Los Angeles Business Journal

Ranker Adds Video Content, Former Yahoo Exec

By Garrett Reim Monday, August 24, 2015

Everything is better in video form.

At least that’s the thinking of Ranker, which crowdsources rankings on topics such as “Who Is the Greatest President of All Time?” or “The Best Actors in Film History.” It is reformatting some of its content into scripted videos and has hired former Yahoo homepage Editor Inger Lund Carter to lead the effort.

Ranker’s users, about 20 million unique visitors a month, vote up or down for items on a list, thus crowdsourcing a ranking. The company has been rehashing those text and image-based listicles into video productions with humorous commentary and supplementary video clips over the last several weeks.

Carter, now its vice president of content and programming, will lead an effort to produce 20 to 25 short videos a week for distribution on social networks.

“There’s a decent amount of people that would consume any content in video form,” said Chief Executive Clark Benson, adding: “Our sales strategy is to build custom content for brands and video is what is in the most demand right now.”

As part of a larger effort to ramp up advertising sales, the Mid-Wilshire headquartered company also announced the hiring of David Cohn, former head of advertising sales for Crave.com and Askmen.com, who will serve as executive vice president of sales in New York.

“Hiring a direct sales team means that you need to be doing things that require deeper integration with brands than just banner ads,” said Benson.

Ranker has mostly relied on automated banner and native advertisements up until this point, but plans to create custom sponsored videos as well sponsored listicles to increase its advertising revenue.