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Spotify Music still leads outside of the US, tallying 75 million subscribers as part of its first earnings report in May. Pixabay

Former US President and First Lady Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have teamed their production company Higher Ground with music streaming giant Spotify to produce and distribute exclusive podcasts in their own voices for Spotify users across the globe.

The multi-year agreement would be with Higher Ground Audio, an expansion of the Higher Ground production company, that would oversee the move into podcasts, Spotify wrote in a post on Thursday.


Under the Higher Ground partnership, the Obamas would develop, produce and lend their voices to select podcasts, connecting them to listeners around the world on wide-ranging topics.

“We are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort,” said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer, Spotify.

Launched in 2018, Obamas’ Higher Ground began with an initial partnership with Netflix, aiming to create compelling content to entertain and inspire the viewers.

“Podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together,” Barack Obama said in a statement.


Barack Obama, his elder daughter Malia, Michelle Obama and Sasha.

The announcement comes just months after the music streaming giant acquired podcast producer Gimlet and podcast tool-maker Anchor to keep generating original content.

Earlier in June, Spotify started testing the creation of curated playlists of podcast episodes revolving around specific genres in order to help creators find a bigger audience.

As part of the test, five playlists under comedy, true crime, geek culture, walking (motivational) and relaxing (mindfulness) would start showing up to around five per cent of the Spotify users in the UK, US, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Chile and Argentina.

Also Read- Tech Giant Google to Buy Data Analytics Firm Looker for $2.6 bn

Spotify has more than 217 million monthly active users and it recently surpassed the 100 million mark in terms of Premium subscribers.

The music streaming giant offers its services in several countries across Asia, Europe, US, Africa and Middle Eastern regions. (IANS)


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"Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."

Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s

R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.

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It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies.

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Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.