“It is a personal, in-depth discussion between two friends exploring their pasts, their beliefs, and the country that they love — as it was, as it is, and as it ought to be going forward,” Spotify said in a statement, adding that the unlikely duo “have formed a deep friendship since they first met on the campaign trail in 2008.” Obama awarded Springsteen the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Spotify signed an exclusive podcast deal in 2019 with the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground — just one of many lucrative moves the Swedish streaming service has made as it attempts to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon. Spotify has also made exclusive podcast deals with stars such as Kim Kardashian and Joe Rogan; creatives such as the Russo brothers, who have directed several Marvel films, including “Avengers: Endgame”; and brands like Warner Bros.
“Renegades” is the second partnership between Spotify and Higher Ground, following the highly successful debut of “The Michelle Obama Podcast” last year.
As Barack Obama notes in the first of two episodes released Monday, “On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common. But over the years, what we’ve found is that we’ve got a shared sensibility — about work, about family and about America. In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys trying to understand this country that’s given us both so much.”
The conversations will span eight episodes, all of which are available free.
The podcast announcement is some positive news for Springsteen, who has had a few controversies this month. He was featured in a much-maligned Super Bowl ad for Jeep that drew backlash for urging Americans to meet “in the middle” amid a global pandemic and extreme political divisions. Days after the ad aired, it was removed from Jeep’s social channels after it was reported that Springsteen had been arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated in November.