Barack and Michelle Obama Are Abandoning Spotify

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle O
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After signing an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify in 2019, the Obamas will reportedly be leaving the platform after their deal ends in October.

Engadget reports that Barack and Michelle Obama will be parting ways with Spotify after their partnership ends in October. The couple signed an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify in 2019 that is sent to come to an end later this year, and there are no plans for a new contract.

Daniel Ek, CEO of Swedish music streaming service Spotify, gestures as he makes a speech at a press conference in Tokyo on September 29, 2016. Spotify kicked off its services in Japan on September 29. / AFP / TORU YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Ek, CEO of Swedish music streaming service Spotify (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 28: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park on September 28, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Construction of the center was delayed by a long legal battle undertaken by residents who objected to the center being built in a city park. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, is reportedly seeking a partner that would allow the firm to produce several shows and release them across multiple platforms simultaneously. Spotify generally seeks exclusivity from its famous personalities in an effort to attract users to its platform, notably popular podcaster Joe Rogan removed his podcast from other platforms when he signed a deal with Spotify for $200 million in May 2020.

Higher Ground is reportedly negotiating with multiple other potential partners, including Amazon’s Audible and iHeartMedia for a deal worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas are reportedly aiming to appear in an eight-episode program as part of the new deal.

The couple’s deal with Spotify was rumored to be worth $25 million and resulted in the production of two podcasts including Renegades: Born in the USA with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, as well as The Michelle Obama Podcast.

Higher Ground has yet to issue an official statement but a report from Vanity Fair in February at the height of the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan on Spotify appears to provide some insight into the relationship between Spotify and the production studio. Higher Ground reportedly complained that Spotify often made it hard to get new shows off the ground and grew increasingly frustrated.

Read more at Engadget here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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