Audiobook and podcast service Audible has announced that it is launching a new podcast with Michelle Obama as part of its first original project with the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground.
The eight-episode weekly series titled Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast will premiere 7 March, with each episode available exclusively on Audible first before being shared on third-party platforms.
Each episode will feature former First Lady Obama in conversation with close friends such as Ellen DeGeneres, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and more talking about their life experiences and the challenges they face. The conversations are taken from the book tour she did for The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times in 2022.
“The best part [of the tour] is that this time around I got to bring some of my best friends and favourite personalities to join in the fun,” said Obama. “That’s what Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast is all about – it’s a deeper examination of those fun and meaningful moments, lovingly made by our incredible team at Higher Ground and the fantastic people at Audible.”
“With Audible, a company with a rich history of producing compelling audio storytelling, we have found a true collaborator,” said Higher Ground head of audio Dan Fierman. “Using audio from her deeply inspiring The Light We Carry tour as a foundation for this original series, we look forward to sharing these incredible stories and profound conversations with listeners throughout the world.”
Higher Ground signed a multi-year production and exclusivity deal with Audible in 2022 after its previous exclusivity deal with Spotify ended earlier that year. The Obamas decided not to renew the deal with Spotify because they did not want to be tied down to one platform. They now join Audible’s wide portfolio of big names in the industry including George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow and Queen Latifah.
“We’re honoured to offer those avid listeners and new audiences Audible Original content that matches the elevated and thoughtful discourse the Obamas are known for,” said Audible’s head of studios, Zola Mashariki. “Diving deeper into nuanced and earnest conversations in a way that only audio storytelling can accomplish.”
In addition to signing a new deal with audible, Higher Ground announced that it also hired three new executives to join the audio team in December 2022 including Corinne Gilliard as senior VP of documentaries, Nick White as senior vice-president of original audio, and Andrew Eapen as director of audio production.