The former First Lady is coming to your headphones.
This morning, Higher Ground, the production studio of Barack and Michelle Obama, announced that it will soon be launching The Michelle Obama Podcast, the much-anticipated first project from the studio’s multiyear podcast-production deal with Spotify. According to the press release, the show, debuting July 29, promises to serve up candid conversations between Obama and a range of special guests on “what’s possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open up, and to focus on what matters most.”
The initial guest lineup includes Conan O’Brien, Valerie Jarrett, Michele Norris — along with the former First Lady’s mother, Marian Robinson, and her brother, Craig Robinson, who both also made effervescent appearances on Obama’s recent Netflix documentary special.
“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,” said Obama 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 most to them. That’s how we can build more understanding and empathy for one another.”
As one would expect, the show will be exclusive to the Spotify platform.
It’s probably reasonable to predict that The Michelle Obama Podcast will end up being an absolutely massive show that will draw in tons of first-time podcast listeners, given the incredible popularity of Obama’s 2018 memoir, Becoming; her current standing as the “most admired woman in the world” for two years in a row; and the general need for comfort among a wide swathe of the American population In These Times.
This is the latest splashy bit of news from the Swedish streaming audio platform as it continues to deepen its strategy of signing buzzy exclusive content deals in its bid to establish itself as a force in the podcast world. This particular announcement comes in the midst of what feels like an endless press push by the company, such that it almost feels like there’s a new deal or project announcement every week. (DC Comics! Archie! Joe Rogan!)
The Higher Ground partnership, though, is undoubtedly Spotify’s crown jewel, and while there will certainly be more Obama-affiliated podcast releases through the end of the year, this first project is perhaps the biggest deal, because it’s the one that features an actual Obama.