A startup from L.A. is taking big data to the hills –the Hollywood hills, to be exact. Their online polls may change the face of pop culture, or at least rank it from one to ten.
Hollywood feeds off of the latest trends. If you have popular interest captured into usable statistics, you have a formula for blockbuster hits.
Now replace Hollywood with any other source of pop culture content, your data is still immensely valuable.
Organizing information and isolating patterns that create draw is something that movie producers and investors have practiced since the dawn of film. If you ride the wave of a trend, you profit. If you gather enough data to recognize upcoming trends, you have a true treasure trove.#Ranker gathers user data on the latest trends to let you know what's popular.Click To Tweet
That’s where Ranker comes in. Ranker gathers data from its users to draw correlations between people’s various media interests to map trends and aid content creators in finding the next big thing.
How Ranker Operates
Ranker is a startup company based out of Los Angeles, and they maintain a website that gets over 10 million votes each month about popular subjects across the spectrum of pop culture.
The company gathers revenue from ads, but it is starting to make more money by selling data from its informal online polls available to the public. Some data is free, while other analysis is offered to companies at a price. The idea is that the intersections between fandoms will help content creators cast, develop and market their productions.
The ad revenue alone has had eager buyers interested in acquiring Ranker, but according to CEO Clark Benson the company isn’t going anywhere until they have at least put their polling data to work.
The polls themselves are informal pop-culture rankings (hence the name). With a minimal amount of clickbait, multitudes of users are led to while away the time ranking their favorite actors, sports stars, and cats (cause we all know the internet loves its cats). That data, however, is Benson’s ‘bread and butter’. “We can poll everything Gallup is never going to poll,” says Benson, and to an extent he is correct. The subjects of the polls are inconsequential to anyone but fans, so there is a natural audience accuracy for the data.
Ranker remains a highly sought after product, however, so Benson may decide to sell at some point in the future.
The Future According to Ranker
Benson isn’t at his first rodeo. His previous startup, a social media dating service called ECrush, sold to Hearst in 2006, so the CEO has the experience to tell him when to sell and when not to, and right now he’s planning to wait things out.
Ranker doesn’t have personal details on people, which is not preferable for many partners, but the details that they do have are unique, and if Ranker can support analysis that plans a huge entertainment success, then those details sell themselves.
Ranker can make money off of more than just the analysis of the lists. Companies can pay them to sponsor lists, as well, and their traffic could likely support such a venture. Their technology could help advertisers find target audiences, which is essential in today’s marketing atmosphere.
Benson says that “Next year would be the time to nail down the big-picture strategy,” which suggests that he may be in it for the long haul. And if he can create a new kind of product that taps an old kind of demand, it’s easy to see why he would be.