Los Angeles start-up Ranker launched a partially-free website for sharing data about the fans of movies, celebrities and other elements of entertainment. (Ranker/TNS)

Startup Ranker Helps Brands Tailor Ads

By Paresh Dave
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ranker is Los Angeles startup that gets more than 10 million votes on its website each month about what’s cool in Hollywood, sports, music, gaming and politics.

Los Angeles Times

If Fox Searchlight Pictures wants to increase attendance at its new film “Jackie,” it might consider pitching fans of “True Detective,” “The Hunger Games” and Keira Knightley.

So says Ranker, a Los Angeles startup that gets more than 10 million votes on its website each month about what’s cool in Hollywood, sports, music, gaming and politics. Ranker’s tracking shows that people who rank “Jackie” star Natalie Portman as a great actress tend to also hold in high regard the popular HBO show, the teenage film franchise and English actress Knightley.

The company is just starting to make data about such correlations available to the public, leaving uncertainty about whether customers will use the service the way it envisions. But Ranker is trying to land lucrative contracts to sell the data to entertainment companies, talent agencies and advertisers. The hope is that seeing how pop culture fandoms intersect will help Hollywood studios and other firms cast, develop and market productions. Less extensive Ranker data is free.

The information business would become a second major source of revenue for Ranker. The 7-year-old company said it attracted a record 36 million readers in November. Typically arriving from Facebook or Google, readers can scan through more 100,000 lists such as Best Actresses Working Today and Best TV Shows of the Last 20 Years. Ranker’s editorial team offers an initial ranking but anyone can vote anytime without having to log in, making the lists a sort of living document.

Ranker sells ads on its website, bringing in annual revenue in the low eight figures and multimillion-dollar profits before taxes and other expenses. It declined to provide exact figures on the record.

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