President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, have announced a partnership with Spotify to produce podcasts exclusive to the platform. The former President and First Lady will develop and produce shows on a wide array of topics, as well as lend their own voices to select podcasts. The multi-year agreement will be with Higher Ground Audio, an expansion of the Higher Ground production company that will oversee the move into podcasts. After leaving the White House the Obamas formed Higher Ground to produce stories that would not only entertain but also inform and inspire as well as support diverse voices in the entertainment industry.
“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,” President Obama said in a statement.
Higher Ground was launched last year by the Obamas and its initial partnership was with Netflix. But the company says by expanding to audio it will allow it to expand its reach to a larger and more diverse audience. Spotify has more than 217 million monthly active users around the globe, of with more than 100 million subscribe to receive ad-free content.
Michelle Obama said she has high hopes for the project. “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,” she 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.”
Financial terms of the alliance between Spotify and Higher Ground weren’t released.
“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. “We are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort.”