After landing a production deal with Netflix last year, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama are expanding their growing media empire to audio, producing podcasts for Spotify.
The music streaming platform announced Thursday that the Obamas have signed a multiyear partnership to create podcasts, which will be produced by a newly established audio division of their production company Higher Ground Productions, which began working with Netflix last year.
Spotify said that the Obamas will produce and sometimes appear on the podcasts, which have yet to be revealed.
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” the former president said in a statement from Spotify. “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,” the former first lady 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.”
In announcing the partnership, Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff hailed the former first couple as “two of the world’s most important voices.”
“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,” Ostroff said.
The deal is a major coup for Spotify, which has been working to expand into original podcasts, in addition to music streaming. Earlier this year, it acquired podcasting company Gimlet Media.
Among their many projects since leaving the White House, the Obamas have been working with Netflix in a lucrative deal to produce movies and television series.
Last month, they unveiled their first projects for the streaming giant, which include a feature film, several television series, a children’s series and several documentaries — including “American Factory,” which won one of the top awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
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