The Obamas are branching out into the entertainment business. The former first couple has signed a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce the content.
The Ideal Partnership
The ex-President and his wife will produce both TV shows and films for the streaming service. They are looking to produce a diverse mix of content, from scripted to unscripted series, as well as docu-series, documentaries, and feature films.
The projects will be available to Netflix's 125 million members in 190 countries around the world. The Obamas established their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, to create content for Netflix.
President Obama is excited to get started and to branch out into something entirely new and different with Michelle by his side.
"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. ... 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," he gushed over the partnership.
The Power Of Storytelling
Michelle was equally enthusiastic, emphasizing the power of storytelling for sharing stories.
"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," she said.
The feeling is clearly mutual as Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, pointed to the Obamas' unique position to source and share stories.
"Barack and Michelle Obama are ... uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better," he said.
The first content from the Obamas will hit the service next year, according to sources. Netflix did not specify a timeline as of yet.
The former President of the United States and first lady are also expected to appear in front of the camera from time to time, both as hosts and moderators.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both parties will likely benefit hugely from the partnership: Netflix in terms of content and the Obamas in terms of their post-office careers.
These types of agreements are pretty commonplace in Hollywood. Netflix has recently attracted a whole host of A-list talent, including Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, to its service. This is, however, a first for a former U.S. president.
The partnership between the Obamas and the streaming behemoth was first rumored in March. The New York Times reported that the former president could take part in shows moderating conversations on topics prevalent during his presidency. Michelle, on the other hand, could feature on topics close to her heart during the administration, such as nutrition.
Barack Obama expressed a desire in pursuing digital media ventures toward the end of his term. CNN reported at the time that the then-U.S. President is very interested in how people consume information, and how stories are told.