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Why Spotify Ditched Its Deal With Barack And Michelle Obama

The Obamas are looking for a new home for their podcasts after Spotify allegedly declined to offer the former first couple a new deal because they didn’t make enough in-person appearances on the streaming service.

Barack and Michelle Obama are reportedly in talks with several companies, including Amazon’s Audible and iHeartMedia, for a deal that will likely be worth tens of millions of dollars. according to Bloomberg News.

The ex-president and former first lady, who co-own production company Higher Ground, will reportedly decide on their podcasting platform of choice sometime in the next few weeks.

Higher Ground is said to be looking for an agreement that would allow it to release shows on multiple platforms simultaneously.

One of the sticking points in the negotiations with Spotify was the Swedish company’s insistence on an exclusive license agreement.

Spotify declined to make an offer to the Obamas' production company, Higher Ground, according to Bloomberg.
Spotify declined to make an offer to the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, according to Bloomberg.
AFP via Getty Images

Even if the Obamas produce podcasts for another company, chances are those shows will find their way to Spotify anyway.

Streaming services want the Obamas to make more appearances themselves to generate more buzz about their company’s content, but the former first couple are reportedly willing to commit to no more than an eight-episode program.

Higher Ground reportedly received $25 million after signing with Spotify in 2019.

Spotify was reportedly unhappy that the Obamas were no longer appearing on podcasts in person.  The former president is seen with Bruce Springsteen during an episode of her podcast.
Spotify was reportedly unhappy that the Obamas were no longer appearing on podcasts in person. The former president is seen with Bruce Springsteen during an episode of her podcast.
AP

The streaming service debuted exclusive content, including The Michelle Obama Podcast and Renegades: Born in the USA, which the former President co-hosted with Bruce Springsteen.

But the partnership left both sides unsatisfied. Spotify wanted the pair to produce more content where they would make the headlines, while the Obamas preferred to stay in the background and spotlight “new, young voices.” According to Vanity Fair.

It was also reported that the Obamas were frustrated that the exclusive deal with Spotify was preventing them from reaching a wider audience on more platforms.

Spotify has invested around $1 billion to sign well-known podcast stars such as Joe Rogan, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Kim Kardashian.
Spotify has invested around $1 billion to sign well-known podcast stars such as Joe Rogan, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Kim Kardashian.
dpa/Picture Alliance via Getty I

Spotify has invested around $1 billion in A-list names including Joe Rogan, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Kim Kardashian.

While Rogan has garnered tremendous viewership, his show has sparked a backlash over interviews with people who have expressed skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines and measures to contain the pandemic.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/21/why-spotify-dropped-its-deal-with-barack-and-michelle-obama/ Why Spotify Ditched Its Deal With Barack And Michelle Obama

DUSTIN JONES

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