A very interesting announcement was made yesterday – the Obamas are coming back on stage, and not as a politician but as the main piece on Neflix as part of a new production company “Higher Ground Productions”. Never mind this apparently focus by ex-politicians to be “high” (James Comey’s book – A Higher Loyalty, Condoleezza Rice’s book – No Higher Honor), this is an amazing return to mainstream by Barack and Michelle Obama.
Perhaps they understand modern society better than I gave them credit for, maybe they just really like TV, or they are taking a page out of Trump’s playbook. But Netflix has become very influential in American society. As of April this year, Netflix hit a global subscriber base of 125 million. Personal experience tells me that many users also share their account with a handful of others – so the reach is probably closer to somewhere around 250~300 million.
The latest and greatest on Netflix (and HBO Go) are a huge part of our conversations, our water cooler chats. And while Trump’s name has taken that mantle by being president, Obama might be able to take some of that spotlight by being on our televisions in a different way.
Also, the demographic of streamers must tend to be younger. This must be a tantalizing opportunity for the Obamas to still offer a place of dialogue for them in a controlled, lasting manner. Unlike Twitter posts, Netflix shows are viewed over a longer period of time and stay in the national conversation longer.
Apparently, being a TV star is something an ex-president can do.