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Michelle Obama creates exclusive podcast for Spotify

Former First Lady Michelle Obama will launch an exclusive podcast on Spotify discussing relationships that shape our lives.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama will launch an exclusive podcast on Spotify discussing relationships that shape our lives.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Former First Lady Michelle Obama will launch a podcast later this month on Spotify examining the relationships that shape our lives.

The program, called the “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” will be available on Spotify on July 29. The relationships examined include siblings, close friends, partners, parents, mentors and the connection to one’s self.

“My hope is that this series can be a place to explore meaningful topics together and sort through so many of the questions we’re all trying to answer in our own lives,” Obama said in a statement. “Perhaps most of all, I hope this podcast will help listeners open up new conversations — and hard conversations — with the people who matter the most to them. That’s how we can build more understanding and empathy for one another.”

The podcast is the first program to come out of a partnership between Spotify and Higher Ground, Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company.

The Obamas also have a multiyear deal, signed in 2018, to produce shows and films for Netflix.

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Guests on the new podcast include Conan O’Brien and journalist Michele Norris, as well as Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and brother, Craig Robinson.

Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, says she plans on making hundreds of original podcast series next year as part of a strategy to expand the streaming platform’s podcast offerings. The company aims to have 20% of the listening on its service be non-music.

The podcast is available for Spotify’s free and paid users. The streaming service, which has more than 286 million monthly users, has been expanding its reach into podcasts as way to gain new customers and increase the amount of time listeners spend on Spotify.

“At Spotify we seek to connect listeners with the world’s most authentic and compelling voices,” said Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer, in a statement. “We believe that audiences across the globe will be inspired by these most candid, most human and most personal conversations between First Lady Michelle Obama and her guests.”

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The Swedish streaming company has acquired several podcast companies, including the $230-million purchase of New York-based Gimlet Media last year. As more people looked for ways to entertain themselves at home, Spotify saw a record number of podcasts uploaded to its platform in March.


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