Apple teams up with Common Sense Media to compile podcasts for children

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Good news for parents who want sound audio material for their children.

Podcasts have hit a new height over the last year and Apple is trying to remain ahead of the curve by curating shows exclusively for children with the aid of Common Sense Media. This will help Apple fight the challenge from Spotify’s own domination of audio content.

Apple is partnered with Common Sense Media, a non-profit organisation noted for insightful parent-oriented film reviews. This collaboration will allow Apple to curate podcasts especially for children. The cure can be broken into four main collections:

  • Story Time: Narrative driven storytelling
  • One More!: Stories based on mysteries and action dramas
  • Kids Know Best: Popular shows that are chosen by kids themselves
  • Common Sense Media Picks: Specific family-friendly shows picked by Common Sense Media

These selections will be revised on a monthly basis to represent “significant historical and cultural moments.” For eg, February should have highlighted influential black voices due to the Black History Month. Currently, the collections contain podcasts from writers such as Tinkercast, Gen-Z Media, Tumble, Rebel Girls, and Nickelodeon.

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The podcast landscape has evolved quite a bit over the last year. In a report that shows Spotify leading the podcast sector close behind Apple, it has been reported that several other podcast applications, such as PocketCasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher, have all seen huge spikes in last year’s use relative to 2019. Apple Podcasts was the only app mentioned that really saw its use decline slightly.

Many children have had to attend virtual school using Zoom or Google Classroom during 2020. As a result, this lent more audio material to children, including podcasts.

TechCrunch points to an NPR survey that showed that 15% of adults in the U.S. were listening to children’s spoken word audio. Research has also found that 89% of children listening to podcasts are under the age of eight. This emphasis on Apple’s children’s content is likely to threaten Spotify and those who spin their child-friendly content into different applications. Apple tends to prefer to merge adult and child content into a podcast app in which parents have control of Screen Time.

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