Podcaster’s Declare is a new group for podcasters looking to raise the volume on the climate crisis in the $9 billion USD podcast industry.
They launched their first global campaign, an open letter to Apple for podcasters to show their support for creation of a Climate category in their dominant podcast directory. The company did this in 2019 with the creation of True Crime, History and Fiction.
This campaign is the work of three members of the Climactic Collective, a group of Australian climate-engaged podcasters.
They expect membership of Podcasters Declare to grow in the course of this first campaign and that a representative group of the wider industry will form, in the same way other Declare groups (like Music Declares Emergency) have.
Discovery by podcast category is just one way listeners find new shows, and not the largest way (which is word of mouth). But having a category:
- ‘Validates the space’ as it did for True Crime.
- Lets podcasters find each other, whereas right now climate shows are spread amongst various, sometimes quite ill-fitting categories.
- Allows a category chart for identifying leaders and promoting friendly competition, and this chart also contributes to monetization and growth.
- Paves the way for further growth and development.
Apple Podcast’s own terms of service requires podcasts accurately label the content and context of their show – yet the lack of a Climate category makes this difficult, if not impossible.
Even major publishers like Gimlet and the BBC – who in 2020 launched specifically climate-focused podcasts – have to resort to using more intersectional categories such as Society and Culture, or the more esoteric and less-frequented Natural Sciences, a subcategory of Sciences.
This makes discovery for these shows more difficult, leading to confused potential listeners and frustrated creators who are disconnected from each other.
“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.”
Says Mark Spencer, publisher of the Climactic Collective and member of Podcasters Declare. Podcasters of any type – not just those making specifically climate-engaged content – are welcome to sign the open letter at www.podcastersdeclare.com
When the category system that organises podcasting gets more accurate, and more relevant, it’s good for all podcasters.
And the podcasting community seems to agree, with dozens of signatories, including award-winners, finding and signing the letter before the campaign even publicly launched on February 15th.