Oprah Winfrey has reached a deal with Apple to provide content for its streaming service, the tech giant announced Friday.
Touting a “unique, multi-year content partnership,” the company said in a statement that Winfrey will “create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”
Whether Winfrey will appear in the shows remains unclear. An Apple spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.
This is Winfrey’s first business deal in the streaming world. As an entertainment-business pioneer, she helped revolutionize the business of syndicated talk shows in the 1980s and 1990s, overhauled the nature of product endorsement on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and was among the first celebrities to launch and oversee an entire cable network.
The deal won’t affect Winfrey’s involvement with that network, OWN. She is under contract to serve as chairman and CEO of OWN for seven more years. At OWN, Winfrey has produced hits like Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf.”
How Winfrey will divvy up content between Apple and OWN remains to be seen.
Last year, Apple announced plans to invest in original video programming. Since then, it has been on the hunt for talent, competing with companies like Netflix and Hulu in the digital-content wars.
Signing Winfrey marks the third major get for Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, former Sony Pictures Television executives whom Apple hired in mid-June 2017. Late last year, the company landed a Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston dramedy set in the world of morning TV, which it is actively developing with “Bates Motel” showrunner Kerry Ehrin. Apple is also collaborating with Steven Spielberg for a revival of his 1980s anthology series “Amazing Stories.”