It has been confirmed by sources familiar with the negotiations that Higher Ground, the podcast company founded by Barack and michelle obama, will not renew its agreement with Spotify. Spotify reportedly decided not to make a bid after several rounds of talks with Higher Ground, so the company is continuing talks with places like Amazon subsidiary Audible and iHeartMedia and hopes to strike a new deal within weeks. to come.
There were apparently several points of contention between Higher Ground and Spotify, including Spotify’s push to feature more content exclusively with the Obama family while Higher Ground wanted to do shows with a variety of creators, and Spotify challenging the desire to Higher Ground to produce mostly limited series instead of long-running shows. Barack and Michelle Obama have only agreed to participate in eight episodes each of a given podcast, which is well below the length of the most popular shows.
The main conflict that killed the deal, however, is believed to be the issue of exclusivity. Spotify has allowed some Higher Ground shows to air on different platforms, but usually after an exclusive period of several months on their platform. The Obamas will likely seek more freedom to air shows wherever they want with their next partner.
Higher Ground also has an arm producing six series and features for Netflix, with a recent release being Our major national parks told by Barack Obama. They even have fiction projects in development, including a YA series based on the bestselling novel. Daughter of the Fire Keeper by Chippewa author Angeline Boulley.
Some Spotify podcasts have recently been the subject of controversy, including The Joe Rogan Experience who drew attention for platforming several people spreading misinformation about Covid-19 treatment and vaccines. Spotify has entered into an exclusive agreement with Joe Rogan in 2020, it was worth $100 million to keep it on the platform.
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