According to The New York Times, former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide him a global platform after his departure from the White House, as reported by people familiar with the discussions.

The couple would make exclusive content for the US streaming site focused on uplifting stories, the paper suggested.

If confirmed, the deal would give a global platform for the Obamas, bypassing mainstream US media such as Fox News.

Netflix told the BBC it had no comment to make about the reports.

The news was well received on Reddit's subsection dedicated to television programmes, with one user joking he now expected to see Mr Obama in the third season of Netflix's horror-fantasy series Stranger Things.

What is it about?

What exactly the show will be is under wraps, with little known about its format or number of episodes. Nor is there any reliable information about what the former leader of the free world might hope to earn from such a deal – although rumours have suggested a figure as high as $690m.

In one possible show idea, Obama could become a moderator for discussions on topics that were a constant during his presidency — health care, elections, immigration, foreign politics and climate change.

For Netflix, securing President Obama is a part of the company’s wider search for unique content, as the online service competes for audience with HBO Now, Hulu, Apple, Amazon Video and even Youtube TV. Netflix bosses have said they are willing to spend as much as $8 billion on content in 2018. Netflix has been paying top dollar for original programs such as the hit Stranger Things and the documentary Icarus, that won the Oscar this year for best documentary feature.


Obama's senior adviser, Eric Schultz, told the New York Times: "President and Mrs Obama have always believed in the power of story telling to inspire.

"Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better."

In the final days of the Obama administration, it was reported that Obama was interested in pursuing digital media ventures after he left office.

Jen Psaki, the White House communications director at the time, told CNN that "he is very interested in how people consume information and the changing trends," citing online and mobile news consumption.


The online streaming service celebrated its 20th birthday on Aug. 29, 2017.

In 2018. Netflix plans to spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content, which is a $1 billion to $2 billion increase from last year.

By the end of 2017, the company was up to more than 117 million subscribers and had its first full year of turning a profit in international markets.

The streaming giant has become one of the only content suppliers of its kind to release its originals on the same day in every market where it is currently available.

But not everything is great: One of the most common complaints from users is that Netflix is constantly changing its content. Meaning you could be halfway through a series and, suddenly, it disappears. And if you're a Disney fan, it may want to look elsewhere — the company announced in August that it will be removing its movies from the platform in the near future.

What has Obama been doing?

The last time Barack Obama was in the news was in January, when he took a swipe at social media during an interview for David Letterman's Netflix show.

He had some rough words for information sharing, despite admitting that much of his success in the 2008 election came from social media.

He spoke about social networks becoming like a "bubble" where people are only subjected to the views they believe in. Obama suggested that's part of what is making American politics so polarized.

His successor Donald Trump has famously sparked furious debate with his often inflammatory statements on Twitter.