The marquee signing comes as Apple ramps up its original content portfolio and goes head to head with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in a war for consumers’ attention.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”
Apple did not specify whether Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, but she is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer. The company also declined to discuss financial aspects of the deal.
Apple said the deal will not affect Winfrey’s contract with OWN, the television network she launched in 2011. Winfrey recently extended her contract there through 2025.
Apple, Amazon and Netflix have been racing to lock-in producers, showrunners and performers, and paying unprecedented sums to do so. Backed with enormous financial capital, their entry into Hollywood has radically changed the entertainment business and forced traditional studios to pay more for top talent.
In the last year, Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with big names like Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant.
Winfrey adds a new level of star power to that mix. The talk show host is a cultural force with a legion of loyal followers. Her speech at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony launched a national fervor over the prospect of an Oprah 2020 presidential bid.
For more details: money.cnn.com