LOS ANGELES — Apple on Friday announced a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programing, a coup in the battle for A-list talent and projects in the booming digital entertainment market.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple gave no details of the type of programing that Winfrey would create, the value of the deal or when it might be released. Winfrey also had no immediate comment.
Winfrey, an influential movie and TV producer who also publishes a magazine, is expected to appear on screen, a source familiar with the deal said.
Apple has not said how it plans to distribute its programing, to which it has committed an initial $1 billion.
The partnership is the biggest original content deal struck by Apple so far as it aims to compete with Netflix, Amazon.com and Time Warner’s HBO.
Netflix, which has said it will spend up to $8 billion on programming this year, in May struck a multiyear deal with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to produce movies, documentaries and other content.
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Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment provider, also has lured prolific television producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes away from broadcast television.
Amazon said in November it had bought the global television rights to “The Lord of the Rings” and would produce a multi-season series that explores new storylines preceding author J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Earlier this week, Amazon also announced a development deal with Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman’s production company for movies and television.
For its part, Apple in November ordered two seasons of a dramatic series with Hollywood stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, looking at the lives of people working on a morning television show.