Having already conquered Netflix and the Hot R&B Billboard chart, Barack and Michelle Obama are taking their considerable amount of cultural cachet over to the podcast business. This comes from Billboard, which says the Obamas have signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Spotify through their Higher Ground production company to produce, develop, and appear on podcasts on the music-streaming platform. Specific details about their podcasts haven’t been announced, but statistically, at least some of them have to be about murder, bad movies, or the general ramblings of various white comedians.
What we do know is that Spotify has been expanding its stake in the podcast business lately, having purchased podcast companies Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast earlier this year. With the Obamas on board, it’s clear that Spotify is serious about creating its own version of Netflix for digital radio shows, which sounds awful for consumers since everyone creating their own version of Netflix has already ruined movie streaming, but whatever. Companies have to make money somehow, and fragmenting the podcast world is certainly one way to do it.
Anyway, the Obamas also shared some high-minded quotes about how they want to encourage “entertaining, thought-provoking conversation” with their podcasts and “help people connect emotionally and open up their minds—and their hearts.” Given those statements, maybe they won’t be doing podcasts about bad movies?