Clean Vs Explicit

If you’re an edgy Young Turk ready to stir up the establishment you are also likely to use explicit language to establish your street cred! Of course given the general direction of language usage since, say, World War Two, I think a more striking attack on the status quo may be to use clean language.

How does this apply to podcasting? As a producer you have a choice. Back in the olden days you could, on Apple Podcasts, label your show “Clean” but have separate episodes labelled “Explicit”. This is no longer allowed. One explicit episode and the whole show is labelled thus.

And this matters because? Shows labelled “Clean” appear in every iTunes Store across the globe. Those labelled “Explicit” are by default, excluded from most Islamic majority states as well as from the Indian store. Now I’m not entirely sure but a little click testing revealed Saudi Arabia and India when their flags are clicked to change stores, point out the default setting and allow a user to choose to receive explicit material. A similar option was not available on the Pakistan store. What this all means is that explicit shows do not, by default, show in some iTunes Stores across the globe.

The question you need to answer is: Does this impact my show? If you’re a fly fishing in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales podcast, does it matter that your show is not in the iTunes Store in India because you had one show where an “f” bomb was dropped and not bleeped? Probably not but maybe. A growing middle class on the subcontinent, more leisure time and so on. Your show might appeal. The decision is something you need to think carefully about.

Now a show with every second or third word as an expletive is not the same as that one off. These shows are usually of a more comedic nature. Do  you need to bleep or spend time editing to meet the “Clean” requirements? That’s probably not going to create a positive listening experience.

So just accept your show won’t be available in some areas. Of course if you’re producing a show in one of these countries your decisions might be different. Political, cultural and financial reasons may also play a part. Think carefully and stick with a decision.



  • Do you really need to be explicit?
  • Being explicit on even one episode marks your entire podcast as explicit.
  • Do you care if some parts of the world can’t hear your show?