Former NOVA exec slams ‘trolling’ on podcast charts
Jay Walkerden, formerly the head of NOVA Entertainment’s podcast operation, has criticised what he sees as trolling on Apple’s podcast platform.
Walkerden’s Podshape operation now houses podcasts including What Happens After, fronted by controversial Married At First Sight contestant and former radio host Bryce Ruthven and his on-screen partner Melissa Rawson.
The decision by Walkerden to give the duo a platform beyond their television appearance was met with criticism, including in the Radio Today comment thread.
“Yea, listen, that’s probably one of my pet peeves in podcasting, and less so on RT [Radio Today] than it is on Apple – but one of the things that I really don’t like is that you can troll someone on Apple Podcasts, and nobody knows who you are and it’s totally anonymous and you can change your name and call yourself ‘triple j’ or whatever you want, or call yourself someone else, and you can give it a one-star and give it a rating,” he said in a chat with Radio Today.
“So I think that for me, it’s an annoyance.”
Despite his frustrations with people who may not have even listened to the podcast giving it a poor review, Walkerden did concede that the engagement is actually helping the podcast’s progression.
“But what [the trolls] don’t realise is when they’re doing that, they’re actually pushing it up the charts. If you like and comment, or even if you hate something and give it a one-star and you write a comment you’re pushing it up the Apple charts because it’s engagement,” he said.
“It actually drives it up because it’s just activity. So it’s like ‘Oh, okay, thank you’.”
Walkerden also said that even without the trolling, there is an audience for What Happens After.
“Why the hell did I go after them to have them on? Because they have a story to tell. It’s their story. And they did that. You don’t have to listen to it, that’s cool. But they wanted to tell their story, so we gave them that platform,” he said.
“But there’s an audience for it. And the audience that is listening to it, loves it, because they keep coming back for every episode.”