The music and podcast streaming giant Spotify will launch a new podcast later this month hosted by former First Lady Michelle Obama, addressing “topics and issues” ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to what she calls America’s “nationwide reckoning with race.”
Deadline reports that The Michelle Obama Podcast, set for launch on July 29th, will “feature candid and personal conversations from the former First Lady.” The podcast will be produced by Obama’s own independent production company Higher Ground, and will seek to “show us what’s possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open up, and to focus on what matters most.”
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“What I love about these conversations is that they’re topics and issues that we’re all dealing with, no matter what’s going on whether that’s a global pandemic or a nationwide reckoning with race,” Obama said in a video announcing her new show. “My hope is that this podcast can be a place for us to sort through the question’s we’re all trying to answer.”
Some of the guests slated to appear on the show include Marian and Craig Robinson, Conan O’Brien, Valerie Jarrett, Michele Norris, and Dr. Sharon Malone. The show will be sponsored by the Salesforce and Procter & Gamble brands Dawn and Tide.
Higher Ground, which was founded in May 2018 when the couple agreed a multi-year deal with Netflix, has already produced films such as the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory and Becoming, a documentary following Michelle Obama during her 2019 book tour.
“At Spotify, we seek to connect listeners with the world’s most authentic and compelling voices,” added Spotify Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer, Dawn Ostroff. “We believe that audiences across the globe will be inspired by these most candid, most human, and most personal conversations between First Lady Michelle Obama and her guests.”
The move comes as the former first lady’s voter organization When We All Vote, and its celebrity backers, including Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda, pushes vote-by-mail as the presidential election inches closer.
Spotify, meanwhile, has sought to aggressively position itself in the rapidly growing podcasting market. In May, they signed a more than $100 million deal with Joe Rogan for rights his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. According to Rogan, the podcast receives around 200 million downloads a month, with previous guests including the likes of Elon Musk, Mike Tyson, and Sam Harris.