Per a statement, the Obamas will help develop, produce and lend their voices to select podcasts. The shows will reportedly cover “wide-ranging topics,” though no specific issues or stories were mentioned. It’s also unclear when the first podcast will premiere.
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” President Obama 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.”
Michelle Obama added, “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.”
Along with the new Spotify partnership, last year the Obamas and Higher Ground inked a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce a variety of scripted and unscripted shows. In April, Higher Ground announced their first slate of programming, which includes two feature-length documentaries, American Factory and Crip Camp; the post-WWII drama Bloom; a feature film adaptation of David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Frederick Douglas: Prophet of Freedom; and a travel and food show for preschoolers dubbed Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents.