And this Spotify podcast was brought to you by... the Obamas

Former United States president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are teaming up with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.
Former United States president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are teaming up with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Former United States president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle entered the booming podcast business on Thursday, announcing a multi-year partnership with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.

Under the partnership, the couple will "develop, produce and lend their voices" to select podcasts that will be distributed worldwide, Spotify and the Obamas' production company, Higher Ground, said in a joint statement.

The announcement follows a multi-year agreement between Higher Ground and Netflix that was announced last year, in which the couple will produce films, documentaries and other series.

Spotify, the world's largest music-streaming service with more than 217 million monthly active users, will distribute the podcasts to audiences across the globe.

Podcasts have become big business in the past five years, with subjects ranging from current affairs (The Daily) to politics (Pod Save America) to comedy (2 Dope Queens).

The number of Americans listening to podcasts surged 35 per cent in the past three years as content expanded, according to a study last year by consumer data company statista.com.

Mr Obama said in a statement he believes 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".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'And this Spotify podcast was brought to you by... the Obamas'. Print Edition | Subscribe