Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings has cast a new light on the new relationship between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the streaming platform. Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Mr Hastings made it clear Netflix is hoping gambling on Meghan and Harry as TV producers will pay off.
He said: “I think it’ll be some of the most exciting, most viewed content next year.”
Meghan and Harry announced last week their deal with the streaming platform, which will see their yet-to-be-named production company produce documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming exclusively for Netflix.
Speaking about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s approach to their new career move, Mr Hastings added: “It’s gonna be epic entertainment — so excited about that deal.
“They’re smart — they were shopping it around across all of the major companies, and I think we really put together the best complete package, and we’re going to do a wide range of entertainment with them.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have a new production company
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have signed a deal with Netflix
The Netflix co-CEO also quashed hopes of those believing Meghan could return to acting.
Speaking about the Sussexes’ roles in this new venture with Netflix, he said: “The real focus for them is on being producers and on building a production capacity, so that’s the key thing.
“They’ve developed a great eye for story, and we’ll be working with them on that basis.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have relinquished the use of their HRH styles
Meghan and Harry, according to some commentators, could appear in front of cameras, but only in documentaries, much like Michelle and Barack Obama have been doing since 2018, when they also struck a deal with Netflix.
Most details regarding Meghan and Harry’s deal with the US streaming platform, which boasts more than 193 million subscribers, have remained secret, including its value.
Professor Johnathan Shalit, founder of InterTalent Rights Group, believes Meghan and Harry may have racked up between £30m to £75m, with more on the table in bonuses.
Meghan and Harry, the expert added, may be worth even more than the Obamas, as there aren’t many members of the Royal Family available to create quality content.
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey have worked on a series focused on mental health
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are to produce exclusive documentaries and shows for Netflix
He told Newsweek: “My guess is they’re probably on a par with the Obamas if not more.
“Certainly not less. The thing is about American presidents, there are quite a few of them around.
“As much as the Obamas are amazing, the world is divided about how successful he was.
“Where as with Harry and Meghan, never before has a grandson of the queen and son of the future king become available to the commercial market place.
“These people are entirely unique. There is only one of them in the world and there can be only one available.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have stepped down as senior royals
“They are royal. They are prince and princess.
“Even if they don’t use that title, that’s what they are.
“It’s a unique moment in broadcast history.”
While they have never been producers, Meghan and Harry are not new to the world of streaming platforms.
The Duke has already debuted on screen in a Netflix documentary focused on parathletes and the Paralympics called Rising Phoenix.
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings
Harry has also been working with US TV presenter Oprah Winfrey for a series focused on mental health, due to be broadcasted on Apple TV+.
Speaking about the series, the Duke said last year it will unveil examples of “human spirit fighting back from the darkest places.”
The Duke said to have been inspired by the reactions he saw after he opened up on his own mental health issues and how much of an impact his choice of speaking out has had on others.
Meghan has also collaborated with a streaming platform, lending her voice to Disney+ to narrate the documentary Elephant.