An interesting collaboration
Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen announced on Monday that they will collaborate on a podcast, with the first two episodes accessible immediately.
According to Spotify, which is hosting the podcast, ‘Renegades: Born in the USA’ includes the politician and the singer talking over their histories, music, and their ‘enduring love of America’. They also discuss race, parenting, and the terrible differences that still exist in American culture in an open and honest way.
About the Podcast
Because Spotify made a major push into podcasting in 2019, spending $500 million on acquisitions, the deal with Barack Obama seemed another push-forward movement.
On Monday, Spotify published the first two episodes of ‘Renegades’, as well as a teaser trailer featuring Obama and Springsteen in front of microphones, surrounded by guitars and recording gear.
In a teaser for the podcast, Barack Obama said:
‘On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common. He’s a white guy, from a small town in Jersey. I’m a black guy of mixed race, born in Hawaii. He’s a rock’n’roll icon. I’m … not as cool.’
Upon meeting during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, the two established a friendship and have taped eight episodes of discussion.
A sneak peek from the trailer will be quoted down below:
‘In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys, looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning, truth and community with the larger story of America. And over the course of a few days, all just a few miles from where he grew up, we talked. What we discovered during these conversations was that we still share a fundamental belief in the American idea. Not as an act of nostalgia, but as a compass for the hard work that lies before us.’
In 2020, the company also signed Joe Rogan, one of the most prominent podcasters on the planet, to a $100 million multi-year contract, but the deal hasn’t gone well.
Several Spotify employees complained that some of Rogan’s content was transphobic, citing an episode in which Rogan interviewed the author of the book ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters’, and also an episode in which Rogan hosted Alex Jones, a rightwing conspiracy theorist who has been banned from all major tech platforms, causing even more resentment.
The future of podcasting holds bright perspectives
Podcasting has evolved from a low-stakes ‘playground’ populated by comedians and public-radio regulars to a thriving, competitive media industry attracting ever-bigger stars.
Renegades is expected to be the Obama family’s latest huge podcasting smash, due to the importance of its two hosts, following the success of Michelle Obama’s podcast in 2020.