In the ever escalating arms race for talent, it seems like almost every day a streaming service is signing a major deal with a bold-face creative force.
They don’t get much bolder-faced than Oprah Winfrey who has entered a multi-year content partnership with Apple. According to the the upstart SVOD player, it will team with Winfrey to “create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.” Winfrey’s projects will be part of Apple’s slate of original content.
The Apple deal falls outside of Winfrey’s pact with OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, where she serves as CEO. In conjunction with Discovery Communications’ $70 million payment to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc. last December to acquire an additional 24.5% stake in the companies’ joint venture, OWN, she extended her exclusivity contract with the network, including as on-air personality, through 2025.
Winfrey, a producer, an Oscar-nominated actress, talk show host, philanthropist and entrepreneur, hosted the #1 daytime talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years and via her Harpo Productions developed the long-running hit syndicated shows Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show and Rachael Ray. Her Harpo Films banner has produced several acclaimed features, most recently Selma, in which she also had a featured role.
Netflix ignited the current talent wars with aggressive nine-figure deals for Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Apple also has an overall deal with veteran showrunner Kerry Ehrin.