President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are going into business with Audible, the Amazon-owned audio storytelling platform. Audible set an exclusive, multiyear and global first-look production deal with Higher Ground, the Obamas’ media company, covering multiple audio projects. The slate of Higher Ground’s shows for Audible “will reflect the companies’ shared mission to tell meaningful and entertaining stories that elevate diverse voices and experiences,” according to the announcement. The companies didn’t provide details on what forthcoming audio projects may be in the works. The Higher Ground originals produced under the deal won’t be exclusively available on Audible. Rather, the companies plan to make the show available across a wide range of podcast platforms.
The deal comes after the Obamas’ exclusive podcast pact with Spotify, originally inked in 2019, came to an end. Spotify says it declined to renew the deal; according to sources, the Obamas wanted their podcast programming to be distributed as widely as possible and not exclusive to Spotify. Higher Ground also disagreed with Spotify over the number of its shows that would feature the former president and first lady.