Spotify made headlines last year when it announced an exclusive podcast deal with Obamas’ production studio Higher Ground. Today, a surprised face about the company. The company says that it will release the first season Michelle Obama Podcast Two weeks after the show’s season 1 finale, on “a number” of other podcast listening platforms, starting September 30.
The company has not detailed which platform will have the show, but it is in talks with several, including Stitcher, Google, Apple and iHtt. A spokesperson for Spotify says that future seasons, if the show renews, will be “exclusively for the first time” on Spotify, but did not state whether the show will be windowed or fully exclusive to the service.
Obama’s show extenders can help Spotify find a larger audience while bringing the audience back to the stage. It has tested this strategy with other shows Dope labs, Hitman’s son, And Charge with DVF, Although it is unclear whether they are gaining listeners on the show Spotify. (Some of these advertisements within earlier exclusive shows promote Spotify, even on other platforms.) It’s also unclear whether the Higher Ground deal is always responsible for a wider release – a Spotify The spokesperson would not comment.
This news flips up to 180 degrees in the stance for the audio company. Although it is piloting the strategy with other shows, Obama is some of the biggest stars – and possibly the biggest investments – that Spotify has decided to make available outside of its platform. The company attracted attention about its podcast ambitions, such as with Kim Kardashian West, because of its lucrative acquisitions and the launch of big-name exclusive shows. In fact, Spotify’s press release about the Higher Ground deal stated that the partnership would “produce podcasts exclusively for the platform”, so it’s awkward for Spotify to make this first show widely available after all exclusive promotions .
At the same time, some special hosts have talked about unfair deals in recent months. Joe Budden, one of the original exclusive Spotify hosts, condemned the platform last month, stating that he planned to leave after the contract expired on the 23rd. An episode has not been published on their feed since 19 September. Host of The node, Originally a Jimlet media show, also said that in June they wanted to own their own podcast because Spotify, which acquired Jimelet, now owns the show’s IP.
It does not appear that Obama came out of similar issues with the show’s wide release Spotify, but still, it seems to be coming out of left field.
Updated 9/29, 5:41 PM ET: It has been updated to reflect that any future seasons of The Michelle Obama Podcast will debut exclusively on Spotify.