Apple TV+ announces deal with Malala Yousafzai

The Nobel laureate’s production company will deliver original programming

Apple announced a multiyear programming partnership this week with women’s rights activist and Nobel laurate Malala Yousafzai. Yousafzai’s new production company Extracurricular will deliver original programming for Apple TV+, including dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, and children’s series.

“I believe in the power of stories to bring families together, forge friendships, build movements, and inspire children to dream,” said Malala Yousafzai. “And I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Apple to help bring these stories to life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to support women, young people, writers, and artists in reflecting the world as they see it.”

Apple and Yousafzai have a long-running relationship. In 2015, Apple produced a documentary about Yousafzai’s inspiring story, highlighting her struggle against the Taliban in Pakistan over girls’ education and her subsequent journey in becoming the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2018, Yousafzai created Assembly, a digital publication for girls and young women, and launched it on Apple News. Also in 2018, Apple became the first Laurate partner of Malala Fund, Yousafzai’s girls’ education organisation, and supported the organisation’s efforts with local advocates and teachers in eight countries.

Speaking to Fast Company, Yousafzai said: “There are many reasons I wanted to start this production company, but perhaps the biggest one is that I know that storytelling is a powerful way to create awareness and bring people together.”

Streaming wars have been heating up lately. Last month, Disney announced Disney+ had reached around 95 million subscribers and launched a new channel, Star, aimed at adults. Apple has partnered with various creative visionaries, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Cuarón, for new content for Apple TV+. HBO is partnering with Warner Bros. to debut the production company’s entire theatrical slate in 2021 on its streaming platform HBO Max, including long-awaited films such as Dune and Matrix 4. Finally, Netflix, which has enjoyed considerable success with new titles such as Bridgerton and Emily in Paris, is planning to invest more in new anime titles to drive new subscribers.

Featured image: Apple