Podcast Week: The Howie Games, Podcast Ranker, Podcast ad spend increase

Podcast Week: happy hour

LiSTNR’s sizzling stations

Compiled by Jasper Baumann and Tess Connery

Knocking 200 episodes of The Howie Games out of the park

This month, LiSTNR‘s The Howie Games marks a major milestone. The sports podcast has published its 200th episode, celebrating the occasion with an interview with Matildas’ World Cup superstar, Steph Catley

Podcast Week’s Tess Connery spoke with host Mark ‘Howie’ Howard about the evolution of The Howie Games, and making it to 200 episodes.

the howie games host mark howard

Mark Howard

“When we started this seven years ago, we didn’t think we’d get to 10 episodes, let alone 200,” Howard said. 

It’s a little bit overwhelming. It’s a credit to a lot of people who have done a lot of hard work to support the show, but I think it is mainly a credit to the listeners who have supported the show.”

For the 200th episode, The Howie Games has published an interview with Steph Catley – Matildas’ defender and player for Arsenal. It was a fitting interview for the milestone: in a year of major sporting moments, Howard said that the Women’s World Cup was the highlight.

“For our 100th episode, we had Adam Scott, who was the first Australian to win the Masters – I thought, well, I’m not sure how we can top that. But undoubtedly, the sports story of 2023 by a long, long way was the Matildas’ performance at the World Cup at home. They brought the entire country together with 11 million watching them play. 

“To me, it had to be a guest from the Matildas – Steph was thrown in as captain when Sam Kerr was injured, and she scored a couple of penalties. She led from the front, as a Victorian girl that grew up playing junior football with boys to then representing Australia on the world stage. I could not have been happier to have her on, I think she’s the perfect embodiment of what the podcast is and what the country fell in love with.”

Seven years into The Howie Games, it’s not just the voices of Howard’s kids who have grown and changed, joking that “my kids ask questions at the start as four and six year olds, now they’re 11 and 14, and it’s bizarre to hear them!”

“Hopefully, I’ve got better at listening to people’s stories,” said Howard. “We’ve really become in tune with what the audience wants – people that are open and honest, that have got a genuine story to tell. They don’t have to have been dominant athletes, although a lot of them are. I think people really enjoy a story from someone who has had to work hard to achieve what they’ve got. 

“We’ve honed it that we’re trying to get guests that can inspire the audience. It’s a big time commitment to give up an hour and a half of your day to listen to a podcast when there’s so much competition. So if they walk away feeling good about themselves, and maybe apply something they heard in their life, that’s what we’re after.”

the howie games

As Howard points out, “you don’t know what’s around the corner,” but one thing that is known is that next year will see the podcast continue to be adaptable. 2024 may also see some major guests join the podcast, if all goes to plan.

“The Indian travel series we did taking people behind people behind the scenes of the World Cup came to me three days before I got to India, and that’s been a tremendous success. If you’d asked me six weeks ago, it wasn’t even in my head. 

“We’re chasing a few big-name international guests – I know Tom Brady‘s coming to Australia early in the new year, so it would be nice to get Tom Brady on! We’ve got our eye on a few people, but these things don’t take two weeks, they take two years. so fingers crossed.”

[Listen to The Howie Games here]

55% of Australian marketers expect increase in podcast ad spend over the next five years, Acast finds

55% of Australian marketers can anticipate an increase in ad spend for podcasts over the next five years, a new study by Acast has found.

The independent podcast company’s research looked into marketers based in the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and Singapore between September and October 2023 and found marketers are ten times more likely to predict an increase rather than a decrease in podcast ad spend over the next five years.


Canada and the USA can also expect more than half of marketers to anticipate increasing podcast ad spending in the next five years, in line with Australia’s figures. Meanwhile Singapore, a market in the early stages of podcasting, 37% expect a significant increase in ad spend over the same period.

Acast noted the results signal a continued and growing recognition of the value of podcast advertising within both established and emerging markets.

Greg Glenday, chief business officer at Acast, said with a footprint in over 15 different markets, they understand the power podcasting has in connecting advertisers with the right audiences for their unique brand stories.

“This research shows that marketers around the world also recognise the immense value of podcast audiences,” he said.

[Read more]

Podcast Ranker November 2023: Hamish & Andy have Xmas #1, ABC titles flood the chart

In the last data drop during 2023, the November Podcast Ranker presents a wider snapshot of the audio market than ever before.

The reason for that is ABC has entered its titles for Podcast Raker measurement. To accommodate the new podcast publisher, Triton Digital has expanded the podcast charts from the Top 150 to the Top 200.

There was just enough room for the ABC titles too. There are 33 podcast shows new this month on the chart from the ABC.

Podcast Ranker

The highest-ranked of these is the long-time ABC favourite Conversations with Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski.

The highest-ranked debut not from ABC is 7News Headlines, a product of the new relationship between ARN and what is now its largest shareholder, Seven West Media.

Also new this month is Head Game from the Nova podcast network. In each episode, guests tell extraordinary stories of survival, relive heroic moments, and unpack the details of life-changing decisions.

The biggest mover on the Ranker this month was the Shameless Media series Everybody Has a Secret hosted by Annabelle Lee. The series has rocketed into the top 50 at #39, a leap of 95 places.


LiSTNR’s sizzling stations are set for Summer listening

LiSTNR has amassed a catalogue of music to fit any summertime mood or plans with 40 dedicated music and DAB+ stations. 

Santa Radio – This station plays non-stop festive hits 24/7 and also has a direct phone line to leave a last-minute message for Santa (1300 223 374).

Swiftie Radio – As Taylor Swift’s Aussie tour gets closer, this station features around-the-clock Swift hits and guarantees fans a musical journey through her entire catalogue.

Top 30 – Top 30 has chart-topping music from the globe’s biggest artists including Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus and Tate McRae.  

RNB Fridays Radio – RnB favourites featuring on the station include Drake, Doja Cat, Jason Derulo, Latto and Post Malone.

[More can be found here]


Podcast Week: the howie games

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