Last year, we saw the Obamas’ establish a new production studio by the name of Higher Ground. In addition, the former president and first lady, made a deal with Netflix to create original movies and television shows. The collaboration was reported to bring multiple genres of content, from docu-series to features.
"Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others," Michelle Obama said. "Netflix's unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership."
Nearly a year later, another deal has been signed with Spotify. Higher Ground Audio has been a new division created to focus on audio and podcast. Now Spotify isn’t widely known for their podcasts, however, they have been making progress to boosts their content. This year alone the streaming company has expected to spend nearly $400 million to $500 million on podcasting. They have even acquired two podcast companies – Gimlet Media and Anchor FM Inc – for $337 million. To top it off, Parcast, a L.A based podcast company, was gained in March.
The podcasts produced in this deal with be exclusive to Spotify and its users. So far, there haven’t been any sneak peeks of any upcoming content. Nonetheless, the deal states that the Obamas’ will “develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts, connecting them to listeners around the world on wide-ranging topics.”
Furthermore, economically Spotify is gaining a big opportunity. At the moment the streaming service deals with licensed songs, therefore, a chance to establish original content is huge. It is similar to how we’ve seen the expansion to Netflix Originals over the years.
Overall, the Obamas are excited about the benefits of the deal. They released their goals in the statement released by Spotify. Both Michelle and Barack praised the opportunity to uplifting voices who may have previously been silenced.
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” President Obama began. “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.”