Here’s the Letter I Wrote to Bert Kreischer, Ari Shaffir, and Other Top Comedians Before We Announced Our Artist Collective Partnership
Ned Kenney, Co-Founder & CEO of Laughable
Note: Before you dive into this post, you should go read about our Artist Collective here. It’s quick, I promise.
OK, cool, welcome back!
In March 2017, I wrote a letter to our Artist Collective members in advance of announcing their involvement with Laughable the following month. I poured my heart and soul into it and am reproducing an abridged version below. It’s been lightly edited for clarity and certain competitively sensitive passages have been redacted.
I hope it gives you a better sense of how deeply we respect and admire comedians – and how critical their success is to Laughable’s.
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TO: The Founding Members of the Laughable Artist Collective FROM: Ned Kenney, CEO & Co-Founder of Laughable SUBJECT: Welcome Letter DATE: March 9, 2017
Hello, people who are all infinitely funnier and more likable than I am!
I’m really excited to be emailing you all at once for the very first time.
Allow me to reintroduce…yourselves. Our founding Collective members are:
Chemda – Co-host of Keith and the Girl
Greg Fitzsimmons – Host of Fitzdog Radio
Jared Freid – Host of the JTrain Podcast
Tony Hinchcliffe – Host of Kill Tony and The Pony Hour
Robert Kelly – Host of You Know What Dude!
Bert Kreischer – Host of Bertcast
Joe List – Co-host of Tuesdays with Stories!
Keith Malley – Co-host of Keith and The Girl
Shane Mauss – Host of Here We Are
Mark Normand – Co-host of Tuesdays with Stories!
Ari Shaffir – Host of Skeptic Tank
What a crew! We have every faith you will all play a major role ensuring Laughable achieves its full potential. We want your involvement with us to be fun and meaningful. We also want to help you reach even higher heights in your own careers.
So, what is Laughable’s ‘full potential’, anyway?
Here’s one way to answer that question.
LAUGHABLE – OUR VISION
We want to help every American find at least 3 comedians/podcasters to be intensely passionate about. See the graphic below: when someone is asked about a certain comedian, we don’t want them to respond like the sad loser on the left. Rather, we want them to respond like the happy winner on the right!
We first published this drawing last June. We call it The Laughable Fan Development Continuum.
How does an intensely passionate, happy winner of a fan behave? They…
Listen to the podcast you host
Listen to your guest appearances on other podcasts
Buy digital content you sell online (video standup specials, audio standup albums, etc.)
Watch your TV appearances (standup, scripted shows, reality shows, etc.)
Buy your books
Attend your live performances
Buy your merch
Tell their friends about you face-to-face
Tell their friends/followers about you on social media
While comedy is already a BIG market, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t do even one of the above with respect to ANY artist. And that doesn’t make any sense.
The problem here is not a lack of demand for comedy – everyone loves it. There’s no art form that’s more broad in its appeal.
The problem isn’t supply, either – the eleven of you, and a wide array of other talented artists, are releasing incredible content and performing live all the time.
Rather, the problem is that the comedy market is fundamentally inefficient: too often, supply fails to find demand. Laughable is helping unite these two sides of the market by using software, data science, and a kick-ass brand that people love and trust. In the process, we’re not only making the market more efficient, but also growing it.
Today, our focus is on podcasts. But we’re just getting started. We want your continued help refining and executing our strategy for expanding beyond podcasts into a full-fledged comedy MARKETPLACE, spanning multiple content types, merchandise, and live events. Our current offering is already making everyone in comedy better off, and by expanding into a broader marketplace, we will do an even better job accomplishing the following objectives:
For artists like you, help you attract even more fans and make even more money. (And if you’re making more money, your reps will, too.)
For consumers of comedy, help them laugh more regularly and find comedians to love. Our tagline, after all, is FIND FUNNY!
For comedy clubs, help them get more asses in seats and sell more drinks.
And if we continue to help all these groups – with comedians at the top of the list – then Laughable itself will make a ton of money, make no mistake. But the key thing to note here is, Laughable only succeeds if comedians succeed alongside us.
We’ll be relying on all eleven of you to make sure that Laughable never loses sight of what artists care about and remains laser-focused on being the most effective possible allies to you.
This is going to be awesome, and all of you are awesome.