How did the renewed, digital, Alan Jones do in his first week on his new digital platforms?
Not too bad, but not earth shattering.
Here is radioinfo’s review.
In his first Direct to the People show at 8pm last Monday Jones had about 19,800 people watching on Youtube. He interviewed NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Queensland Senator Matt Canavan.
The show began with a long explanation of how his audience could watch him, an important investment of time in educating his audience so that the show will gain traction in the long term. Jones is billing the show as ‘digital television,’ a clever phrase that will reassure his older, perhaps less tech savvy audience, that Alan is still on their tv. He’s right of course, modern smart televisions can receive Youtube via the internet, so the show is indeed ‘digital television,’ not quite in the traditional sense of digital broadcast tv, but the phrase can be interpreted as technically correct.
After his ‘how to watch me’ lesson, where he stressed he would be easy to find ‘everywhere,’ Jones embarked on his usual style of editorial and then went to the interviews.
The show looked a little less slick that his recent Sky TV produced show, but was well presented with good studio sound for Jones’ opener and editorial comments. The visual background, moving bubbles of pink and blue colour was more like a zoom background than a studio set and a little distracting when the camera cut to closeups. When Jones moved to the interviews, the vision switching was slow and the sound had the usual room echo we have come to expect of zoom interviews during the pandemic. By the end of the week the background was fixed, becoming solid blue in colour, and the switching and audio problems were solved by the use of more location cameras and lapel mics. Jones also used his ‘Gloria’ theme music – we don’t know whether it has been cleared for use on social media platforms.
A technical glitch at the beginning was claimed to be because ‘Alan Jones broke the internet’ with so much traffic. In her weekend column in The Australian Janet Albrechtsen wrote:
“The program website crashed that night from the sheer weight of people on their devices – around 350,000 of them – trying to tune into an unfiltered Jones.”
That claim is highly unlikely. 19,000 viewers on Youtube and another 8,000 on facebook would hardly be enough to break the internet.
More likely Jones’ new website was unprepared for peak load demand, as is common for many new websites, and did not have node balancers, server distribution or proper caching to keep the site up. Where the claim of 350,000 in Albrechtsen’s column comes from is unknown and not substantiated by reference to any source. Semrush, a website measurement tool, puts the traffic figure for the AlanJones website in the tens of thousands, although such figures are often grossly under-reported. Only website owners know their real traffic figures, unless they are registered with third party verification services that display their audited figures publicly.
Despite the overhyped initial numbers, there is no doubt that Jones commands a following, as evidenced by the thousands of comments he received on Facebook and Youtube. On Facebook there were over 8000 comments and 1,400 likes. On Youtube there were nearly 400 comments. Delighted fans welcomed Alan back and praised him as a voice of the people.
The second Jones show had 11,000 viewers on Youtube and the third had 16,000 views. His shorter morning comments on Youtube are scoring up to 3,000 views per episode. While watch numbers are not visible on Facebook, there are hundreds of comments for each show and hundreds of shares. The first show was shared over 1,400 times but subsequent shows had fewer shares, in the hundreds, not thousands.
Despite the claim to be everywhere, the Jones show is not on Instagram, where reruns of his Sky TV shows and promos are currently displayed. An Australian Digital Holdings insta page only has a promo post showing.
Jones also claims to have a podcast of the show available, but we could not find any link to it from the Alan Jones website, nor when initially searching our podcast feeds. Searches on some podcast platforms turned up earlier episodes of Jones on 2GB and Sky TV podcasts. Amusingly, a search of Apple Podcasts found The Chaser’s podcast from last week, which made fun of the new Jones show, but the real Jones podcast did not come up anywhere in the search.
Fortunately a Google Podcast search finally yielded the Jones podcast, so it is out there somewhere, but has not yet had time or effort put into propagating it throughout the podcastosphere. It is not known if, at this stage, the show has been registered in the Australian Podcast Ranker.
Jones said in his launch media conference that money may eventually flow from embedded advertising on the social media platforms once the show gains stable reliable audience numbers, but the numbers so far are nowhere near that. It doesn’t matter to Jones though, because, as he said in his initial media conference, he is being backed by people who want to support his views. Funders for the publishing company, Australian Digital Holdings, are not known as the recently registered private company does not have to declare its revenue sources until its annual ASIC compliance paperwork is due, presumably in the next financial year, after the next Federal election.
There is no doubt Jones has something to say and has found a new way to say it. Time will tell whether the new program is a ratings and revenue success or not. The upcoming Federal Election will also show whether Jones has successfully used the new show to mobilise voters for his preferred party candidates.