Podcasters Declare: Make Climate Change A Category On Apple

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Podcasters Declare: Make Climate Change A Category On Apple


Podcasters Declare want Apple to step up and support the Climate Emergency. How? It's simple. Categorisation.

Francesca Brooking

Tue 9 Mar 2021

In recent years, the podcast industry has grown to account for US $9bn in economic activity.

In the UK alone, 6.5 million adults listen to podcasts weekly.

It’s unsurprising when podcasts have become a valuable source of entertainment and information. There’s a podcast for just about every topic imaginable, and if not, it’s only a matter of time.

The rise of the podcast can perhaps be accredited in part to the pandemic, but Apple, the world’s largest tech company and owner of Apple Podcasts, the world’s largest podcasting app, has had an enormous part to play too.

Smartphone and a coffee

Apple has the leading podcasting app in the world

Apple Podcasts are viewed as the largest endpoint for podcast listening in the world. They set the standard of podcasting from the podcasters who use the platform to the categories you can choose from.

When categories such as True Crime, History and Fiction were added to their directory in 2019, other platforms like Spotify and Google quickly followed suit.

However, although we’re becoming increasingly aware of our environmental impact, one critical category remains to be seen: Climate.

A global campaign organised by Podcasters Declare aims to put this right.

Podcast equipment and a computer

Apple Podcasts don't have a Climate category in their directory and Podcasters Declare want to change this

This campaign is the work of three members of the Climactic Collective, a group of climate-engaged podcasters in Australia who are penning an open letter to Apple.

For them and many others who use the platform to talk about topics surrounding climate change and the planet, having a specific Climate category is crucial.

Apple’s own Terms of Service requires podcasts to accurately label the content and context of their show, but without a way to correctly label sustainability or climate change, this makes it difficult - if not, impossible.

As a result of this, many podcasters are losing out on vital listeners. Even major publishers like Gimlet and the BBC - who launched specifically climate-focused podcasts in 2020 - are affected.

They’re forced to resort to using intersectional categories such as Society and Culture or Natural Sciences. Cue frustrated creators and confused listeners who don’t know where to look.

Person's feet and person holding a phone
“When Apple created the True Crime category in 2019, it validated the space and normalised the term True Crime [...] We want to see Apple do the same for the vital topic of climate change”

Mark Spencer, publisher of the Climatic Collective and member of Podcasters Declare says: “When Apple created the True Crime category in 2019, it validated the space and normalised the term True Crime - it allowed a thousand flowers to bloom and we’ve all seen the results. We want to see Apple do the same for the vital topic of climate change.”

By giving climate topics the space and category they deserve, it will encourage listeners to actively engage with existing podcasts and inspire new podcasters to share their stories.

Not only will this make it a better experience for listeners but it will “raise the volume” on the climate crisis and get these important topics into the mainstream.

How you can help Podcasters Declare

Sign the open letter to Apple over at Podcasters Declare. You don't have to be a podcaster, or even an avid podcast just have to think it makes sense!

There are also additional tools available on their website, including social media templates and images which you can use to further support the campaign online.

For more information, head to Podcasters Declare.

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