Spotify to launch Michelle Obama podcast, adding to library of high-profile, exclusive creators

Former first lady Michelle Obama kicks off her “Becoming” book tour with a signing at the Seminary Co-op bookstore on November 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. I

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Former first lady Michelle Obama is the latest high-profile name to host an exclusive Spotify podcast, the company announced Thursday. 

The Michelle Obama Podcast, which launches July 29, is the first product borne out of last year’s Spotify deal with the former first family’s production company, Higher Ground. 

The inaugural series will touch on the topic of vulnerability, and include Valerie Jarett, Conan O’Brien and Michele Norris among its first guests. 

Spotify has spent the past year strengthening its podcast library through several acquisitions and deals, including the acquisition of Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast. Comedian Joe Rogan announced in May that his podcast is moving exclusively to the streaming platform. Spotify last month partnered with DC and Warner Bros., and reportedly landed a deal with Kim Kardashian West to host an exclusive podcast.

In the company’s first quarter earnings call in late April, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said podcast consumption grew by triple digits in the quarter compared to the year prior, and said it was also the company’s biggest quarter ever for organic podcast creation.

“Both new and reactivated [monthly active users] grew substantially even during lockdown periods in major markets,” he said. “And we believe this is a testament to how engaging our platform and ecosystem are to our users. And last year, as you all know, we outlined a vision to be the world’s largest audio platform, and we’ve made significant progress. We now have more than 1 million podcasts on the platform, and we’re the No. 1 audio service for podcasts in dozens of countries around the world and quickly gaining ground where we’re not.”

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