Back in 2020, Spotify announced a new partnership with Barack and Michelle Obama to bring new, exclusive podcasts to the platform. However, two years later, the Obamas are now reportedly seeking deals with other podcast platforms as they’re leaving Spotify.
According to Bloomberg sources, Higher Ground Productions – which is the Obamas’ podcast company – will not renew its deal with Spotify in 2022. Instead, the company is already talking with other podcast distributors seeking a deal worth “tens of millions of dollars.” The report describes the deal as one of the “most-lucrative in the podcasting business.”
Higher Ground has been negotiating with several potential partners, including Audible from Amazon and iHeartMedia. Although there’s no mention of it in the report, Apple could also strike a deal with the Obamas to bring their podcasts to the Apple Podcasts platform.
However, the report also points out that there are some disagreements between the Obama’s company and the podcast platforms when it comes to the content to be produced.
The Obamas are each willing to appear in an eight-episode program, which for some bidders isn’t enough of a commitment to justify a deal comparable to those for shows like “SmartLess,” “Call Her Daddy” and “My Favorite Murder.” Those shows appear weekly, or with a frequency to close to that, while Higher Ground’s programs featuring the Obamas have been limited series.
Apple has been slowly investing in exclusive podcasts to compete with Spotify and other platforms. The company has also introduced a new podcast subscription program so that creators can charge for their shows. A partnership with the Obamas would certainly be a huge opportunity to attract even more users to Apple Podcasts.
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