National Association of the Deaf v. Sirius XM
In December 2021, Disability Rights Advocates and National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit against three major providers of podcasts, SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora, to end their exclusion of deaf and hard of hearing Americans from each company’s extensive podcast streaming service. Read the complaint here.
Because Defendants do not make transcripts available for any of the podcasts offered on their platforms, more than 48 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans are denied full and equal enjoyment of the content they offer their hearing users. These failures to provide equal access violate the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as state and local New York law.
Sirius XM bills itself as the “new destination for original, exclusive, and popular podcasts,” providing customers access to a slate of both original and third-party podcast content, including podcasts produced by Marvel Entertainment which are exclusively available on SiriusXM’s podcast platform. Stitcher ranked #1 in Triton Digital’s Report of top Podcast Networks for August 2021, with 451 active original podcasts. Likewise, Pandora’s podcast service offers users access to hundreds of thousands of podcast episodes. SiriusXM has invested heavily in the podcast space in recent years, acquiring Pandora for $3.5 billion in 2018 and paying $325 million to acquire Stitcher in 2020. These companies are well able to integrate transcripts for the plethora of podcasts available on their websites and popular mobile applications, but they do not.
This suit was brought by DRA on behalf of NAD and five deaf Americans who wish to use each of Defendants’ podcast services but are excluded from doing so by Defendants’ discriminatory business practices.
- December 14, 2021: Lawsuit Challenges Inaccessibility of Major Podcast Platforms