The Obamas Have Struck a Content Development Deal with NetflixPhotos by Scott Olson/Getty, Mark Wilson/Getty TV News Netflix
If we can’t have the Obamas in the White House anymore, at least they’ll soon be moving into your (or your mom’s … or your cousin’s … or your roommate’s) Netflix account.
Just over two months after Michelle and Barack Obama were first reported to be negotiating a deal with Netflix, the streaming giant announced Monday that a partnership has been secured. The Obamas have agreed to a multi-year arrangement with Netflix, one that promises the potential for a roundup of different projects including scripted series, unscripted series, films, and both feature-length and limited documentaries – all with the Obamas at the producer’s helm, according to a Netflix press release. Specific details about any of these projects are not currently available.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” added Michelle Obama. “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”
Netflix is currently catering to 125 million subscriptions in 190 countries, so the Obamas are well-positioned to share their content creations across a diverse landscape of viewers. Barack Obama currently exists elsewhere within the platform’s programming: You can stream his essential episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which he and Jerry Seinfeld swap stories over Mr. Coffee brews, and he was also the very first guest to appear on Netflix’s new talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. In the future, however, we can expect to see Obama and Michelle take the reins on their own Netflix projects.
In 2018, the competition between streaming sites can feel often like a mini Space Race, and this Obama partnership may give Netflix a leg up. The three major streaming platforms—Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime—are constantly fighting for both consumer and critical attention, juggling a roster of original scripted series, documentaries, original movies and comedy specials, among other projects. They’re even vying for attention at the big awards shows, too, where Netflix’s 2017 flick Mudbound rounded up four Oscar nominations, including one for best supporting actress on the part of Mary J. Blige, while Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale has snagged both Golden Globes and Emmys. Already a top gun among streaming services, it will be interesting to see how high Netflix soars with the Obamas on its side.