Apple is investing heavily in original programming, and the latest name to join to an already packed roster of well-known talent is its biggest yet.
The Cupertino-based company and Oprah Winfrey have reached a multi-year agreement that will see the media mogul create original programming for a yet-to-be-announced video streaming service. It gives Apple access to one of the most powerful people in the entertainment business.
The Oprah Winfrey Show launched in 1986 and ran for nearly three decades, becoming the most-watched talk show ever. Before that, Winfrey worked as a news anchor for several local stations. Between the talk show and her philanthropic efforts, she’s one of the most recognizable people in the world.
Since ending her eponymous talk show in 2011, Winfrey’s been incredibly busy. Discovery Communications jumped at the opportunity to partner with her to create OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
The cable channel got off to a slow start, but then it transitioned into a solid ratings-getting with shows like Greenleaf and The Haves and The Have Nots. Winfrey herself also appears on Oprah’s Master Class to keep longtime fans happy.
Harpo Productions, Winfrey’s production company, will develop projects for Apple. Both sides have not said what exactly will be put in the pipeline first.
The deal comes as many media companies are going after talent with global reaches. Just recently, Netflix signed a deal with the Obama family. The video streaming juggernaut also has massive deals with Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Hulu, meanwhile, is focusing on names that aren’t so ‘household’ but definitely award-winning.
With $1 billion being spent on original programming, Apple does have some wiggle room. It’s managed to pick up projects from Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston, Steven Spielberg, and Bryan Fuller.
Now that a complete lineup is forming, we should hear about Apple’s distribution strategy soon.