Spotify has declined to renew its contract with Barack and Michelle Obama, and the reason is simple: The former first couple doesn’t put in enough personal appearances on the streaming service to justify the $25 million Spotify reportedly paid to sign the duo in 2019.
For the big bucks, the Obamas will each only commit to appearing in a limited-run, eight-episode program that they wish to release simultaneously on several platforms — a deal-breaker for Spotify, which values exclusivity.
According to Bloomberg News, the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, is now in talks with Amazon.com Inc.’s Audible and iHeartMedia Inc. and hopes to select a new home for the couple in the next few weeks. Any new Obama deal will be worth tens of millions of dollars, making it “among the most lucrative in the podcasting business,” Bloomberg states.
Spotify did debut such exclusive Obama content as “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and Barack Obama’s “Renegades: Born in the USA” program, which was co-hosted by Bruce Springsteen, but the honeymoon was soon over. Spotify wanted more on-air time from both of the Obamas, while the couple preferred to stay in the shadows and lift “young, new voices,” according to Vanity Fair.
While the Obamas’ Spotify efforts may have produced “a few compelling shows,” Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo states “the buzz around these efforts has paled in comparison to the couples’ best-selling memoirs, or even the award-winning features they’ve produced for a separate content deal they have with Netflix.”
But one must wonder how sustainable the Obamas’ Netflix ventures will be, given recent revelations from the service that it lost a whopping 200,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022, prompting a more than 20-percent drop in share price in after-hours trading. It’s the first such loss for Netflix in more than a decade.
Worse, reports BizPac Review, Netflix has reportedly admitted they are projecting a loss of two million subscribers in the second quarter.
As Elon Musk pointed out on Twitter, the service’s “woke” messaging is enough to drive folks to find something else to do while they “chill.”
“The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” the quirky billionaire stated.
For another user, it’s not just Netflix that is to blame.
“Movies in general, videogames, tv, it’s all infested with current year trend woke garbage for fear offending a green haired freak next to the ban button,” the user replied.
“True,” responded Musk. “Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi / fantasy?”
Not just Netflix. Movies in general, videogames, tv, it's all infested with current year trend woke garbage for fear offending a green haired freak next to the ban button.
Nothing original anymore at all, except for media coming out of places like Japan or Korea,ironically
— Niche Gamer (@nichegamer) April 20, 2022
Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
News of the Obamas’ departure from Spotify was perfectly understandable to many conservatives on Twitter, who view the duo as among the wokest of the woke.
“Are some companies realising that ‘go woke / go broke ‘ might have indeed some truth in it?” asked one user.
Another called the announcement the “Best news today!”
And yet another wondered, “Are they afraid they may do to Spotify what they have done to Netflix? Maybe so! Netflix down for the count!”
Are some companies realising that “go woke / go broke” might have indeed some truth in it?
— Laurence Bettle (@LaurenceBettle) April 21, 2022
Best news today!
— Janna Cannon (@cantosj023) April 21, 2022
Are they afraid they may do to Spotify what they have done to Netflix? Maybe so! Netflix down for the count!
— American SuzieQ (@LiveinaRepublic) April 21, 2022
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