Josh Janssen says Australian Podcast Ranker ‘confuses advertisers’

Assistant Editor
Tommy Jackett & Josh Janssen

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

The ranker has been criticised for being centred around podcasts and catch-up shows produced by the big radio networks, and now host of The Daily Talk Show Josh Janssen has weighed in.

Janssen was formerly a digital content producer at SCA for the Fifi & Jules show. In 2018 he launched his own podcast with Tommy Jackett.

His podcast, and many others, are declining to join the ranker, because he believes it is negatively affecting the listener experience.

“The Australian Podcast Ranker provides a platform for the radio industry to confuse potential advertisers in believing that they have a majority share of listenership in Australia,” he says.

Janssen points to the fact that radio show podcasts have begun uploading more ‘best bits’ podcasts alongside entire show catch-ups, with the explicit intent of gaming the Podcast Ranker (which measures downloads).

“Well, if The Australian Podcast Ranker is based on Average Weekly downloads, the aim of the game is getting more downloads. How do you do that? You release more content,” he explains.

“By radio shows adding one additional audio file within their feed each day, they are potentially DOUBLING their download/listen number.

“This means that if you want to appear higher in the ranking, your best bet in getting to number one is to flood subscribers with best bits. Something that isn’t great for listener experience.”

That’s not Janssen’s only gripe with the Podcast Ranker though.

“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 writes.

“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.

“If you are a radio producer, a radio show host, a content director, a digital director — I implore you to vocalise your concern of The Australian Podcast Ranker and the impact it will have on the industry.”

Read Josh Janssen’s piece on the Australia Podcast Ranker here.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (10)
Post new comment
Jack
28 Jan 2020 - 4:13 pm

“The Australian Podcast Ranker provides a platform for the radio industry to confuse potential advertisers in believing that they have a majority share of listenership in Australia,” he says.

Why doesn’t he show us his download numbers, that will tell us if he’s right or not.

Podcast Producer
29 Jan 2020 - 8:14 am

Well said.
It’s so irresponsible.

Josh Janssen
29 Jan 2020 - 11:00 am

@Jack

We receive 55,000 listens a month (IAB 2.0) and seeing growth each month. We’re two years in on our ten year (minimum) journey — so it’s early days.

Not really about us though and if you’re trying to rank us against some other shows, you’ve missed the point.

The point on majority share was referring to the vast number of podcasts that are well and truly out performing 99% of the podcasts represented in the charts. i.e Shameless, Mamamia to name two obvious ones.

Another Josh
29 Jan 2020 - 12:01 pm

Josh is 100% correct.

However, business has always been about getting an edge on other businesses providing the same service. If you’re unhappy about the way stuff is though, find a way to do it better.

Josh Janssen
29 Jan 2020 - 12:34 pm

@josh great name.

That’s exactly what we’re doing. At The Daily Talk Show, we are currently executing on our strategy around what we believe podcasting should be.

This doesn’t involve a ranker and there is no point trying to create a “better” ranker. It’s the wrong tool — for creators, for brands and for listeners.

Our “edge” is that we can create one of the only daily talk style podcasts in the world with a team of three people, whilst still running a production company. We’ve done over 590 episodes. That’s what we believe it means to “do it better”.

We’ll also stand up for what we believe is right for the industry. Whilst we are on our own journey, it really isn’t about us.

The Other Another Josh
29 Jan 2020 - 2:10 pm

590 episodes and you still need to run a production company?

Josh Janssen
29 Jan 2020 - 5:22 pm

@Josh Yeah — that’s our business model.

I think you’ll find majority of the networks provide their own version of production services; both branded and white label.

Not overly comfortable giving you more of my time if you’re not willing to use your full name and stand by your comments (like I have).

If you want to do that on a private forum, you can email me. Email address is on our website.

Greg
29 Jan 2020 - 10:51 pm

Oh please gimme a spell.

I love the conspiracy theory about ‘gaming’ the charts – but the company I work for (can’t speak for everyone) introduced best bits because a full 40 minute podcast wasn’t actually something everyone had time to listen to – and they were introduced well before the podcast ranker. Even if it was – who cares – run with your Apple Podcast chart figures if you aren’t happy with the podcast ranker and think it will help you get advertisers – but given that I can’t see that daily talk show anywhere in the top 100 on that either that probably wouldn’t help.

Humble Insider
30 Jan 2020 - 11:08 am

Greg is correct. Sorry Josh, we started uploading those small ‘best bits’ clips for our shows years ago. Like January 2014 (I think even before that?). I think we might have even been doing it when you worked for SCA? The Podcast Ranker (or indeed podcasting itself) wasn’t in the sights of CRA at all back then. The only motivation for it was what Greg mentions. You are pumping out some great content, what’s to stop you from publishing bite size best bits as well?

Bren
4 Feb 2020 - 5:30 am

Hey Josh,

Isn’t the reason the Ranker features mostly major networks is that they are the ones who have worked to CRA to get this up and running?

I’m sure everyone agrees it would be better if all podcasts were represented in the ranker – especially major players like the ones you mentioned – but it is only early days and hopefully more follow, to make it a robust tool for advertisers.

As for Best bits shows, they have not been created for rank – they have been created to suit audiences and listening habits. The goal is surely about measuring listening – so do you suggest ‘best bits’ should not be counted towards this? Not sure of what your gripe is here?

The ranker is a guide – and ad dollars follow audiences – however as I’m sure you would agree the value of podcasts is the ability to reach a highly engaged, loyal, niche audience in a unique and compelling way…

Jobs

See all