The Obamas will be creating and hosting podcasts on Spotify as their production company, Higher Ground, has just signed a multiyear deal with the audio streaming giant.
Barack and Michelle Obama are already working on seven film and TV projects with Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The former president said in a statement that their podcast division, named Higher Ground Audio, will try to “build connections” through “thought-provoking conversations.”
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” he said. “It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas.
“We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because 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 former First Lady said their focus will be to amplify “voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether.”
“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,” she added.
Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff said having the Obamas on board will be a privilege for the platform which currently enjoys more than 217 million monthly users.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Higher Ground is also working with Netflix to build a range of content, including scripted and non-scripted series as well as documentary films.
Barack and Michelle have formed an impressive team of “diverse creators,” Variety reported earlier this year.
Tonia Davis, former head of development at Chernin Entertainment, and Priya Swaminathan, a former director of development at Annapurna, will both serve as co-heads of the company, while Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen is appointed as a creative executive for Higher Ground.
Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix, said Higher Ground will seek to express the Obamas’ “core values” as well as their commitment to highlighting “unique voices.”
“President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and the Higher Ground team are building a company focused on storytelling that exemplifies their core values,” Ted said.
“The breadth of their initial slate across series, film, documentary, and family programming shows their commitment to diverse creators and unique voices that will resonate with our members around the world.”
“Michelle Obama Reveals- When the 8 Years Tenure of ‘Trying to do Everything Perfectly’ as the First Lady Came to an End at Trump’s Inauguration, She Cried for 30 Minutes”