but I somewhat glossed over it on my initial perusal. I think a lot of us--myself regrettably included--seemed to be too wrapped up on how this will encourage new listeners and not how this affects the current listener. I think we all just want to be able to point to an episode so we can share our love for these wonderful shows with people who may not be in the know, but in the end, I've come to accept that that's just not my job. I'm sure you and the many talented people at Earwolf have plans on how to grow your listenership. Who am I to tell you how you should run your business (empire?).

 

So, to satisfy your curiosity--as a faceless, Internet non-person who you weren't even addressing--I love the idea behind Howl. I have subscribed to the Premium service, but to be honest, I haven't really dove into it yet. My subscription is more in solidarity for all the talented people at the network who have given their time and talent to give me years of free entertainment. If my subscription benefits these people, even in a small way, I'm more than glad to do it.

 

Also, to address some of the other concerns I've read here (Holy Crap! This still isn't my job! What the Hell am I doing? Oh well...)

 

Streaming vs Downloading--Although I think having a way to download the episodes would be ideal for people trying to conserve their data usage, new episodes will still be delivered as they ever were. So if they are automatically downloading now, they will continue to do so to whatever device you are using. In my line of work, I have the luxury of listening to podcasts all the livelong day, and between EW/WP/ and shows I listen to on other networks, I rarely have time to be delving into past episodes if I want to keep current. Plus, as they come out, you can still download them for your commute or whatever--which means you'll still have 6 months of FREE episodes (per show) to listen to. Even if you are just listening to Spontaneanation or something that should still give you something like 24 hours of (still) free content. And that's just ONE show!

 

4.99 Pricepoint--Seriously guys? While I'm sensitive to the fact people that a lot of people are struggling, what's 4.99 if you really enjoy what you're getting? Sacrifice one meal at a fast food restaurant per month, one movie at the theater, or a cup of coffee--whatever. If you like Earwolf's product--why not pay for it? It's seriously just a matter of prioritizing your entertainment budget. What do you enjoy more, eating one extra meal out each month or having access to a nearly inexhaustible source of entertainment? If you enjoy that meal out more, then by all means, the premium subscription is not for you. Also, and I hate to sound cold-hearted--but if you are legitimately at the point where 5 dollars can mean the difference between paying rent and being evicted, you definitely have bigger problems and my heart goes out to you. But even if you are in that situation, cancel your subscription. It's as easy as that. The only thing you'll be missing out on is some of the premium content (which, heretofore, you weren't getting anyway) and access to the archived shows--which to be honest--you've probably listened to hundreds of times already. And when you get back on your feet, as I'm sure you will, re-subscribe and everything will be there waiting for you.

 

The only legitimate complaint I've actually read was from the Android users, but I'm sure they'll get that worked out ASAP.

 

Sorry, I went on and on.

 

But sincerely, Scott (if you haven't already run for the hills) thank you for putting yourself out there. You don't deserve the vitriol coming your way and I think you've handled yourself with aplomb and dignity. You get a C+ for being the best Scott Aukerman you can be.

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Someone mentioned the web player before, and I'd like to throw in my two cents:

 

LOVE: That (despite small cuts in audio) that the same podcast/album you are listening to continue every time you go to a new page. C+!

 

NOT LOVE: That I can't scrub through the track on the player (because of the text in front of it?)

There are no time indicators

No sync between where I left off on the desktop and my iPhone (like iTunes does)

 

Also, just a thought, is there possibly going to be a standalone app (e.g. Pandora/Spotify)? I think this would be great, especially to be able to control your listening with the play/pause button on the keyboard, rather than having to try and find whatever tab I am listening to Howl.fm on.

 

Anyway, those are my two cents, just wanted to give some constructive feedback. Thanks!!

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