We’re REALLY excited to go live with Laughable 2.0 for iOS today (available for free here). It’s the first and only podcast app that lets you subscribe not just to podcast series, but also to individual comedians.
Once you’ve subscribed to an artist via their Laughable profile, we’ll automatically populate your Subscriptions feed with their appearances as a host or guest. And of course, you can still search for a comedian and access episodes directly from their profile. It’s iTunes meets IMDB!
Upon subscribing to a podcast or artist, 2.0 presents a menu of relevant recommendations for what else to subscribe to, e.g. podcasts an artist you’ve subscribed to has frequently appeared on as a guest.
This release is the latest in a series of steps we’ve taken to solve podcasting’s discovery problem: the content exists in spades, but good ways to find it don’t. Comedians go on each other’s shows all the time, but it’s damn near impossible to keep track of all those appearances. Laughable does all the work for you.
Bottom line: We think 2.0 will help fans better connect with their favorite artists, and help comedians reach a larger audience of loyal fans.
What We’ve Accomplished So Far
2.0 builds on the progress we made with Laughable 1.0, which we launched in June 2016. Here are some highlights.
We’ve Innovated. Seriously. For example, we’re the first to:
Integrate native links to podcasters’ Patreon pages, an increasingly important source of revenue for creators
Integrate native links to artists’ podcast appearances as a host or guest, social media pages (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, & Snapchat), websites, and tour dates
Show podcasters how listeners engage with their episodes on a minute-by-minute basis, giving them insights into what segments people actually listen to vs. skip (sample ‘Episode Timeline’ below; more info on analytics for artists here)
We’ve Grown the Market for Comedy. We recently surveyed 2,500 of our users: 87% reported that Laughable has helped them discover podcasts and/or comedians they were previously unaware of. (We’re all about pareto improvements!)
Our Users are DEEPLY Engaged… Per week, they’re spending an average of three hours listening to podcasts through Laughable and 25 minutes actively engaging with the app’s visual user interface (i.e. swiping, typing, tapping, etc.).
…And They Seem to Really Love Laughable. 92% of our 249 App Store reviews are for 5 out of 5 stars. And we get emails from happy users all the time; they make all these late nights worth it. Here’s an example of one that came in recently:
Love the app! So concise and free of clutter. Keep up the great work and thank YOU for making my listening experience much easier and more enjoyable.
Apple Seems to Not Hate What We’re Doing, Either. We made the ‘New Apps We Love’ section on the very front page of the Store in early March (below, left). Out of the 2+ million iPhone apps in existence, only a few hundred each year are selected for this level of promotion. And we’ve also been featured multiple times in other parts of the App Store. We’re immensely grateful to Apple for their support.
Left: the front page of the App Store in early March. Right: the front page of the App Store’s Entertainment homepage in mid-March.
With our Artist Collective, We’ve Pioneered a Completely New Model for Cooperation Between Technologists and Artists. We’ve partnered with some of the most popular/respected comedians in the world; they’re helping drive continued adoption of our platform and shaping our strategy for expanding beyond podcasts into a marketplace for comedy (more on those plans below). You can read more about our Collective here, and read a letter I recently wrote to its members here.
Where We’re Headed
What we’re focused on long-term is solving not only podcasting’s discovery problem, but also comedy’s discovery problem generally. That means tackling both the demand and supply sides of the market and helping them find one another more easily. To that end, Laughable has a dual mandate: (1) empower consumers of comedy to discover content and comedians that most reliably make them laugh, and (2) empower creators of comedy to grow and monetize their fan bases.
To be more succinct: our mission is to help consumers of comedy find funny, and to help creators of comedy find fans and money.
We decided to initially focus on podcasts because we saw an opportunity to make both consumers and creators better off while, at low cost, giving ourselves an opportunity to build the following:
A loyal audience of highly engaged consumers
Goodwill and relationships with the comedy community (comedians, managers, agents, podcast networks, club owners, et al.)
Our brand (now fully trademarked)
Our technology (front-end app, backend systems powering the app, and analytics tools)
Our ‘artist graph’ — we’ve built the largest database of comedians in existence from scratch, and it’s growing everyday
All of this is the foundation on top of which we will expand beyond podcasts (read this article for more on why we chose this approach). It’s going to take more manpower, funding, time, and luck to get to where we want to go. But we like the path we’re on and are excited for what the future holds.
Last: I’d love to hear from you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.