Dave Scott doesn’t think of himself as a huge comedy nerd, so he seems like an unusual choice to have created the Spotify of comedy. But he’s a serial startup entrepreneur with a track record for getting it right,
so maybe he was a good choice, after all.
His creation, Laughly, fills a gap that music
streaming services leave behind: It’s a good
way to stream comedy albums. While popular
music services include comedy, they don’t have
much of a catalog and they don’t present it well.
Comedy fans are likely to get tired of the selection after a few days of listening.
“For streaming, comedy was just a red-
headed step child, a forgotten kid in a lot of
ways,” Scott says. “That doesn’t mean that Spo-
tify and Pandora don’t have comedy, because
they do. But they just nestle it in the corner,
hide it behind everything else, as opposed to
really letting it breathe and doing really inter-
Comedy had a problem that Scott wanted to
solve, and Laughly is the service he created to
do so. Laughly launched on Aug. 11, 2016, and
includes more than 18,000 hours of audio from
more than 700 comedians. Need a Richard
Pryor fix? Want to binge on some Louis C.K.?
Desperate for some classic Eddie Murphy?
With Laughly, fans can get their fill any time
on any Apple or Android device or through
a browser. Fans can sample everything from
Aziz Ansari to “Weird Al” Yankovic, Scott says
(showing the need for a popular comic perform-
er whose last name starts with “Z”).
Comedy fans can sample Laughly in four different ways, Scott explains. The simplest is dipping into the on-demand catalog where they
can listen to material from any comic they like. If
they want variety, fans can also create their own
radio stations based on favorite comics, themes,
or genres. Fans only need to tell the app what
they want to hear to get their personal playlists.
Third, fans can stream live comedy perfor-
mances through the app, thanks to a feature that
debuted earlier this year. Laughly partnered
with a handful of comedy clubs to stream audio
directly from their mics. Finally, in an even new-
er feature, Laughly now supports more than 100
comedy podcasts. Fans can subscribe to their
favorite podcasts directly through the app and
listen in the same interface.
The Laughly app is free and ad-supported,
but fans can become Reserved Seating subscribers for $3.99 per month. The premiere tier offers ad-free listening, a profanity filter, access
to exclusive audio, and the ability to download
albums for offline listening.
From Entrepreneur to Standup and Back
Scott’s first company was called Next Planet
Over, and it was an e-commerce site for licensed
entertainment merchandise. It sold products
for Dream Works, Warner Bros., Marvel, Stan Lee
Presents, Lucasfilm, and other movie studios.
Toys“R”Us acquired the company in 2001. In
2008, Scott was back with his second company,
Marketfish, a marketing automation company
that optimized lead acquisition campaigns for
Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, ADT Security
Services, Verizon, Dish, and others. That com-
pany closed and sold its assets in 2013.
During a period of downtime, Scott decid-
ed to give standup comedy a try. He wasn’t a
comedy nerd, but he appreciated the craft after
growing up on racy Andrew Dice Clay routines.
Laughly Goes Live,
Bringing the Yuks in Real Time By Troy Dreier
Need a Richard
Pryor fix? Want to
binge on some Louis
C.K.? Desperate for
some classic Eddie
Murphy? Laughly lets
you listen to more
than 18,000 hours of
audio from more than