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Why The Obamas Walked Away From Over 12 Billion Naira

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According to reports, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s media and production company, Higher Ground is ending its exclusive podcast deal with Spotify and is entertaining discussions with other podcasting and media outlets about a non-exclusive deal reportedly worth tens of millions.

It is reported that the Obamas are unhappy with the exclusive nature of the deal, which was inked in 2019 for a reported $25,000,000 (Twenty-Five Million Dollars) and is expected to run until October 2022. Reports suggest that Higher Ground wants to have its podcasts accessible and distributed to a wider audience and Spotify declined to make an offer to renew the agreement on those terms.

Barack and Michelle Obama

Higher Ground has recorded some level of success with Spotify. Its first podcast for Spotify released in 2020, “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” starring the former first lady released in mid-2020, ranked as one of the most-listened-to Spotify shows in 2020. The company also produced for Spotify amongst other shows “Renegades: Born in the USA,” a series of conversations between Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, which was released in 2021.

It is expected that Spotify will retain certain distribution rights to “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and other Higher Ground shows in perpetuity. It is also expected that, whatever platform Higher Ground takes their next podcast deal, its productions would be distributed on Spotify on a nonexclusive basis.

The Obamas became a cultural staple on Spotify with the release of their respective summer and annual playlists, displaying a surprising and impressive sonic palette.

Barack Obama’s 2021 summer playlist featured artistes like the Migos, Drake, J Cole, and Grammy Global Performance Winner, Arooj Aftab.

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