If you’re one of the few people left in America without a Netflix subscription, this latest surprise might be enough to make you a subscribing member. Barack and Michelle Obama have recently entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series with Netflix. The pair will work using their production company named “Higher Ground Productions.”
The former US president sums up his thoughts and motivations behind partnering with Netflix best:
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
Available to Netflix’s massive audience of over 125 million members across 190 countries, the Obamas will potentially be producing a diverse mix of content. This includes the possibility of scripted or unscripted series, documentaries, features, and more.
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos commented on the joint venture by toting the substantial public image and degree of social impact the Obamas have had on America. Their experiences in the White House uniquely position them to uncover and highlight the stories of people striving to make a difference in their communities worldwide.
“We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”
Looking at the deal from a more critical perspective, it’s a win-win for everyone involved and strikes a major blow against the streaming service’s competitors. Barack and Michelle Obama are arguably two of the most liked public figures in recent history and have a favorable relationship with the media and today’s youth—the core demographic Netflix may be targeting. The draw of watching an original series produced and/or starring the Obamas is an allure Hulu or Amazon can’t match.
The former president has remained largely quiet since leaving the White House. Despite not being an active vocal figure in the political sphere, the Obamas have been breaching new territory in one other industry as well. In early 2017 Penguin Random House announced they would publish books from both of the Obamas—a deal purportedly made for more than fifty million dollars.
For the Obamas, their partnership with Netflix grants them an online international media platform that reaches millions of people. They can leverage streaming service to further their own political and charitable agendas. The 8-figures the Obamas are scoring must certainly be nice, too.
What might this mean for the tenuous relationship triangle between the media, political figures, and the consumer? We’ve certainly had politicians weave in and out of the media spotlight before such as Governor Arnold Shwarzenegger. Let us know what you think in the comments below!