Spotify loses Barack and Michelle Obama after their partnership ends in October, according to Bloomberg† The former first couple’s exclusive podcast deal with the streaming giant is coming to an end and they won’t be signing another one. Their production company, Higher Ground, is reportedly looking for a partner who would allow it to produce multiple shows and release them on multiple platforms simultaneously. Spotify usually seeks exclusivity from famous personalities in an effort to promote its platform, which is probably why (like Bloomberg reports) declined to make an offer for a new contract.
However, Higher Ground is negotiating with several other potential partners, including Amazon’s Audible and iHeartMedia, for a deal expected to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas want to appear in an eight-episode program each, so we can expect shows with a limited number of episodes.
The Obamas’ deal with Spotify was: rumors worth $25 million and produced Renegades: Born in the USA with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, as well as The Michelle Obama Podcastin which the former First Lady spoke about relationships with friends and family. The Michelle Obama Podcast was one of Spotify’s most popular shows in 2020 and was eventually made available on other platforms.
While Higher Ground has not yet issued an official statement, Vanity Fair February’s report during the height of the Joe Rogan debacle may shed some light on his decision not to pursue another exclusive single-platform deal. Apparently Higher Ground was frustrated with Spotify at times and found it difficult to get additional shows off the ground under their partnership. Furthermore, the Obamas are more interested in producing shows for young new voices than their own, and that vision just doesn’t align with Spotify’s.
All products recommended by cafe-madrid have been selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.