Barack and Michelle Obama sign podcasts deal with Spotify
Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have announced a multi-year partnership with streaming service Spotify to produce a series of exclusive podcasts.
Under the partnership, the Obamas will "develop, produce and lend their voices" to select podcasts that will be distributed worldwide, Spotify and the Obamas production company, Higher Ground, said in a joint statement.
The announcement follows a multi-year agreement between Higher Ground and Netflix that was announced in 2018 in which the former president and former first lady will produce films, documentaries and other series.
Spotify, the world's largest music streaming service with more than 217 million monthly active users, will distribute the podcasts to audiences across the globe, the statement said.
Obama said in a statement he believes podcasts "offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”
The statement did not include details of any topics that the podcasts would cover, nor when they would start to be available to listeners.
Podcasts have become a booming business in the last five years. The number of Americans listening to podcasts surged 35% in the last three years as content has expanded, according to a 2018 study by consumer data company statista.com.