Independent podcast giant Wondery partners with local outfit, Ranieri and Co

Australian and New Zealand podcast company Ranieri and Co will be the local representative for Wondery, the world’s largest independent podcaster.

Ranieri and Co was launched by former Tribe executives Rob Ranieri and Nick Randall and produces custom podcasts for brands and manages commercial relationships for existing podcasts.

Rob Ranieri and Nick Randall are behind Ranieri and Co which has just signed a partnership with independent podcasting giant Wondery

Randall was most recently global CRO of Tribe. Prior to that, he was commercial director at Whooshkaa, a podcast startup, where he oversaw the platform’s sales and content marketing. In this role, he created a host of custom content for a range of large brands.

Ranieri has worked with Thinktank Social and OMD before starting his own business and working with a number of brands including Australian Almonds and Live Fit. He joined Tribe to head up its operations in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Randall said the idea behind launching Ranieri and Co. came from a mutual love between himself and Ranieri for podcasting, but also a sense that now was the right time to fill a gap in the market.

“We knew the timing was right to, not only create podcasts for brands, but to represent the really, really, strong shows here in Australia. We knew we had to do that now or we’d probably miss the boat,” said Randall.

Having watched brands fighting for prominence and success in the social space where he spent many years, Ranieri said the intimate nature of podcasting and the ability to cut through the noise was what led him to the medium and inspired him to partner up with Randall.

“It’s estimated that if a brand has a Facebook page, it’s going to reach roughly less than 10% of its followers on any given post. Further to that, if a brand posts a video, there’s a metric that says audiences watch only the first three seconds,” said Ranieri.

“Then I was introduced to podcasts. A recent ABC survey found that four out of every five people who listened were listening to the entire thing and a combined 93% were listening to either the entire podcast or most of it. When you really take in and realise that the average podcast is 43 minutes you get the sense that you’re dealing with a very different level of engagement.”

Randall said he grew up in rural Victoria, raised on a diet of radio and keen to get into audio storytelling as soon as possible. This American Life’s Serial was his entry into podcasting, as it was for many people, and since then he’s been looking for new ways to work in the industry.

In fact, Randall said, the intimate relationship between listeners and podcasts allows brands to get very back-to-basics with their approach and return to basic storytelling, something he’s delighted to be involved with.

“It starts with respecting the message and trusting the relationship people have with their favourite podcast. That jarring experience [when a programmatic ad is inserted into a podcast without concern for the format] that can occur with programmatic which sees it inserted without a lot of contextual relevance for the brand in that particular podcast, we don’t do that. First and foremost, in many cases, it will be the podcast host or the producer reading the message and it will also sound contextually relevant.

“You can tell if a radio ad has been inserted straight into a podcast, there’s a jarring experience, because radio ads are created to stand out in a bank of eight or ten ads, so they can be quite aggressive, but that doesn’t work in a podcast when it’s just one ad. You’ve got to respect that relationship and look at it differently,” said Randall.

Through the new partnership with Wondery, Ranieri and Co. will be the entry point for Australian brands to access Wondery’s portfolio of podcasts which includes hit shows Dr. Death, Dirty John, The Shrink Next Door, Business Wars, Imagined Life, Generation Why and Over My Dead Body.

In Australia, Wondery has had five number one shows and brings an expanded slate to market for 2020. It is also the first podcast network to expand into local language marketplaces with the launch of seven language editions of Dr. Death in August of this year.

Commenting on the appointment, Declan Moore, head of international for Wondery, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Ranieri and Co. for Australia and New Zealand. Both Rob and Nick bring tremendous knowledge of the marketplace and have a stellar track record in delivering creative solutions for marketers and brands to connect with audiences.”

The future for Ranieri and Co. will see the business continue to work with brands on unique and tailored content in the commercial space, with a number of brands keen to expand their presence in the space.

“Brands are catching on that there are a lot of things that they want to talk about as a brand, be that features of a product or features of a service, or a great customer experience, but what they understand is that that’s not what an audience is actually leaning into. So it’s about finding mediums and stories where they can be part of the content that the audience are leaning into and more and more that’s original podcast series,” said Randall.

“There are great examples out there of podcasts that have been created for a brand which have gone number one, because first and foremost you’re making interesting content that informs, inspires and entertains, and it just so happens to be brought to you by a brand.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.