Barack and Michelle Obama Strike Deal With Amazon’s Audible

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been involved in multiple content-production deals since leaving the White House.



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kamil krzaczynski/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The media company of Barack and Michelle Obama struck an exclusive podcasting deal with

Amazon.com Inc.’s

AMZN 2.32%

Audible, a move that comes shortly after a similar agreement with

Spotify Technology SA

SPOT 2.15%

wasn’t extended.

As a result of the deal, Audible will have exclusive first-look rights to all podcasts created by Higher Ground, the production company that the Obamas created in 2018. Financial terms of the multiyear agreement weren’t disclosed, nor were details about programming or how many podcasts the deal might include.

The deal is significant for Audible, which began as an audiobook company but has expanded into podcasts and other areas of audio entertainment. Its celebrity podcasts include “My Body, My Podcast,” which focuses on sex education and was created by actress Elizabeth Banks; and a podcast from actress Cate Blanchett and entrepreneur Danny Kennedy called “Climate of Change” that examines the changing environment.

“At Higher Ground, we have always sought to lift up voices that deserve to be heard—and Audible is invested in realizing that vision alongside us,” Mr. Obama said.

Higher Ground’s previous deal with Spotify, which was struck in 2019, led to a series of podcasts including “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and “Renegades: Born in the USA,” a series of conversations between Mr. Obama and Bruce Springsteen.

The Obamas have been involved in multiple content-production deals since leaving the White House. Higher Ground in 2018 struck a multiyear deal to produce shows and documentaries for Netflix Inc., which resulted in “American Factory,” a documentary that in early 2020 won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at [email protected]

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