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Spotify allies with the Obamas on yet more podcast good times

By | Published on Friday 7 June 2019

Spotify / Higher Ground

Podcast platform Spotify (which still has some music in there somewhere I’m told) has announced a new partnership with a company called Higher Ground that will see the latter provide the former with some exclusive content.

Higher Ground, in case you wondered, is a production company set up by some couple called Barry and Shelly Obama. Never heard of them. But they launched the company, initially via a partnership with Netflix, “to produce powerful stories to entertain, inform and inspire, and to lift up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry”. Which seems like a perfectly decent plan. And all the better now they’re moving into podcasting. Video-on-demand is so, well, erm, so 2019. But still boring.

“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation”, says Baz. “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”.

Chelle adds: “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”.

Confirming all this from Spotify’s side is Chief Content Office Dawn Ostroff, who states: “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”.

I think they mainly look to Spotify for some top tunes, but hey, it’s all about the podcasts now. And stop being so cynical. These Obama-casts have very admirable ambitions.

“Connecting people with original and thoughtful creators”, adds Ostroff. “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”.

Look at that, a double THRILLED. But, to be fair, it is very thrilling here on the presidential podcast bandwagon.