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Barack and Michelle Obama to produce podcasts exclusively for Spotify

Former U.S. President Barack Obama together with his wife, Michelle Obama will be producing podcasts available exclusively on Spotify.

The podcasts will be created by Higher Ground, a company the Obamas founded in 2018 to produce stories covering a range of topics that entertain, inform and inspire, and celebrate diversity. The company also creates simillar styles of content for Netflix.

The Obamas will also lend their voices to some of the podcasts produced by the company.

Spotify is looking at podcast as a means to curb the dwindling returns from streaming music because of royalty fees. Earlier this year, the Spotify acquired two podcasting companies — Anchor (a podcast publishing platform, akin to what YouTube is for video) and podcast content company Gimlet Media — to transform a music streaming service to “being the world’s leading audio platform,” according to Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek.

According to Ek, people who listen to podcasts through Spotify spend twice as much time on the service than other users. The company is looking to emulate a Netflix-style approach where there is a more focus on creating original content for the audio platform

Spotify, which recently surpassed 100 million Premium subscribers and has more than 217 million monthly active users, will distribute the podcasts to audiences across the globe, including Malaysia.

Amin Ashaari