Spotify lands exclusive podcast deal with the Obamas’ production company

Spotify has been working to build its roster of exclusive podcasts, and now the streaming service has secured a presidential deal. The company has entered an agreement with Higher Ground, the production firm formed by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Spotify will work with Higher Ground Audio, an expansion of the company that will spearhead the move into podcasting. Under the multi-year deal, the Obamas will help develop, produce, and participate in select podcasts for Spotify.

“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” President Obama said. “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,” said Michelle Obama. “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.”

“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,” Spotify Chief Content Officer, Dawn Ostroff said. “Connecting people with original and thoughtful creators — especially those with the ability to highlight underrepresented and indispensable narratives — is at the core of our mission and we are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort.”

Higher Ground is “dedicated to producing powerful stories to entertain, inform and inspire, and to lifting up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry.” The production company also has a multi-year deal with Netflix to create firm and television projects.

Anna Washenko