Common Sense Media Launches First-of-Its-Kind Comprehensive Podcast Ratings and Reviews Destination for Kids and Families

The new offering has been created with child development in mind and will use the organization's award-winning, research-backed rubric that families know and trust.

Common Sense Media
Thursday, April 7, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, April 7, 2022—Common Sense Media, best known for its award-winning, research-backed ratings and reviews of movies, TV shows, books, and more, today announced that it has added podcasts to its expansive library of content geared toward kids and families. The new offering is the first of its kind in the market to provide consumers with comprehensive podcast ratings and reviews that are grounded in child-development principles and research.

The new podcast review library launches with more than 50 detailed reviews and includes some of the most popular audio programs for kids and families currently available on streaming and online platforms, such as Wow in the World, The Big Fib, and A Kids Book About: The Podcast. The new destination also helps those looking for niche content and topics of interest by providing an initial selection of 15 carefully curated recommendation lists that cover categories including "Podcasts That Discuss Mental Health," "Podcasts with Diverse Characters and Stories," and "Kids' Podcasts for Social-Emotional Learning."

The first phase of the new ratings and reviews offering will primarily focus on podcasts geared toward kids and families, but will eventually expand to include titles for broader audiences. The content adheres to Common Sense Media's existing ratings and review guidelines, highlighting the following key elements:

  • Educational value for families, caregivers, and educators;
  • Co-listening quality for families who want to enjoy podcasts together;
  • Diverse and authentic representations through voices and content;
  • Audio quality, and length.

"It's very clear the podcast world is growing, but what's less obvious is how impactful and innovative kids and family podcasts are and will continue to be as they expand and evolve," said Laura Ordoñez, Common Sense Media, Head of Podcast Ratings and Reviews. "Our goal is to help parents and educators navigate the kids podcast space, to give them the tools they need to decide what podcasts work best for their kids, families, and classrooms. And most importantly to help them adopt and embrace this incredibly diverse and dynamic media format as both an educational and entertainment resource for kids and families."

Podcasts are fast becoming a valuable media resource for families and educators. For families, podcasts provide screen-free entertainment options that are great for experiencing together, and for educators, they can help to supplement students' learning both in and out of the classroom. According to recent research by Common Sense Media on media use by teens and tweens, nearly half (45%) of all 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed reported listening to podcasts, and one in five said they do so at least once a week. Other research estimates that listenership among all Americans could increase from 75.9 million to 100 million listeners in the United States by 2024, and listenership among Black and Latino audiences is growing rapidly.

"Common Sense Media's recommendations have been a discoverability tool and a trusted ally to me as a parent for years," said Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Tinkercast's co-founder and CEO. "As an organization that believes in the power of audio to inspire creativity and connection, we couldn't be more excited and grateful that they are expanding their offerings to connect more grown-ups to the growing world of podcasts for kids."

"With so many content choices available today, high-quality ratings and reviews provide valuable direction, both in terms of production quality and also the level of sophistication listeners can expect, which is especially important to families and older kids," said Ben Strouse, CEO, Gen-Z Media.

"Discovering good podcasts has long relied on recommendations from friends or hit-or-miss suggestions from podcatcher algorithms," said Matthew Winner, Head of Audio, A Kids Company About. "Who better, then, to help sift through the tens of thousands of active podcasts in order to help spotlight exceptional content created for kids and their grown-ups than Common Sense Media, an organization that is known and trusted widely by kids and grown-ups, teachers and content makers? This is an industry-changer, and the Common Sense Media podcast ratings and reviews will translate to thousands more kids and families discovering shows for the first time, and finding shows they can love and listen to (or co-listen to) for a long time."

Common Sense Media will also award its Common Sense Selection Seal distinction to a number of selected podcasts. The Common Sense Selection program recognizes content producers that demonstrate the highest editorial standards for overall quality based on entertainment value, engagement, and impact, along with worthwhile themes, messages, and role models.

Common Sense Media first entered the podcast space in 2021 in collaboration with Apple Podcasts by curating kid-friendly podcast collections by age and theme.

To see the complete list of podcast reviews available at launch, click here.

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About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.

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