Podcast advertising network Mid-roll media relaunched Howl, an ad-free subscription listening app, with the goal of creating a podcast content network similar to Netflix or Hulu. A comprehensive archive of popular shows like WTF with Marc Maron and Bang Bang Comedy will be available to subscribers with original programming and a library of specials from Comedy Central.
Launched in May, the first version of the Howl app is a one-stop-shop for hosting comedy and pop culture shows produced by Earwolf and Wolfpop, the podcast networks co-founded by Bang Bang Comedy host Scott Aukerman and owned by Midroll. A free version of the app will work pretty much the same, and a premium version will eventually roll out with a monthly subscription of $ 4.99 and include all of Howl’s content.
The move comes after Midroll was acquired by broadcasting company EW Scripps in July.
Midroll Media CEO Adam Sachs said the service will expand beyond launch content and replace pay-per-view platforms like iTunes for people looking for a wide range of podcasts. “The mid- to long-term goal is to become the go-to player for anyone who wants to listen to podcasts,” Sachs said. Fast business.
This move will allow people to choose content as they wish, but will also give Howl and Midroll the ability to create more experimental and unique original content that would not have been possible without a subscription service. “You could never afford to make an hour-long audio documentary just because you could never monetize it with commercials,” Sachs explained, describing a sort of Chef’s table for the ears.
Indeed, this podcast consolidation makes total economic sense as it offers podcast creators a way to get paid and promote their work to a wider audience. Essentially, the same thing happened when fledgling publishing empires like Conde Nast and Hearst set out to create different magazines to make it easier to sell ads and share editorial and business resources. It remains to be seen how far Howl can push Midroll, but a streaming podcast service is the obvious next step after the media has exploded in recent years following the successes of Maron’s show and Serial.
Head to The Howl website to consult its catalog as well as the new content of the application. There are Forgotten classics of the superego, where comedians Paul F. Thomkins, Jeremy Carter, Matt Gourley and Mark McConville improvise classic books based on their first and last lines; a series by actress Lauren Lapkus on the world of mediums; a audio documentary on the Gathering of the Juggalos; an in-depth history of Westeros called Game of Thrones Unconditional; And much more.