Censor yourself or let the market censor you
You have the freedom to create a podcast full of profanity, extreme sex talk and gruesome, graphic talk about death and murder. However, there are several factors you should consider before you choose to create an explicit podcast. Below are some of these factors:
If you are explicit, let everyone know that you are explicit
Apple Podcasts, still a juggernaut of podcast directories, has a commitment to child safety and makes sure that anything that could have explicit content is labeled ‘Explicit.’ If Apple discovers (through organic or AI means) that you produce an explicit podcast and do not have the podcast labelled as such, they will respond swiftly and decisively. Apple will block your podcast RSS feed from their directory. This seriously impacts your podcast’s discoverability. Blocking your feed means that no one will find you in Apple Podcasts or any directory that relies on the Apple directory (a majority of the other podcast directories). With your feed blocked, you cannot just resubmit it to Apple Podcasts. You will need to create a completely new RSS feed for your show and submit that new RSS feed to Apple Podcasts, you will lose everyone that was following you before and have to start gaining listeners again from scratch. These are serious consequences for what Apple thinks is a serious offense. With that in mind, if your podcast contains anything that could be considered explicit, you should make sure your podcast is labeled correctly.
Being explicit limits your worldwide audience
While it is difficult to determine a specific list, online podcasting experts continue to report on sites ranging from the Apple’s Community Boards to Reddit that up to 17 countries (including hundreds of millions of people) ban podcasts labeled ‘Explicit.’ When you are creating an explicit podcast, make sure that your content will attract more listeners than the number of listeners it would or could have had if it were not ‘Explicit.’
Being explicit limits your potential advertising revenue
Some online podcasting experts periodically note that they have seen advertising campaigns that are open only to non-explicit podcasts. Simply, some advertisers do not want to appear to support shows that contain explicit material. Consider whether your explicit content will attract more advertising opportunities that your ‘Explicit’ label will limit.
Explicit podcasts make up only a small percentage of the most popular shows
If you were to review any listing of the ‘Top 100 Podcasts,’ odds are there will be fewer than 15 explicit podcasts on that list. According to Tony Robbins, if you have aspirations of being one of the ‘Top 100 Podcasts,’ you should do what those currently on the list are doing, and just do it 10% better. Consider if you want to model yourself after the 85% of the podcasts on that list or the other 15%. You can choose either, but seriously consider both options before limiting yourself.
Get a feel for what type of podcasts are — and are not — explicit by searching Blubrry’s Podcast Directory. And, as you start your podcasting journey, consider hosting with one of the best podcast hosts in the business, choose Blubrry.
Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studio in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show Podcasting Tips from the Front Porch here.
Contact Troy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.