WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Barack and Michelle Obama sign deal with Amazon for Audible series after ditching Spotify 

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year deal with Amazon to create podcasts and shows for their storytelling platform Audible.

The former first couple recently cut ties with Spotify after they reportedly clashed with the streaming giant over exclusivity and how much they were expected to appear in episodes.

Audible has exclusive first-look rights to all podcasts created by Obama’s production company, Higher Ground. But, unlike Spotify, the content is syndicated across multiple podcasting platforms.

The Obamas signed their Spotify deal in 2019 for an undisclosed fee, but it will likely be close to $30 million, the amount scored by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that same year.

Audible has not disclosed how much their new partnership with the Obamas will cost. However, insiders revealed in April that Higher Ground had made some worthwhile offers: ‘tens of millions of dollars’.

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year deal with Amazon to create podcasts and shows for their storytelling platform Audible.  The couple is pictured together in January

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year deal with Amazon to create podcasts and shows for their storytelling platform Audible. The couple is pictured together in January

Audible has exclusive first-look rights to all podcasts created by Obama's production company, Higher Ground

Audible has exclusive first-look rights to all podcasts created by Obama’s production company, Higher Ground

Higher Ground and Audible reached a multi-year and multi-project deal on Tuesday, the companies confirmed.

The companies did not provide details on which projects would come up, but said the shows Higher Ground is creating for Audible “will reflect the companies’ shared mission to tell meaningful and entertaining stories that lift different voices and experiences.”

Audible’s original content is typically only made available to subscribers, but Obama’s deal allows their content to be distributed on a wide variety of platforms.

It’s unclear whether Spotify, which previously had exclusive rights to Higher Ground content, will syndicate the Obamas’ Audible content.

The Obamas recently cut ties with Spotify after they reportedly clashed with the streaming giant over exclusivity and how much they were expected to appear in episodes

The Obamas recently cut ties with Spotify after they reportedly clashed with the streaming giant over exclusivity and how much they were expected to appear in episodes

Both the Obamas and Audible have welcomed the deal and say they look forward to using the storytelling platform to inspire others.

“At Higher Ground, we’ve always strived to raise voices that deserve to be heard — and Audible is committed to making that vision a reality with us,” Barack said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them to tell stories that not only entertain, but also inspire.”

Michelle echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying, “We’re so proud of the stories we’ve 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 continue to strive to tell compelling, provocative and soulful stories – while doing everything we can to ensure they reach the people they need to hear.”

Audible executives noted that they are “thrilled” to welcome the Obamas to the platform and look forward to helping the couple “provide hope and uplifting guidance” to their audiences.

“We have long recognized President and Mrs. Obama’s historic ability to captivate,” said Audible founder and executive chairman Don Katz.

“We are excited to welcome two of the most profound voices of moral and intellectual leadership of our time to the Audible fold, and to be able to elevate President and Mrs. Obama’s unique ability to offer hope and uplifting guidance — now more needed than ever – by their votes.’

“We’ve been inspired by the Obamas for so long. Their passion, curatorial style and ingenuity is reflected in the content they have created across all media, as well as the talented team they have gathered at Higher Ground. We are beyond excited to collaborate on original audio content that highlights their deeply unique content and vision,” added Zola Mashariki, head of Audible Studios.

The Obamas developed and conceived five shows during their three-year deal with Spotify, including The Michelle Obama Podcast, the platform's most-listened Spotify Original to date.

The Obamas developed and conceived five shows during their three-year deal with Spotify, including The Michelle Obama Podcast, the platform’s most-listened Spotify Original to date.

Higher Ground also developed Renegades: Born in the USA, featuring conversations between Barack and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen

Higher Ground also developed Renegades: Born in the USA, featuring conversations between Barack and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen

The Obamas deal with Spotify runs until October 2022. The streaming service says it has chosen not to extend the deal with the couple.

However, Bloomberg Sources revealed in April had repeatedly clashed with Spotify over two issues: giving the massive exclusive rights to their content produced by Higher Ground, and how much they had to appear in the episodes.

Spotify pays podcast hosts like Joe Rogan and Alexandra Cooper of Call Her Daddy exorbitant salaries in exchange for exclusive rights to broadcast their content.

Rogan’s deal would be more than $200 million. Cooper, meanwhile, has a three-year deal worth $60 million, according to Variety.

Sources familiar with Obama’s Spotify deal said the couple felt that exclusivity was limiting their audience. Instead, they wanted to be able to sell the content to multiple bidders. Spotify would eventually get access to it.

Spotify also wanted the pair to appear primarily in all episodes, while wanting to use the platform to raise other lesser-known voices.

Podcasts produced by Higher Ground for Spotify will launch on the platform until the fall.

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Higher Ground and while we declined to renew our deal, we are excited about the series we’ve created together and the series to come in the coming months,” a Spotify spokesperson said. Variety

Sources familiar with Obama's Spotify deal said the couple felt that exclusivity was limiting their audience.  Instead, they wanted to be able to sell the content to multiple bidders.  Spotify would eventually get access to it.  The couple is pictured in an undated photo with their daughters who are now adults

Sources familiar with Obama’s Spotify deal said the couple felt that exclusivity was limiting their audience. Instead, they wanted to be able to sell the content to multiple bidders. Spotify would eventually get access to it. The couple is pictured in an undated photo with their daughters who are now adults

Higher Ground also has an exclusive movie and TV production deal with Netflix.  The company produced the docuseries Our Great National Parks, which showcases the largest national parks and wild areas in the world

Higher Ground also has an exclusive movie and TV production deal with Netflix. The company produced the docuseries Our Great National Parks, which showcases the largest national parks and wild areas in the world

The Obamas developed and conceived five shows during their three-year deal with Spotify, including The Michelle Obama Podcast, the platform’s most-listened Spotify Original to date.

The production company also developed Renegades: Born in the USA, featuring conversations between Barack and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen.

These shows will remain on the Spotify platform, but are reportedly available on all other podcast platforms as well, including Audible.

Higher Ground also has an exclusive movie and TV production deal with Netflix. The company’s first film release, American Factory, won an Oscar in 2019.

The production company has also released Becoming, a documentary that follows the life of Michelle, and Fatherhood starring Kevin Hart.

It also produced the docuseries Our Great National Parks, which showcases the planet’s largest national parks and wild areas.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More