The Obamas are leaving Spotify for Audible
Barack and Michelle Obama are heading to Audible. On Tuesday, the Amazon-owned company announced an exclusive multiyear first-look production deal with the former first couple’s Higher Ground media company.
The deal comes after it was revealed Spotify had declined to extend its exclusive podcast partnership beyond the end of 2022 the Obamas. According to a Bloomberg report published in April, the family wanted an agreement that would see their content distributed widely across various platforms, and that’s what this deal with Audible will allow the Obamas to do. It will also let the couple take a more behind-the-scenes role in future productions, a request that Spotify reportedly met with pushback when it came to their recent negotiations.
“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,” former President Obama said. “I’m looking forward to partnering with them to tell stories that not only entertain but also inspire.”
Audible did not disclose the financial terms of its agreement with Higher Ground. The Obamas’ previous deal with Spotify was rumored to be worth around $25 million. That partnership produced Renegades: Born in the USA with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, as well as The Michelle Obama Podcast. The latter was among the most popular original podcasts Spotify released in 2020.
A prior version of this story stated that High Ground and Spotify had decided not to extend their partnership; Spotify has contended for several months that it had opted not to extend the agreement. We regret the error. “We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Higher Ground,” a Spotify spokesperson told Engadget “and while we declined to extend our deal we are excited about the series we made together and those still to come in the months ahead.”