Four years ago, Oprah Winfrey signed a multi-year deal with Apple. Now, the celebrity and the Cupertino company are changing how the contract will work from now on as Oprah keeps producing content for several other companies and Apple realigns its expectations with Apple TV+.
First reported by Puck, the publication says that “behind the scenes, I’m told, Oprah’s relationship with Apple is changing. That big multi-year deal she announced in 2018 is ending, and Apple isn’t renewing. Apple confirmed the split to me but declined to comment.”
The deal was announced in June of 2018. At the time, here’s what the press release stated:
Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.
Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.
Over these past years, Oprah was able to create several shows for Apple TV+, such as The Me You Can’t See, The Oprah Conversation, Oprah’s Book Cluband Oprah Talks COVID-19. Apart from that, the celebrity was also making a ton of other specials for other brands. CBS not only aired the Harry and Meghan interview but also the Adele special. The royal interview drew 17.1 million viewers for its initial airing, which left Apple TV+ programmers feeling “disappointed,” Puck reports.
AppleTV+ programmers Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht probably would’ve loved the royals, and I’ve heard rumblings that they are disappointed with Oprah’s output for the streamer. But that’s the deal they made. And Apple at least got a perception boost out of signing Oprah back in 2018, when Netflix and Amazon both wanted her. She was key in vouching for the nascent AppleTV+ at that weird celebrity cattle call in Cupertino back in March 2019, months before the service was launched. “They’re in a billion pockets, y’all. A billion pockets,” she said, instantly explaining why so many top artists would sign on to Apple sight unseen.
Last but not least, the publication says Apple TV+ and Oprah will work on a “project-by-project basis, which I’m told will happen,” as Puck says the days of “very expensive press releases are over.”
How do you feel about this change? Do you think Oprah was an asset to Apple? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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