Feature Friday: Comedy On SoundCloud

Where is the next Howard Stern going to emerge? I don’t think it will be terrestrial or satellite radio. I think its more likely that he or she will emerge from a place like our portfolio company SoundCloud. There is a ton of comedy on SoundCloud and its growing very fast. But discovery has been a problem.

In the most recent Android release, SoundCloud has introduced some very nice discovery features. These features also exist on the web and will be coming to iOS soon. Since the way we most likely want to listen to the next Howard Stern is by bluetoothing our phone to our car when we are driving to and from work, I will show you how to listen to comedy on SoundCloud using the Android app flow. It is very similar on the web.

First, you open up the app menu by tapping on the upper left of the app and get this:

soundcloud menu



Next you click on Explore to get this:

soundcloud genres


Then you select Comedy to get this:

soundcloud comedy


Each of these “cards” represents a potential new Howard Stern show. You select one and start listening. If you find one you really like, you can follow in SoundCloud and get the next show right in your feed.

If you are driving to and from work and are looking for something good to listen to, I’d strongly recommend checking out some of these comedy shows on SoundCloud. They are great.


Comments (Archived):

  1. btrautsc

    comedy is one thing pandora does well (really the only reason I still open Pandora is comedy while traveling – vs Spotify/ SoundCloud). I’m excited to test out SoundCloud’s take on it.Worth mentioning for those in the audience: glance around at the blogs of other VCs you follow. Who else is doing screen shot walk thru’s of portfolio co’s products? Anyone? doubtful.Happy #NBAplayoffWeekend everyone. #GritNGrind

    1. jason wright

      small fund, self-selecting audience. cosy.

    2. fredwilson

      knicks are out. i am rooting for a pacers thunder finals. but i am also hoping the Nets do well

      1. btrautsc

        Knicks needed to be out. Burn the ship and rebuild. Making the playoffs + showing too much promise could have led to another frustrating season.OKC – MEM should be a good series. feels like the teams genuinely don’t like each other, which is fun for fans. KD is terrifying, though.

      2. William Mougayar

        well….give the Raptors a chance 🙂 The Pacers have been sliding lately, but the Raptors are as scrappy as ever.

        1. btrautsc

          Interesting how the series of Rudy Gay trades helped every team involved (Memphis, Raptors, & Sacamento).Love the team Toronto is working with. Ross, DeRozan could be special. Lowry is like a throwback 80’s pg.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Bulls playing with lots of heart. Would love to see them play three series.

          2. William Mougayar

            Yep. Let’s see how they do vs. Nets.

      3. Salt Shaker

        Yeah, I guess the the Knicks do belong in a comedy discussion. Crazy if they sign Melo again. Great scorer, not a winner. Never will be in any pro system. Donnie Walsh was the team’s last savior and true visionary, but Dolan’s ego and inexperience got in the way of potential salvation. Phil has rings but no experience managing the cap, negotiating trades, building relations w/ agents, etc., important skills required of a GM. Woodson (sadly) will get whacked, even though the team is compromised of selfish, one dimensional (insert “no defense”) players, including Melo. Chronic rebuild.

    3. Dave Pinsen

      Comedy is actually something Twitter does well. In addition to famous comedians, there are a number of up–and-comers and established-but-not-famous TV comedy writers tweeting.

    4. LE

      Worth mentioning for those in the audience: glance around at the blogs of other VCs you follow. Who else is doing screen shot walk thru’s of portfolio co’s products? Anyone? doubtful.When I took a quick look this AM at the Avc post I thought that Fred made that comment, not you. And I thought “wow that’s odd – not something Fred would typically be saying, patting himself on the back like that”. Then I jumped to all these conclusions as far as why he did said that.A potential feature would be for disqus to allow that by way of some kind of slides with navigation and commentary horizontally instead of vertically. That way someone could skip by that but if they were interested they could browse.

  2. William Mougayar

    SoundCloud is starting to look almost like iTunes from a functionality point of view. I like the variety of content that SoundCloud offers.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I use iTunes podcasts to listen to the shows I’m regularly interested in. I use Soundcloud when I’m looking to discover something new or different.

      1. William Mougayar

        i don’t use iTunes anymore. maybe i’ll give them another shot.

  3. pointsnfigures

    When I signed up for Soundcloud, I selected comedy as one of the genres. unfortunately, my stream has a lot of morning shock jocks. I love comedy-love to laugh-and used to listen to comedy albums as a kid. Bill Cosby was awesome. There are some great comics working today, and it’s fun to listen to them.I like Soundcloud. I wish they would allow you to deselect stuff in your profile.

    1. pointsnfigures

      By morning shock jocks. I meant <some smaller=”” city=””> “Morning Zoo”

    2. ghartsengrafs

      you love to laugh? you should sign up for match.com. many women on that site LOVE (all caps) to laugh — doesn’t matter your relationship status, dog {insert new yorker cartoon about dogs y internt}. i bet you could find someone to share the banality of bananafish (i love vodka shots AND literature, she sez!)

  4. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Wanna name any favorites?

  5. LIAD

    Downloaded soundcloud for first time a few weeks ago.Love offline mode. Listen to podcasts on subway.Also badass music mixes whilst in car.ios ux way below what it should be. App should be designed to be easily usable with one hand whilst either driving or holding safety guard on a moving train.

    1. fredwilson

      they are doing a complete redo on iOS. it will be just like android very soon.

  6. DonRyan

    What makes Stern so great is not his comedy but his interviewing skills. He is one of the best interviewers in the country. His sit down with Billy Joel is a thing of beauty.

    1. Salt Shaker

      Agree 100%. Stern is a great interviewer….arguably, one of the best ever. A good friend of mine was a DJ at an AOR radio station in Tarrytown, New York in the late 80’s. Stern was the Program Director and my friend’s boss. Certainly preceded Stern’s rep as a “shock jock.” Not sure if Stern is on my friend’s list of potential referrals? Doubtful since he ultimately became an environmental attorney.

    2. LE

      Back when I used to listen to Stern (a long time ago when he was over the air) it was totally YMMV. Sometimes you couldn’t get out of your car it was so funny (literally sit at the destination and keep listening) and other times I almost changed the channel. The bad times were typically when he interviewed rock stars.

    3. ShanaC

      He started with comedy before though.

  7. Emily Merkle

    any podcast recommendations, anyone?

  8. Robert Thuston

    Looks like Shane and Jena Marbles are the two comedy shows that appear in your screenshot Fred. Those are YouTube sensations… Either way, I like audio as a form that content (text and video) is converted too. It’s truly the most “mobile”

  9. LE

    There is a ton of comedy on SoundCloud and its growing very fast. But discovery has been a problem.It would be a good idea to hold some kind of contest to draw attention to the fact that there was comedy on soundcloud. I didn’t know that until I read the post today because I always thought of soundcloud as a place to post my own content not really to view the content of others. Even though I guess that’s obvious if you use the site. For that matter if you hadn’t mentioned soundcloud I probably wouldn’t even know it existed.Not only that but I remember a year ago pointing soundcloud out to some music teachers at a local elementary school that hadn’t heard of it either. But yet they were really excited to get a copy of what they sounded like playing instruments (they accompany the children) at the local elementary school concerts. They specifically wanted me to strip the audio from a video that I made of some songs at the concert so they could have that.

  10. sigmaalgebra

    > But discovery has been a problem.Yup! Pathe just put 85,000 video clips on YouTube. When SoundCloud has 10,000 comedy entries, just a list of them will not be very effective as a means of discovery. On a keyword/phrase search engine can type in”home decorating”and get 10 million results. To narrow down, can type in”home decorating” blogsand get 2 million results. Bummer. Total bummer.Quite generally for Internet content, discovery is a big problem. Related big problems include recommendation, curation, notification, and subscription. Call all of those just a need for better ‘search’.Keywords/phrases work really well when they accurately characterize some desired content, but that content needs text as content, metadata, from speech recognition, etc.The problem of ‘discovery’ etc. for Internet content is so big that for maybe 2/3rds of the content, searches people want to do, and content they want to find, keywords/phrases work at best poorly. That is, keywords/phrases work well for only about 1/3rd of the problem, So, net, the other 2/3rds is just sitting there, unsolved. Curations, lists of favorites, sorting into categories, etc. can’t work well for all the content on the Internet. Hmm, maybe this would be a problem worth solving?How to solve the discovery problem? Hmm … Well, we could, say, try which programming language would be best, Lisp, Python, C, C++, C#, Haskell, etc. Maybe that would work? We could try a better user interface, maybe swipes instead of clicks? We could try keywords/phrases and some ‘ranking’ to find the most popular? Maybe in home decorating what Mary wants really is what she and her family will like best and not what is most popular! We could have humans review the content and make lists of favorites. We could try computer science, e.g., speech recognition, natural language processing, semantic analysis, image processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cluster analysis, singular value decomposition, k-means, maximum likelihood estimation, wisdom of the masses voting, the social graph, the interest graph, what friends like, etc. Good grief!How the heck to do that?Hmm!

  11. Jeff Jones

    Thanks for the tip and looking forward to seeing this feature on iOS. I recently started expanding my SoundCloud listening beyond DJ sets when a16z started creating content on the platform. I wanted to find other tech content but was really struggling to discover what’s out there. I hope the Explore feature accomplishes this.

  12. wiwa

    This reminds me of some footage from the movie Gizmo!:https://www.youtube.com/wat…I highly recommend the whole movie for the footage and unique soundtrack.

  13. Pete Griffiths

    Very cool – thanks for the tip.

  14. Dave Pinsen

    Here’s an example of a guy from Peoria who got hired for a TV comedy writing job based in his twitter feed: http://www.vulture.com/2014

  15. BThereDThat

    The UI instruction that was left out was that when you hit the back button you go to … wait … what … not the previous screen?! SoundCloud has some very BASIC UI issues. Otherwise great service.

  16. Buysoundcloudlikes

    SoundCloud is my favorite online music sharing site. I really enjoyed this article. Thanks.