Obamas and Spotify Won’t Sign New Podcast Deal, Report Says

Barrack and Michelle holding hands as Michelle waves.

The Obamas attend the Marine Barracks Evening Parade on June 27, 2014.

Saul Loeb/Staff/Getty Images

Spotify and the former first family’s production company, Higher Ground Productions, won’t pen a new podcast deal together, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.

The music streaming platform and the Obamas first signed a deal together in 2019. Since then, Higher Ground released a handful of podcast shows on Spotify, including The Michelle Obama Podcast and Renegades: Born in the USA. The deal between the two parties is set to expire this year, and they reportedly won’t be renewing their relationship.

Higher Ground is currently negotiating with other potential partners, including iHeartMedia and Amazon’s Audible, according to the Bloomberg report. Higher Ground is reportedly seeking a deal that will allow it to release multiple shows on several platforms simultaneously, which Bloomberg reports is a major reason why Spotify decided not to renew its deal with the Obamas.

Another limitation is that the Barrack and Michelle want to limit their appearances on these shows, only willing to appear in an eight-episode program, according to Bloomberg. 

Since its inception, the Obamas created Higher Ground to provide an “opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether,” said Michelle Obama back in 2019. The Obamas limiting their appearance may be a sign that they want to provide for a range of voices through their shows, rather than just their own.

Higher Ground Productions declined for comment at this time. Spotify didn’t immediately respond for comment.

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