Podcast Corner: Spotify makes its presence felt with Michelle Obama, Bressie, etc 

Often seen as a music entity, the streaming service has recently been expanding its podcast offering with some heavy hitters
Podcast Corner: Spotify makes its presence felt with Michelle Obama, Bressie, etc 
Michelle Obama's studio has a multi-year production deal with Spotify. 

Spotify has had quite the year so far, paying hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Bill Simmons and his Ringer podcast network along with the Joe Rogan Experience (which won't go exclusive with Spotify for another few months). It was busy last week too - let's take a look at some of the highlights.

Spotify podcast charts In podcasting, Apple's charts are seen as key and now Spotify has launched the rival 'Top Podcasts' and 'Trending Podcasts' charts. 

It says they "will not only share the fastest-climbing of-the-moment trends for podcasts with users, but will also list the overall most popular shows in your region based on recent listener numbers". 

Further breakdowns are available in certain markets, but not yet in Ireland. There's nothing groundbreaking in the charts - the 'Top Podcasts' are as you were: The 2 Johnnies, Blindboy, David McWilliams, and season two of the now Spotify exclusive Where is my Mind? from Niall 'Bressie' Breslin all predictably feature. 

The Trending chart was a little more interesting, topped by Tomas O Se's all-conquering GAA show Comhra Le Tomas and the Beauty of Truth by Robyn Byrne - both shows are less than five episodes old.

The Michelle Obama Podcast 

Did you know the Obamas had a studio, Higher Ground, with a multi-year podcast production deal with Spotify? 

The first release will be the former first lady's first podcast, released on July 29. They're not tearing up the podcast rulebook, though. 

A statement reads: " The former First Lady is starting a new conversation - and you're invited to join. Hear Michelle Obama's most candid and personal conversations as they happen, and discover what's possible when we let ourselves be vulnerable, open up, and focus on what matters most." 

Guests will include her mother Marian Robinson and older brother Craig Robinson, Conan O’Brien, and some political figures.

Spotify Exclusives 

Slowly but surely the podcast user experience is getting better on Spotify. 

There's better and easier to find categories now, including 'Originals & Exclusives' which features the brand new show, The Oral History of the Office. 

Hosted by Brian Baumgartner who played the bumbling Kevin on the US comedy but has a great podcast voice, you might wonder if we need another show about the Office considering we have the superb Office Ladies from fellow former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. 

But this oral history is great - it's full of titbits, doesn't dwell on the mundanities, and features all the big names, from Steve Carell to Ricky Gervais. 

A 12-episode series, the first three were released last Tuesday - only on Spotify.

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