Obama podcast: Working parents can't afford what they used to

'The Michelle Obama Podcast' debuted on Spotify

Michelle and Barack Obama discussed the differences between the financial struggles of contemporary and bygone families in the first episode of "The Michelle Obama Podcast," which debuted Wednesday.

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The first season of "The Michelle Obama Podcast" — which will discuss the importance of relationships between friends, families and others — already ranked at No. 32 on Spotify's top podcast charts Wednesday morning.

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In the first episode, the former president and first lady shared memories from their childhood upbringings in Chicago.

"A lot of the way families ran before recently was an economic necessity," Michelle Obama said during a conversation with her husband. "My parents were poor...living on the second floor of my great aunt's house because that was a way to save money so that my parents — my mother — could stay home."

She added that her mother and other mothers "who could afford to stay home" were able to work on the PTA at her public school and look after other children whose parents were working and couldn't stay home.

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"My dad's job paid for everything we did, and...that's not true today," she said.

"Couldn't happen," the former president agreed, adding that the reason working families can't pay for everything today is due to "the higher costs of health care, the higher costs of if you want to send your kid to college."

"You've got financial pressures on the family. You then have all these institutions that used to be support systems shrinking," he said. "So, more and more, people start thinking in terms of, 'me,' and 'I do things on my own, I pursue a career, I make money, and then, if I'm successful enough, I can be self-sufficient and my family can be self-sufficient.'"

He added that the challenging thing about the idea of self-sufficiency is that it "creates this huge separation between people, between economic levels" and "race."

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Spotify announced its exclusive podcast deal with the Obamas' production company, Higher Ground Productions, in June 2019, saying "The Michelle Obama Podcast" would be available to nearly 300 million free and paid subscribers in a blog post.

The average CPM (ad cost per 1,000 listeners) for a 30-second ad featured on a podcast is $18, according to ad management website AdvertiseCast; the average CPM for a 60-second ad is $25. These prices range in accordance with podcast subscriber numbers.

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U.S. podcast ad revenue is expected to grow 14.7 percent and reach $1 billion in 2020, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Podcast Advertising Revenue Report published July 13.

The country's most popular podcasts make millions in ad revenue. Total ad revenue estimates for some of Spotify's most popular podcasts, including "The Joe Rogan Experience," "The Ringer," "Pardon My Take" and "Barstool Sports," come in at more than $10 million each.

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The first season of "The Michelle Obama Podcast" is expected to release new episodes every week for nine weeks.

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