Jay Walkerden labels Podcast Ranker criticism ‘misguided’

Staff Writer
Australian Podcast Ranker

Podshape founder Jay Walkerden believes the Australian Podcast Ranker, which reportedly includes about 70% of major podcast publishers, is an important tool for the sector.

“Yes it is credible and yes it is absolutely valuable to the industry,” Walkerden said on the latest episode of Inside Entertainment on Ticker TV.

“I saw the article around The Daily Talk Show, and without trying to say they’re wrong, I think it’s misguided,” he said, referring to an article by The Daily Talk Show’s Josh Janssen.

The Ranker launched at Commercial Radio Australia’s Radio Alive conference in 2019 in collaboration with data partner Triton Digital, but the response to the chart has been mixed.

Some of the participating publishers in the Ranker include ARN, SCA, News Corp, Audioboom, Stitcher, Wondery, Nova, Nine, SEN, Schwartz, TOFOP, Kinderling, Wavelength, Wondery and NBC.

Major players in the podcasting space like the ABC and Mumamia, and a number of top-charting independent Australian podcasters, do not currently subscribe to the Ranker.

Radio Today asked the industry in a Twitter Poll this week if they believe the Ranker is a valuable and credible tool for the local podcasting industry: 46% agreed its good for business.

In an open letter published on January 27, Janssen asked fellow Australian podcasters to vocalise their concerns about the Ranker and the impact it will have on the local industry.

“One of the claims they made was that people were gaming the chart,” Walkerden told Inside Entertainment host and Radio Today editor Jake Challenor.

“That was breakfast radio shows and drive radio shows were putting lots of episodes out so they would go up higher in the Ranker,” the former Nova executive said.

“That may or may not be the case. But if you look at the June Ranker, in the top ten there are a handful of shows – I can see two or three – that have more than 30 episodes for a month.”

He said bigger shows who are uploading more content, including Stuff You Should Know and The Kyle & Jackie O Show – are at the top of their and game and is therefore warranted.

“You would expect them to use that great content in whatever way they see fit, to try to make sure their audience can handle it in small doses, which is why you would do that sort of thing,” he said.

“The tool was always about bringing this to the forefront of the conversation with agencies, so that then they were considering where to spend money in podcast they had a picture.”

Walkerden also shared his take on recent headlines, including Spotify’s high profile talent grabs and its new deal with global media agency Omnicom. Watch the interview in full below.

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