*By Britt Terrell and Max Godnick* Netflix's international distribution can help Barack and Michelle Obama reach a wide audience for whatever programming they decide to create, according to TV critics and media analysts. "They are a power couple and this is a power move," Natasha Alford, the deputy editor for TheGrio, said in an interview with Cheddar. Netflix and the Obamas announced a multi-year deal Monday for the former first couple to produce scripted and unscripted shows, series, features and documentaries for the streaming service by way of the Obamas' Higher Ground Productions. Neither Netflix nor the Obamas have shared the specifics of exactly what kinds of content they will make under their new production company, Higher Ground Productions. [The New York Times] (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/us/politics/barack-obama-netflix-show.html) reported that the former president does not plan to make content that directly attacks President Donald Trump or conservative media outlets like Fox News. "Whatever format they want to tell these stories whether it's focused on education or gun control or the health of our young people ー these are issues that are important to them," said Kristen Baldwin, the TV critic for Entertainment Weekly, who said the Netflix deal could help the Obamas amplify the work of their foundation. Alford of the TheGrio agrees: "I think we're going to see material that's more along the lines of what is on the Obama Foundation [YouTube channel] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiaba-DmYJacphj7r7Knrwg)," she said on Cheddar. The deal gives the Obamas direct access to Netflix's 125 million worldwide subscribers. "The Obama's want a global audience, Netflix has it," Baldwin said Tuesday in an interview with Cheddar. "And they are also giving them the freedom to create any type of program that they find interesting." With that freedom, however, comes the responsibility to provide content that would otherwise not be available if commercial and corporate interests had the final say, said Alexander Heffner, the host of "The Open Mind" on PBS. He said the Obamas should also use Netflix's reach to serve people who that might not have access to high-speed internet and reach communities that would benefit from high-quality programming. "It should be integrated in classrooms," Heffner said on Cheddar. "As long as the Obamas' contract says that they can do that and not charge whatever public school district from Tucson to Des Moines." Alford said the move makes sense given Barack Obama's early adoption of technology and social media during his presidential campaign in 2008. "He was one of the first to really understand grassroots digital activism and getting people behind him," she said. "Of course he would be getting ahead of the curve and thinking about Netflix." For the full interview, [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/obamas-sign-multi-year-netflix-deal).

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