Apple Taps Into the Oprah Effect

  • Apple investing $1 billion in original content for 2018
  • Netflix’s original content budget is set for up to $8 billion this year

Apple (AAPL -1.47%) joins forces in a multi-year partnership with philanthropist and business magnate Oprah Winfrey to create original content. The tech giant is trying to position itself to appeal to a global audience. Will Oprah’s midas touch rub off on Apple?

Why This Matters: It’s a great time to be a black creative in the midst of streaming wars. Media companies are stocking up the creative arsenals with black showrunners, producers, and actors to cater to a diverse audience that seeks representation in Hollywood.

Just this week, Bodega Boys Desus & Mero, who formerly hosted their eponymous show on Viceland have secured a deal with Showtime, where the pair will headline a weekly late-night talk show. Similarly, radio host and author Charlamagne tha God is taking his talents to HBO, in a brand new series special ordered for later this year.

Apple is hoping to do much of the same by bringing on Oprah to its original content team. The company announced “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.” However, industry experts have no idea which platform exactly Apple is going to use for the rollout. Some expect a Netflix (NFLX -6.47%)like streaming bundle.

Situational Awareness: Apple is reportedly spending $1 billion in original content this year, but will that be enough to put up a fight against Netflix? The top video streaming service Netflix boasts of 125 million subscribers and is shelling up to $8 billion in original content this year. This won’t be an easy feat on all fronts, as Netflix has gotten ahead of industry challenges by championing diversity in its content. Just last month, Netflix surpassed Disney as the biggest media company by market capitalization.

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