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Apple Confirms It’s Deal With Oprah Winfrey For Digital Entertainment

Winfrey and Apple will create original programs

Actress Oprah Winfrey poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'A Wrinkle In Time' in London, March 13, 2018.
Actress Oprah Winfrey poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'A Wrinkle In Time' in London, March 13, 2018. VOA

Apple Inc on Friday announced a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming, 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 programming that Winfrey would create, the value of the deal, or when it might be released. Winfrey had no immediate comment.

Winfrey, 64, 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 programming, 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 Inc, Inc and Time Warner Inc’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 U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to produce films, documentaries and other content.

Harpo Inc. Chairman Oprah Winfrey
Harpo Inc. Chairman Oprah Winfrey, flickr

Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment provider, has also 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.

Other projects Apple has announced include a remake of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s science fiction anthology series “Amazing Stories,” based on Isaac Asimov’s influential “Foundation” science fiction novels, and a drama from “La La Land” movie director Damian Chazelle.

Under the deal with Winfrey, she will remain chief executive of cable channel OWN, which she launched in 2011 in partnership with Discovery Inc. Winfrey in December extended her contract with OWN through 2025, OWN and Apple said.

Under her contract with OWN, Winfrey can appear on camera on other platforms on a limited basis.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey, flickr

Known in the United States by millions on a first-name basis, Winfrey rose to fame as the host of her own television talk show, using it to build a media empire that spans magazine publishing, movie and television production, cable TV and satellite radio.

Born into poverty, she is one of the world’s wealthiest women and has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

A rousing speech by Winfrey at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in January triggered an online campaign to persuade her to run for U.S. president in 2020.

Also read:“The Oprah Winfrey Show” was my greatest Therapy: Oprah Winfrey

She dismissed the notion, telling InStyle magazine in an interview, “It’s not something that interests me.” (VOA)

Next Story

Hire Hackers To Safeguard Your Data

Here's how hiring hackers can help you safeguard your data

Hackers have become an invaluable extension of the most trusted security teams. Pixabay

At a time when cyber attacks on businesses across industries are multiplying as they go digital, joining hacker-powered bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programmes is the key to minimise such incidents and safeguard your key data, a top cyber security officer said on Tuesday.

Hacker-powered security is a technique that utilises collaboration with the hacker community to find unknown security vulnerabilities and reduce security risk. Popular examples include bug bounty programmes and vulnerability disclosure policies.

“Hackers have become an invaluable extension of the most trusted security teams, on a mission to find what others may have missed or could not see,” Alex Rice, Chief Technology Officer, HackerOne told IANS.

San Francisco-based HackerOne is a vulnerability coordination and bug bounty platform that connects businesses with cybersecurity researchers.

It develops bug bounty solutions to help organizations reduce the risk of a security incident by working with the world’s largest community of ethical hackers.

Goldman Sachs is works with hackers to identify vulnerabilities in their consumer websites. Pixabay

Back in May 2018, Goldman Sachs became the first investment bank to launch a vulnerability disclosure policy.

“In the first year of their programme, more than 23 vulnerabilities, each representing real-world risk to their customers and data, were safely resolved,” Rice noted.

Today, Goldman Sachs is working with hackers to identify vulnerabilities in their consumer websites.

“On average, their internal security team has resolved vulnerability reports within two months, and have responded to bug reports in as little as one minute, further resolving reports within one hour,” said Rice who co-founded HackerOne in 2012.

Food delivery platform Zomato has paid more than $100,000 (over Rs 70 lakh) to 435 hackers to date for finding and fixing bugs on its platform.

With the help of HackerOne’s bug bounty programme since July 2017, Zomato has successfully resolved 775 vulnerabilities report.

“Zomato security team is tasked with protecting sensitive information for over 55 million unique monthly visitors,” said HackerOne.

Hackers are no longer anonymous guns-for-hire. They are being embraced by everyone — from the insurance industry to government agencies.

In August, HackerOne revealed that hackers earned $21 million in just a year reporting vulnerabilities via various bug bounty opportunities as governments’ efforts to fix malware increased a whopping 214 per cent globally.

According to Rice, research continues to show us that most breaches occur from basic lapses in security hygiene.

“It is important that organisations have layered defences, and use basic cyber hygiene principles such as multi-factor authentication and password best practices, followed by a security programme that focuses on covering your entire attack surface,” Rice told IANS.

Software is eating the world and software has bugs.

“All organisations — financial institutions, healthcare organisations, e-commerce companies, big box stores, media companies, practically anyone — are going digital and are equally at risk. We’re all in this together and are more alike than we realize,” he maintained.

Zomato has paid more than $100,000 (over Rs 70 lakh) to 435 hackers to date for finding and fixing bugs on its platform. Pixabay

On the bright side, the number of hacker-powered security programmes is rapidly growing all over the world.

According to HackerOne’s “2019 Hacker-Powered Security Report”, Latin America saw record growth of 41 per cent over the previous year and Asia Pacific grew 30 per cent.

Today, six of the top 10 financial services organisations in North America, and companies like Goldman Sachs, PayPal and Lending Club, are working with HackerOne.

Rice said that in terms of vulnerabilities, it’s really important that organisations have an efficient system in place to identify vulnerabilities and apply patches in a timely manner.

“Unpatched machines are still the most common attack vector for cybercriminals. Outside of basic hygiene practices such as applying timely security updates, the most effective means of doing so is to leverage the power of the friendly hacker community or what we call ‘hacker-powered security’,” Rice noted.

To tackle cyber attacks from nation-state bad actors, government agencies around the world are launching bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programmes – like the European Commission, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, Singaporean Government Technology Agency, the US Department of Defense, including the Army, the Air Force and the Marine Corp.

Also Read- Cyber Threat Landscape To Worsen In 2020

In 2018, the number of hacker-powered security programmes in the federal government sector grew an impressive 214 per cent, according to HackerOne. (IANS)