Audible heads for Higher Ground, inks deal with the Obamas

By Scoop
June 23, 2022 · less than 3 min read

The former POTUS and FLOTUS first signed with Spotify in 2019, but that contract ends in October.

Bye-bye, Spotify

In case you didn’t know, the Obamas have been playing the podcast game for a hot minute. Their media company, Higher Ground, has spent three years with Spotify, producing pods like The Michelle Obama Podcast, The Big Hit Show, and Renegades: Born in the USA, a series of compelling convos between Barack and the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.

In April, reports first popped up that Spotify wouldn’t be renewing its deal with the Obamas and Higher Ground once it expired in October. The company soon began its hunt for new partners. But why? What was the trouble in paradise for Spotify and this dynamic duo?

Sources say it was down to a few disagreements. Primarily, the Obamas wanted their podcasts to be available widely, but Spotify wanted them to stick to exclusivity windows. The two sides also struggled to agree on how many of Higher Ground’s shows would feature the former prez and his wife.

Cruisin’ down Audible Avenue

We don’t know the exact deets of this first-look deal, but an Audible spokesperson has confirmed that the plan is “to make the [Higher Ground] Audible Originals available to the widest possible audience.” Hopefully, it’ll be a more suitable partnership for both parties.

Of the deal, Michelle said, “We are so proud of the stories we have 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 keep striving to tell compelling, provocative, and soulful stories — while doing everything we can to make sure they reach the folks who need to hear them.”

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