Lauren Lapkus, Scott Aukerman and Lex Friedman on the Power of Audio at SXSW

During SXSW Earwolf hosts Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang Bang) and Lauren Lapkus (With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus) joined Midroll’s Lex Friedman for a live podcast produced by the global digital marketing agency DigitasLBi.

The show is the first episode in the company’s new Sometimes On series. Digitas North America CEO Tony Weisman led the discussion, tackling the advantages of audio as a content format, and how podcasting, in particular, is at the forefront of marketing today. That’s a topic on which all three participants have experienced and expertise.

Scott observed that for the same amount of work that might go into a live comedy show for a hundred people, a podcast can easily reach “thousands and thousands of people very week.” While the hosts don’t get the same kind of feedback as with a live audience, on a podcast “the response is immediate when you put out a show.” Lauren agreed, saying “it’s gratifying to have your twitter feed blow up,” when an episode releases.

She also said that podcasting “opens a lot of fun doors, without that visual element.” That allows her to inhabit a range of characters who “look physically nothing like me.”

Tony asked about the oft-cited “Serial effect,” to which Lex replied that, “it’s great for the medium at large.” He elaborated that the new listeners Serial attracted to podcasting are now looking for more content, and at least a few will tune into Comedy Bang Bang and With Special Guest listeners.

Scott noted that when Earwolf first started selling ads, “we were laughed out of the room (by advertisers). Now, grandmas are listening… I can’t tell you how many people have typed ‘Amy Poehler’ into search and listened to one of my episodes.”

All three gave examples for how advertisers take advantage of, and have fun with the podcast format. Scott likes the Cards Against Humanity spots where the board game company asks him to tell listeners that the company specifically asked him not to read an ad.

According to Lex, for Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast CAH had Gilbert read Bill Pullman’s rally speech as President Thomas Whitmore from the movie Independence Day in his own inimitable style (see a video of that audio sync’d with the scene). “It was incredible,” Lex said.

“I’ve gotten feedback from the advertisers that they really like when I do them (ads) in character,” Lauren added.

Listen to the whole podcast to learn how Lauren and Scott take listener feedback into account.

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