Entertainment

Spotify strikes deal with Barack and Michelle Obama for podcast series

Former U.S president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on Thursday announced a multi-year partnership with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.

Multi-year deal will see Obamas 'develop, produce and lend their voices' to select podcasts

Former U.S. president Barack Obama, right, and his wife Michelle Obama appear at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago last year. The couple's production company is teaming up with Spotify to produce exclusive podcasts for the platform. (Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

Former U.S. president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on Thursday announced a multi-year partnership with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.

Under the partnership, the Obamas will "develop, produce and lend their voices" to podcasts that will be distributed worldwide, Spotify and the Obamas production company, Higher Ground, said in a joint statement.

The announcement follows a multi-year agreement between Higher Ground and Netflix that was announced in 2018 in which the former president and his wife will produce films, documentaries and other series.

Spotify, the world's largest music streaming service with more than 217 million monthly active users, will distribute the podcasts to audiences across the globe, the statement said.

Barack Obama said in a statement he believes podcasts "offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together." 

The statement did not include details of any topics that the podcasts would cover, nor when they would start to be available to listeners.

Podcasts have become a booming business in the last five years. The number of Americans listening to podcasts surged 35 per cent in the last three years as content has expanded, according to a 2018 study by consumer data company statista.com.

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