June 10, 2019
The former president and first lady are expected to participate in at least some of the podcasts covering a range of topics, the companies said in their announcement, released on June 6. That could potentially mean that they will take hosting, narrating, or interview roles. Financial terms of the multiyear agreement weren’t disclosed, nor were details about programming or how many podcasts the deal might include, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
In a formal press release, the Obamas noted that, when they launched their production company last year with an initial partnership with Netflix, their goal was “to create compelling content that entertains and inspires viewers.” Recognizing that content is consumed in many forms, this new partnership will give them the ability to expand the conversation—educating and engaging Spotify’s diverse and extensive audience.
Spotify, which recently surpassed 100 million premium subscribers and has more than 217 million monthly active users, will distribute the podcasts exclusively to audiences worldwide.
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” President Obama said. “It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world,” Michelle Obama said. “Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts, but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds—and their hearts.”
“President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are two of the world’s most important voices and it is a privilege to be working with them to identify and share stories that will inspire our global audience, which looks to Spotify for unique, breakthrough content,” said Spotify Chief Content Officer, Dawn Ostroff. “Connecting people with original and thoughtful creators — especially those with the ability to highlight underrepresented and indispensable narratives — is at the core of our mission and we are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort.”
Research contact: @Spotify