It’s 2021, and the podcast industry is getting close to maturity - in fact it’s well into its teens. Ever since "Apple took podcasting mainstream" you’ve been a benevolent caretaker of this nascent, sometimes needy, but always promising medium.
As Steve Jobs said in June, 2005, “Podcasting is the next generation of radio” - and through natural disasters and pandemics, podcasting has stepped up to the plate for delivering the information people needed, in the best way for them to get it. And this powerful, personal, innovative new form of media wouldn’t have been the same without your involvement - and championing of it.
We’ve had fun since 2005. The early dominance of tech news, politics and comedy then saw a wave of interest in true crime - which may empower and even help protect vulnerable people. And you responded to that wave, by adding categories for True Crime, History, and Fiction - which validated the space for those genres of content to grow, to be charted, to allow their listeners to know where to look for them. You gave podcasters the words to describe what they made.
Now, podcasting is coming of age - 16 years after Steve Jobs gave the official backing and support of Apple. And with age comes, hopefully, maturity. And with power, responsibility. As you say “Climate change is a defining issue of our time”.
So podcasters are talking about it, engaging with climate using the next generation of radio - the medium we turn to not only for distraction or entertainment, but as a source of comfort, connection, and potentially life-saving information in times of crisis.
We need not in this letter list recent disasters, and cite the attribution studies that show that the climate crisis is upon us. You know this, Apple. So, will you allow podcasting to mature, and validate a space for the climate to be discussed?
Will you use your power responsibly?
This letter has been signed by audio creators making podcasts that engage with climate change. Climate may not be the sole focus of their shows, but it does intersect with nearly every topic. Climate is not absent from our stories, it’s muted.
So we ask you Apple - will you help us end the silence on climate change in the medium you have supported and nurtured for over 16 years? If you add a Climate category, it will be a small change to your podcast directory, but would open the doors for this space of audio creators, and their audiences of climate-engaged listeners.
Because we’re all climate-affected.
And the true crime is silence on the climate crisis.
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