Arts & Entertainment | June 7, 2019 10:28 am

The Obamas Are Coming to Spotify

The former first couple are expanding their growing media empire

The Obamas are bringing their talents to Spotify with a new deal to create original podcasts
The Obamas are bringing their talents to Spotify with a new deal to create original podcasts
JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

Shortly after announcing the lineup for their much-anticipated Netflix debut, the Obamas are already expanding their media domain with a new Spotify deal.

Barack and Michelle Obama have inked a multi-year deal to create exclusive podcasts for the streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Spotify partnership marks a new division of the former first couple’s Higher Ground production banner. Under the new podcast division, Higher Ground Audio, the Obamas will develop, produce and speak on various shows for Spotify.

“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” Barack Obama said in a statement announcing the deal on Thursday. “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.”

While Spotify is best known as a music streaming platform, the company already offers some exclusive podcasts, including The Joe Budden Podcast and Jemele Hill’s Unbothered. According to THR, the new partnership with the Obamas marks Spotify’s highest-profile talent deal since acquiring Gimlet Media and Anchor back in February.

“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’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff in a statement.

Much like the Obamas’ Netflix projects, which the former president said aim to “educate, connect and inspire,” Higher Ground’s Spotify content will seek to provide a platform for “voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether,” according to Michelle Obama.

“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,” she said in a statement.

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