Kanye West documentary sells to Netflix for $30M
Netflix has acquired the rights to a documentary series on Kanye West spanning over two decades with intimate home video and archive footage that has so far remained unseen.
The news was first reported by Billboard with the project garnering a rumoured amount of $30m. The price tag seems extremely steep for a documentary series, even for one based around Mr West factoring in a heightened premium.
A source close to the situation said that with an inflated cost of the archive sold to Netflix, and factoring in worldwide music rights clearances for West’s catalogue featured in the episodes, getting to $30m would still be a massive stretch for the low competition documentary market.
Realistically only Amazon or Netflix would be willing to pay that amount, and perhaps Apple, because of the music element syncing well with their brand. If it was truly sold for $30m it would certainly make it one of – if not the – highest selling documentary series of all time.
The docu-series will feature footage from his earlier career in music to his start and rise through the fashion industry, the death of his mother, Donda West, and the artist’s most recent presidential run. The content will also show West’s rise to billionaire status – with his worth currently totalling $1.8b – from being in a self-reported, $53m in debt in early 2016.
According to Billboard, the series is scheduled to arrive on the platform in 2021.
Well-known music producing duo Clarence Simmons and Chike Ozah, known as Coodie & Chike, is helming the project with TIME Studios. The pair produced the third version of the Jesus Walks music video as well as Through the Wire.
Outside of music work they have also made the 2019 documentary on former NBA star Stephen Marbury titled A Kid From Coney Island and a 2012 ESPN documentary called Benji around former high school basketball star Benjamin Wilson, ranked the best high school basketball player in the U.S. who was shot and killed near his school in 1984.
Kanye West was recently featured on Forbes’ 35th annual world’s billionaires list as number 1750.