- Amazon’s Audible has struck a first-look production deal with Higher Ground, the Obamas’ media company.
- The Obamas had entered an exclusive podcasting agreement with Spotify in 2019.
- Insider first reported this year that they were planning to look for other partners.
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The podcast company Audible, which is owned by Amazon, has landed a first-look, multiyear production deal with Higher Ground, the media company founded by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
The deal, announced Tuesday, means that the Obamas will no longer have an exclusive partnership with Spotify, which they previously negotiated in 2019. Insider’s Natalie Jarvey first reported in February that the Obamas were planning to shop their production agreement to other companies.
The Spotify deal was coming to an end just as the audio-
giant was embroiled in controversy over podcast host Joe Rogan, who has a deal with the company and had come under fire for interviewing a vaccine skeptic.
However, in a statement provided to Insider on Tuesday, a Spotify spokesperson said that the company declined to extend its deal with Higher Ground.
“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Higher Ground and while we declined to extend our deal we are excited about the series we made together and those still to come in the months ahead,” the spokesperson said.
Representatives for Higher Ground did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Obamas have found success in media. “American Factory,” which Higher Ground and
acquired from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, won the Oscar for best documentary feature.