The production company run by Barack and Michelle Obama has agreed to an exclusive, first-look podcast deal with Amazon-owned Audible just months after they were dumped by Spotify.
Higher Ground, which was founded by the former president and first lady, will produce audio content for the Amazon-owned outfit that “will reflect the companies’ shared mission to tell meaningful and entertaining stories that elevate diverse voices and experiences,” according to a. statement from Audible.
The deal with Audible is likely to offer the Obamas a chance to reach a wider audience since the Amazon-owned firm offers original content on all major audio platforms, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Obamas were reported to be frustrated that the exclusivity deal with Spotify which they signed in 2019 was preventing them from reaching wider audiences on more platforms.
“At Higher Ground, we have always sought to lift up voices that deserve to be heard – and Audible is invested in realizing that vision alongside us. I’m looking forward to partnering with them to tell stories that not only entertain but also inspire, ”Barack Obama said in a statement issued by Audible.
Michelle Obama said: “We are so proud of the stories we have been able to tell at Higher Ground, and there’s no one we’d rather write our next chapter with than Audible.”
“Together, we will keep striving to tell compelling, provocative, and soulful stories – while doing everything we can to make sure they reach the folks who need to hear them.”
In April, Spotify ended its years-long relationship with Higher Ground after it was reported that the Stockholm-based streaming giant was unhappy that the former first couple made scant personal appearances on the platform.
Spotify declined to extend a contract offer to the Obamas because it also insisted on an exclusive licensing deal with Higher Ground, according to Acesparks News.
Streaming services want the Obamas to make more frequent appearances themselves in order to generate more buzz for their company’s content, but the former first couple was reportedly willing to commit to no more than an eight-episode program.
Even if the Obamas produce podcasts for another company, those shows will in all likelihood make their way to Spotify anyway.
Higher Ground was paid a reported 25 million after signing with Spotify in 2019.
The streaming service debuted exclusive content including “The Michelle Obama Podcast” as well as “Renegades: Born in the USA,” which the former president co-hosted with Bruce Springsteen.
But the partnership left both sides unsatisfied. Spotify wanted the couple to produce more content in which they would be the headline acts, while the Obamas preferred to remain in the background while spotlighting “new, young voices,” according to Vanity Fair.