Higher Ground Productions, Barack and Michelle Obama’s media company have signed an exclusive multiyear deal to produce podcasts for Spotify. Obama’s media company was formed with the intention of producing powerful stories that entertain, inform and inspire, and to also lift up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry and this recent announcement will steer this mission in that direction.
Spotify has been getting serious on its focus on podcasts. The streaming service recently acquired Gimlet and Anchor. The media company was founded last year as the Obamas signed a content partnership with Netflix. In April, Higher Ground Productions announced their initial of upcoming projects that include somewhat vague scripted and unscripted features and series.
So far, we know of Overlooked, a scripted anthology series, Bloom, a drama from Callie Khouri, American Factory, a Sundance award-winning documentary the company nabbed rights to and two book adaptations – Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk and Dwight W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.
There are no launch dates or information about specific titles yet. Higher Ground Audio is also launching as part of this collaboration and will focus on podcasts too.
What they’re saying
- Michelle Obama: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world. Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds—and their hearts.”
- Spotify Chief Content Officer, Dawn Ostroff: “President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are two of the world’s most important voices and it is a privilege to be working with them to identify and share stories that will inspire our global audience, which looks to Spotify for unique, breakthrough content. Connecting people with original and thoughtful creators — especially those with the ability to highlight underrepresented and indispensable narratives — is at the core of our mission and we are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort.”