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Scott Aukerman

QUESTIONS FOR SCOTT RE: HOWL

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I'm disappointed in the responses by Adam of Midroll. This new system puts Earwolf in the position of being a technology company, which it very clearly is not (and should not be).

 

Instead of engineering everything from the ground up, Howl should work on being a subscription service that integrates with already functional technology, and allows for consumers to obtain content as frictionless as possible, with all the expectations that come with listening to a podcast (listening offline, listening on any device).

 

The objections to this (much simpler) system (which would almost certainly be a subscription RSS feed), namely that people will share files, strike me as paranoiac and impractical. You can't fear your paying audience-- bad actors will behave badly. But building a wall of subpar technology to keep them out is going to hurt you in the long run.

 

Sorry for this rant. But these developments are bumming me out.

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One feature I'd love to see with the app, and something that would make me more likely to use the app rather than the podcasting app I've been using for years, is the ability to create curated playlists of my favorite episodes. And for those playlists to be sharable with other users. For example, a playlist of every Marissa Wompler appearance on CBB, or a playlist of my favorite Andy Daly appearances, a playlist of my favorite episodes of 2013, etc.

 

This would also be super helpful for new users since it can be daunting trying to follow a character's storyline since they're scattered across so many episodes. Members of the community could create "Playlists for new listeners" with their favorite gateway episodes, etc.

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I'd suggest bringing in the guy who made the Overcast app. Really clear, simple, easy interface for adding any podcast, making custom playlists, sorting by what has new episodes and what's played. I gladly paid for bonus features that cut out pauses, boosted voices, had a sliding scale of custom speeds, and remembers preferred settings by podcast for each of those.

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This is exciting and scary all at once. I only just now (a few weeks too late) heard about this news and had to run here to read the thread. I started going through all the answers but then noticed there have been over 20 pages of posts and felt overwhelmed. Hoping someone (doesn't have to be Scott) can help update me on the current status:

 

1.) Is there still no Android app available?

 

2.) Has the 6-months of recent shows being available paywall been added (meaning can I no longer download old archived shows in iTunes?)

 

3.) Has "offline mode" been confirmed or discussed as being worked on? I don't have an iPod and use an Android phone. I have a limited amount of data that I can use and if I'm streaming all of the content then i'm going to be facing some major issues. Please tell me there's some kind of "offline mode" for the episodes on Howl app (which....I won't be using until Android has one).

 

 

Any help is appreciated. I'm bummed a bit that this is happening but it makes sense to me and I'm fine paying $60 a year for ALL of this amazing content. Just hoping some of my concerns (offline mode) are not something to worry about.

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1.) Is there still no Android app available?

 

Nope. Still in the works.

 

2.) Has the 6-months of recent shows being available paywall been added (meaning can I no longer download old archived shows in iTunes?)

 

Not yet. According to this post by Adam Sachs, they're going to hold off putting the archives behind a paywall until the Android app is released.

 

3.) Has "offline mode" been confirmed or discussed as being worked on? I don't have an iPod and use an Android phone. I have a limited amount of data that I can use and if I'm streaming all of the content then i'm going to be facing some major issues. Please tell me there's some kind of "offline mode" for the episodes on Howl app (which....I won't be using until Android has one).

 

I don't believe there has been yet, although this is one of the things I've read that a lot of people are concerned about. So I would hope that would be something they add in. It sounds like they're still pushing live bug fixes/feature updates into the iPhone app, so I'm hoping they consider this.

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I don't believe there has been yet, although this is one of the things I've read that a lot of people are concerned about. So I would hope that would be something they add in. It sounds like they're still pushing live bug fixes/feature updates into the iPhone app, so I'm hoping they consider this.

 

 

Thanks for the help Fister!

 

#3 is definitely my big concern. I've got limited data plan on my phone and want to be able to use this but when I'm on the subway or flying or anywhere I won't have service I don't want to be leeching my data plan down on something that used to be as simple as putting it on my device as an mp3. Really hoping there is the ability to download/listen offline in the app. Over on Reddit they seem to think it's possible so here's hoping.

 

I'll have to wait for an Android app before I can enjoy Howl.

 

 

Again, this is all exciting and scary. I knew this day would come but as long as I'm still getting Scotty and the boys (and gals) of Earwolf I'll be happy.

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Thanks for the help Fister!

 

#3 is definitely my big concern. I've got limited data plan on my phone and want to be able to use this but when I'm on the subway or flying or anywhere I won't have service I don't want to be leeching my data plan down on something that used to be as simple as putting it on my device as an mp3. Really hoping there is the ability to download/listen offline in the app. Over on Reddit they seem to think it's possible so here's hoping.

 

I'll have to wait for an Android app before I can enjoy Howl.

 

 

Again, this is all exciting and scary. I knew this day would come but as long as I'm still getting Scotty and the boys (and gals) of Earwolf I'll be happy.

Offline mode is an absolute must. We definitely agree. and it's coming as soon as we get approval from the iTunes store on our latest submission.

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One feature I'd love to see with the app, and something that would make me more likely to use the app rather than the podcasting app I've been using for years, is the ability to create curated playlists of my favorite episodes. And for those playlists to be sharable with other users. For example, a playlist of every Marissa Wompler appearance on CBB, or a playlist of my favorite Andy Daly appearances, a playlist of my favorite episodes of 2013, etc.

Thank you. Noted!

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Definitely agree that playlists and the like are something I'd enjoy. Spotify has a great template to get ideas from. When going to music festivals there are usually a few Spotify Playlists of all the artists at a music festival that gets shared. Would be awesome to have something similar for say "All Andy Daly Appearances" or "Times James Adomian Made Me Pee Myself". Of course, ideally we would see curated playlists from some of the earwolf people. Like "Scott's favorite episodes of 2014" or "Paul F. Tompkins Picks the Hits!".

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...

One of our goals for Howl is to create an amazing listening experience; both for fans who choose to subscribe to Howl premium, and those who choose not to. We want to create an experience so good that Howl becomes your go-to podcasting app for all the regular free podcasts you love. And not just Earwolf shows. Every show under the sun will be available in Howl eventually.

...

 

Oh, my. If becoming the go-to podcast app is the goal you should have started by just making a great, cross-platform, RSS podcast app; and then worked from there to add all the other premium stuff.

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Since, I haven't gotten a response in the HOWL premium thread, I'll ask here. When can I expect to see new episodes of shows that are part of the new premium content, for instance, hardcore game of thrones? Also, can we please get a forum on howl.fm or perhaps some threads/sections here specifically devoted to the HOWL 'sclusies? If I wasn't already an earwolf fan and didn't know about these boards, I could see myself being a bit frustrated when I tried to find answers to questions like the one above.

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Would love to see host and guest pages in the app sort of like the ones on Earwolf's website. That'd make it easier to find episodes certain people appear on.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this was your thinking:

-Theres a precedent for shows putting their back catalogue behind a paywall, to encourage people to donate or subscribe.

-If shows with ads use that model, you might as well also make that now pay-walled content ad free, as this can be done with affecting your free content.

-New shows will keep the ads because its easier than producing two versions and because... something something ad impressions something something metrics jargon.

 

The trouble is, the expectation has been set by a majority of other subscription services that those on the paid tier wont have to deal with ads. When I pay for Netflix, I dont have to watch ads--and that includes brand new shows. However, when I stream @Midnight online, I put up with ads. When I pay to upgrade from the free version of an app, it cuts out the ads. When I listen to a free podcast, I listen to someone ramble about Audible for the 800,0000,000 time.

 

When I pay for a podcast, I'm not excited to still hear ads--and if I just wanted an insurmountable pile of new shows, there's frankly a lot of other places to find that.

So for people like me who dont have time for buckets of new content, and just want enhanced content (so I can enjoy staples like CBB and HDTGM even more), there isnt much draw here.

 

I want to support you guys, but the fact that the main feature I assumed would be offered is in fact not offered (on the most relevant content) is a sad dissappointment.

 

I hope you'll reconsider.

 

-David.

 

PS sorry to have unironically said "content" that many times.

 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this was your thinking:

 

 

 

-New shows will keep the ads because its easier than producing two versions and because... something something ad impressions something something metrics jargon.

 

I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the new shows will keep the ads UNTIL they are put behind the paywall. Once behind the paywall they will have the ads removed.

 

If that is not the case then I'm going to say bummer. I definitely don't like paying for ads (it is a major reason why Hulu wasn't even considered by me for a long time).

 

 

Edit: I just read your posts in another section of the forum and see where your complaint is: paying for a service but still having ads on new content. Now I understand why it's an issue and I get it (didn't read your post here thoroughly enough). That is kind of lame but it doesn't bother me too much. I'm used to getting them with the ads and this would be much worse if the ads were produced by companies and not just read by the hosts of the shows. Still...as long as fast forward is an option then I don't mind too much. I feel like I'm paying for the back catalog (ad free), other premium podcasts (Now I have access to WTF old eps) and other premium content that is only going to be on Howl (like some Live CBB shows or other new podcasts....dying to check out the Lauren Lapkus psychic one).

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Hey y'all. I'm going to try to explain this archive thing as best as I can...

 

As is stated on Howl.fm multiple times, premium users get access to the remastered, ad-free archives.

 

So, what counts as an archive? Any episode of a Wolfpop or Earwolf show that is older than 6 months old.

 

Therefore any episode from about March(ish) this year until now will still be free for everyone, premium or not, and available on iTunes, Earwolf.com, wherever else you have always listened to it. These episodes WILL have ads, like they always have, because they are free to everyone.

 

Once an episode "ages out" and becomes 6 months old, it will have it's ads stripped and will then only be available to Howl premium users and will not be on itunes, earwolf.com, etc. Just available on the Howl app or Howl.fm

 

Why aren't the archives behind the paywall already/ Why am I still hearing ads on old episodes? To be fair to our Android user friends. When their app is ready in a few weeks all of this archive business will go into effect.

 

 

If you have any more questions you guys can always email me at support@howl.fm

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Is there any new premium content coming out aside from what was there on launch day? what's the point of renewing my trial if I've already heard everything..

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Is there any new premium content coming out aside from what was there on launch day? what's the point of renewing my trial if I've already heard everything..

 

Agreed. What's the point of having Lauren Lapkus and Scott Aukerman say on every ad that there's new premium "shows" coming each week, when we've had none (except for a bunch of old comedy albums) in weeks?

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Hey y'all. I'm going to try to explain this archive thing as best as I can...

 

As is stated on Howl.fm multiple times, premium users get access to the remastered, ad-free archives.

 

 

 

Hello,

 

I think people (who are reading this far into a thread at least) probably do understand this concept that has been stated multiple times. I wonder though if you're understanding the other point of view, which is that the content could be delivered to paid users without ads whether it's "new" or "old". It might not make sense with your current logistical set up, but it is definitely physically possible. Lots of services deliver content with ads to some consumers and without ads to others. You could have a "free edit" of episodes and a "premium edit" of episodes at the same time.

 

Obviously Midroll can decide that this isn't worth the labour, as it may not be; I was just expressing that without that benefit the paid service is not appealing to me, and to be honest I do think I represent a reasonable segment of the potential user group (but certainly with no real knowledge of how big that segment is).

 

Whether this is important is up to you, I just hope you do consider it and don't mistake it for confusion on the user end.

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Whether this is important is up to you, I just hope you do consider it and don't mistake it for confusion on the user end.

 

To be fair, it's not up to Shannon, which is why it would be nice if Adam or Scott would address it.

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Agreed. What's the point of having Lauren Lapkus and Scott Aukerman say on every ad that there's new premium "shows" coming each week, when we've had none (except for a bunch of old comedy albums) in weeks?

I have to agree. I've enjoyed having the mini-series', but I've heard everything I'd want to listen to at this point. I *think* there's supposed to be at least one more episode of the Superego Forgotten Classics (Paul mentioned a sci-fi episode at some point) but that's one episode of one show, and I have no idea when it's coming out.

 

Once again, the app works fine for me, and I'm more than happy to give $5 a month (which is nothing, really) to a company that has given me so many hours of free entertainment that has genuinely improved my life. But I would like to know, just as a fan of some of the Howl Premium shows, what the game-plan is. Like, are there going to be more episodes of Wild Horses, or The Complete Woman and Superego: FC? And if so, when?

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Hello,

 

I think people (who are reading this far into a thread at least) probably do understand this concept that has been stated multiple times. I wonder though if you're understanding the other point of view, which is that the content could be delivered to paid users without ads whether it's "new" or "old". It might not make sense with your current logistical set up, but it is definitely physically possible. Lots of services deliver content with ads to some consumers and without ads to others. You could have a "free edit" of episodes and a "premium edit" of episodes at the same time.

 

Obviously Midroll can decide that this isn't worth the labour, as it may not be; I was just expressing that without that benefit the paid service is not appealing to me, and to be honest I do think I represent a reasonable segment of the potential user group (but certainly with no real knowledge of how big that segment is).

 

Whether this is important is up to you, I just hope you do consider it and don't mistake it for confusion on the user end.

Would you be willing to pay more for current content that was ad-free? I'm pretty sure if you had that option, it would be about double the current cost.

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Here's the question I have:

 

Obviously, someone is going to have to edit each podcast to remove the ads from it. Like....each time one more podcast "ages out" then won't somebody be editing it to remove the ads and put it in the Howl archive. Instead of editing it after it ages out why not edit it right away and then provide that file to the Howl app? Or does the Howl App ONLY have the archives? I wish the Android app would be finished so I could tinker with it. I need to go re-read Shannon's post.....I thought the App had ALL podcasts, new and old.

 

I'm sure there are deals and contracts and other hurdles in the way of why they don't do what I'm suggesting but in my ignorant mind I figured "someone has to edit the podcast to remove ads....why not do it right after it's been recorded?" I'm unfamiliar of the process so who knows if this helps at all.

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I don't think anyone has to edit out the commercials, because presumably there already exists a version without them edited in in the first place. The point still stands, of course.

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Is "How can I download episodes behind the paywall for my friends who I want to convince to listen regularly?" the new "I want hemp to be legal because of the nice clothes created from it."? Thanks. I'll take my question off the air. Big fan.

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Would you be willing to pay more for current content that was ad-free? I'm pretty sure if you had that option, it would be about double the current cost.

 

Yeah. Personally I don't enjoy any hosts solo ad-reads enough to want to hear them. I wouldn't normally complain about that (and really I'm not complaining--I get that ads are a necessary part of free content), but I would indeed pay $10 a month to not have to hear even 2 seconds of Scott talking about Lisa mattresses or whatever.

 

That may not be typical.

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