Triton Digital won’t be drawn on latest criticism of ‘pretty average’ Australian Podcast Ranker

Editor & Content Director

The company behind the Australian Podcast Ranker, Triton Digital, has declined to comment on fresh criticism of the measurement tool.

Acast Australia’s content director, Guy Scott-Wilson, told Radio Today that there’s still quite a way to go before content partners will be able to extract much value from it.

“Audience engagement is super important and [so is context]. That is really why we get briefed by agencies for podcasts. They want to be in an environment that’s relevant, that’s targeted and has the right audience. And I think that’s probably a slight limitation for the Ranker in its current form. It’s kind of a static PDF. It’s updated monthly with no real change in the top 10 or 20 shows month to month. It’s impossible to filter by category. So it does make it, I think, in its current form, a pretty average buying tool for media agencies,” he said.

“So from our perspective, there’s a fair way to go before our content partners will extract much value from it.”

The Ranker, he said, appears to hold more value for traditional radio networks which have subsequently moved into podcasting.

“Obviously there is that value in demonstrating your scale across your network, and I think it does a good enough job of that for the radio networks,” he said.

Scott-Wilson was speaking on Radio Today’s recent Podcasting Power Players panel about the future of the medium.

Fellow panellist, ARN’s head of digital audio Corey Layton, said measurement in the space is “radically improving”.

“I think the Ranker is a great start, and is definitely driving the whole industry forward. The more publishers that join the Ranker, the easier it is for an agency to be able to understand everyone on an equal playing field,” he said.

“Each publisher often goes out and goes ‘Here’s our numbers’, ‘Here’s our numbers’, but the Ranker definitely talks the same language and makes it easier for an advertiser to be able to decipher ‘What are the right podcasts for me to be in?’ be it big ones or the niche ones. And I think over time the Ranker will continue to enhance and improve to be able to help guide clients in much better ways.”

NOVA Entertainment’s head of podcasts and digital content, Rachel Corbett, said podcasts’ ability to tap into niches and connect with audiences meant relying solely on numbers-based measurement to determine success was “silly”.

“I think it’s great if you’re growing and your podcast has a lot of downloads, that’s fantastic, but there’s other value measurements, I think, that can make something a really high-performing part of your network, even if it’s not the highest downloaded show that you have,” she said.

She added: “I think one of the benefits of podcasting is that the power is really around context, rather than reach. Like it’s wonderful that we’re getting a lot more reach and that numbers are growing and all that kind of stuff, but if you get a client in the right environment, you don’t actually need as many numbers to have decent results.”

Triton Digital said it had no comment or response on the criticism or the wider conversation.

Last year, host of The Daily Talk Show, Josh Janseen said the Australian Podcast Ranker provides a platform for the radio industry to confuse potential advertisers into believing they have a majority share of listenership in Australia.

“Let’s answer this basic question: Does The Australian Podcast Ranker help brands, podcasters and listeners with a win-win-win situation? Not at all,” he said.

“You’ll notice that independent creators didn’t say much about the Australian Podcast Ranker launch. Our silence was based on the little attention we think the ranker deserves.

“However, now that it is directly impacting the way radio shows are publishing podcast content — to what we believe is at the detriment of listeners — we thought we should say something.

You can watch the full panel below or listen to the audio version on this week’s Radio Today Tonight podcast.

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Rank Irrelevance
16 Aug 2021 - 9:47 pm

Radio should not continue to rely on downloads as the absolute metric, as the ranker does, because of how limited this metric is to understanding user engagement and attention.

Like digital music before it, the future of podcast measurement is streams and real time data.

A download isn’t a very useful metric and you don’t have to think very hard to understand why; it’s like someone turning on their TV, leaving their home and never returning.

Charts from Apple, Spotify (apparently not bothered to join the ranker at all), Stitcher etc. are far more useful than the ranker. Downloads, like radio, are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

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