Obama’s Out: Barack & Michelle Ditch Spotify For Podcast Freedom

CBx Vibe:Listen Up” Rich The Kid

By CultureBanx Team

  • Barack and Michelle Obama are ending their exclusive podcast deal with Spotify
  • The original deal Spotify deal was signed in 2019 and was rumored to be worth $25M

Spotify (SPOT +6.22%) is losing Barack and Michelle Obama after their exclusive partnership ends in October. They have disagreed with Spotify over how many of its Higher Ground media company shows would feature the former president and first lady. Now, our forever POTUS and FLOTUS are looking for a deal that would allow them to distribute shows to multiple platforms at once.

Why This Matters: The Obamas’ deal with Spotify was rumored to be worth $25 million. Higher Ground’s first podcast for that platform was “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” released in mid-2020, which at one point had ranked as the most-listened-to Spotify original to date. The company also produced “Renegades: Born in the USA,” a series of conversations between Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, released on Spotify last year.

Spotify has spent billions to establish itself as a top podcast destination and typically seeks exclusivity from famous personalities in a bid to promote its platform, which is likely why it declined to make an offer for a new contract, according to Bloomberg. The deal was originally inked back in 2019 and has caused the Obama’s lots of frustration with its exclusive terms.

What’s Next: Podcasts that Higher Ground has produced for Spotify will continue to launch on the streaming platform through the fall and it will retain rights to “The Michelle Obama Podcast” in perpetuity. The company is currently in talks with other audio distribution companies, including Amazon-owned Audible and iHeartMedia, in hopes of reaching a nonexclusive deal for its podcast content, that’s expected to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

CBx Vibe:Listen Up” Rich The Kid

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