Podcast Week: Olympic effort Liam Flanagan, More Hamish & Andy Gold at SCA

Cath Curtin

Plus: ARN’s Benchmark Report, Acast’s ad controls, Diamantina and Born Bred Talent

Compiled by Trent Thomas

How Liam Flanagan has put over 100 on The Scorecard

Triple M Sydney’s Liam Flanagan splits his time between the Rush Hour with MG and Liam as well as his own 10-minute podcast, The Scorecard.

With the podcast having now released over 100 episodes, Mediaweek‘s Trent Thomas caught up with Flanagan to talk about the show.

With the Olympics on at the moment, Flanagan said that the biggest problem in his life right now is deciding what to include and what not to include in his show.

“It is a bit of a gut feel now. We are 130 episodes into the podcast since we launched late last year, and I have found that I can get a sense of this is a story that everyone cares about.”

However, the Olympics also help solve a problem for Flanagan when deciding what to include in his shortcast. 

“The tricky part about sport in Australia is that it is so region based at times. The southern states don’t really care about rugby league and the eastern states don’t really care about AFL as much. So, you do need to make sure that you are appealing as broadly as possible with these stories which is why the Olympics are fantastic.”

When asked how he approaches making a short-form podcast inside a busy news cycle, Flanagan said that he tries to make it entertaining.

“Sport is fun in my opinion. People use sport as an escape from other things in their life so my goal is to get across the details of the stories that matter in the most entertaining way possible.”

Flanagan has been with Triple M for eight years, starting out driving Triple M promotional vehicles. He soon moved into production, called some AFL and then worked with Merrick Watts during his years on drive. Flanagan started on The Rush Hour when it launched in 2018, and said that his approach to podcasting and radio is very different.

“The Scorecard is me sitting down and scripting a short, sharp, fun pdocast and then sending it off to the audio producer Matt Curry.

“The radio show is a team. I sit down with MG (Mark Geyer) and producer Charlie White and we work through that show as a team. MG’s opinion is what drives our show and what he thinks of the big stories of the day.”

With the show going up at 7am each day, Flanagan said that he tries to get a draft together the night before but sometimes that doesn’t go to plan.

“It is a case of waking up making sure there aren’t any stories that we missed. Is there anything significant enough that we need to include? Quite often there is not.

“With Diego Maradona‘s passing earlier this year, my wife actually rolled over and tapped me on the shoulder at 4:30 in the morning and asked me if I knew that he had passed away and I was like ‘well that has to go in’.”

When asked what podcasts that he liked, Flanagan mentioned The Howie Games and The Bill Simmon Podcast, and when asked if a longer form podcast was in his future, Flanagan said that he would love to do it.

“At the moment The Scorecard is Monday to Friday and we would love to provide a weekend version of it aswell without completely draining me of life, energy, and sleep.

“And is there potential to create a monthly longer version of the podcast that looks different and maybe has guests on board? Those are all things that we are looking at.”

[Listen to The Scorecard here]

Hamish and Andy stay with LiSTNR

SCA has confirmed a new long-term partnership with Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, which will see the pair continue to produce their successful weekly podcast, Hamish & Andy, alongside new seasons of Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project that will be initially published exclusively on LiSTNR from 2022.

Hamish & Andy started their radio careers with SCA and have gone on to build a podcast audience that saw a 47% year on year growth and has made them the number one comedy podcast in Australia for four years straight.

hamish andy

Last year the boys launched Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project where they have dug deep into their meticulous archives from 2,500 shows across two decades to see if they can recall what was going on behind the scenes at that exact time. Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project has evolved into a show of often incorrect recollections that make for a hilarious trip down memory lane. Season two of Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project saw a 23% increase in unique listeners and a third season will launch next year.

[Listen to Hamish and Andy here]

iHeartPodcast Network reveals first Podsights Benchmark Report

Findings from Podsights have revealed insights into the effectiveness of advertising on ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network.

The Podsights Benchmark Report provides key data on best practice as well as global and Australian podcast advertising trends.

This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for agencies, dispelling the myth that podcasts can’t be measured.

The report includes data gathered from July 2020 to June 2021.

Key findings from the benchmark report and additional analysis include:

• iHeartPodcasts have an average conversion rate of 1.91% – higher than the global benchmark of 1.58%.
• iHeartPodcast Network’s advertising conversion rates are higher than social and digital channels including Google Search, Facebook, Twitter and more.
• When breaking down global conversion rates by industry, Restaurants and Retail categories experienced the strongest attribution results.
• Globally, the average conversion rate rises with the number of spot placements within an episode.
• The highest conversion rates came from full buyouts of episodes.
• For individual podcast ad impressions, pre-roll placements slightly outperformed mid-rolls.

Acast offering brand suitability controls

Acast is now providing brand suitability controls for brands advertising through the Acast Marketplace.

This is part of a global partnership with Comscore, and will be available to all advertisers working with Acast Australia and New Zealand.

The new brand suitability solutions will help brands to avoid content that they may deem inappropriate or unsuitable for their unique sensitivities and values.

Ads will be targeted inside specific parameters, thereby avoiding any potential brand safety incidents and the potential negative consequences that come with it.

Using Comscore’s brand safety categorisation, Acast can ensure advertising campaigns are positioned next to non-harmful and appropriate content, on an episodic basis. When buying ads across podcasts via the Acast Marketplace, advertisers can now apply intelligent ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ risk level categorizations.

Diamantina partners with Born Bred Talent

Born Bred Talent and DM Podcasts are joining forces to create new revenue streams for Australian and New Zealander Podcasters.

This partnership will see Born Bred Talent offer access and integration to a majority of DM Podcast’s slate of podcasts, across popular categories in sport, comedy and pop-culture.

Diamantina’s Antony Stockdale (right) with Have a Go podcasters Dane Eldridge (left) and Dave Edwards

Until now, the primary means of monetisation for podcasts has been radio-style ad reads by the podcast hosts, with DM Podcast’s eager to expand exposure opportunities for both brands and podcasters.

“Most of the podcast talent we work with and target, have a social media presence with loyal and engaged audiences. This is crucial because discovery is one of the biggest challenges for any new or emerging podcast. It is a no- brainer to marry influencer marketing campaigns with traditional podcast sponsorship and double the revenue opportunities for our talent while also increasing the reach for brands,” says founder of DM Podcasts, Antony Stockdale.

Liam Flanagan

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