Will the Kindle Get an Oprah Bump?


Update: Oprah Winfrey doesn’t really strike me as a gadget girl. Of course, I’ve never even watched her show, so maybe she is. One way or another, when I saw the Financial Times reporting that the cultural icon looked ready to endorse the Amazon Kindle today, I made a point of setting my DVR. I also trundled over to Amazon’s site to check out the trailer for the show, in which Oprah trills about her new “favorite gadget,” calling it “life-changing.”

If Oprah convinces her viewers to buy a Kindle it would certainly be life-changing for Amazon, but it would also show consumers how useful wireless broadband connectivity could be if it were built into devices that aren’t phones or computers. Amazon’s pricing of the broadband service into the cost of downloads could also be life-changing for carriers evaluating different business models associated with integrating broadband into other devices.

Oprah is an international superstar who has in the past delivered an “Oprah bump” to books, devices and even to Barack Obama. Given the down economy, I may not be getting a Kindle for Christmas this year. We’ll see if Oprah can address the $359 price tag. Update: Looks like she can with a $50 promo code. Just type in OPRAHWINFREY when ordering. Hat tip to The Puget News, who pointed us to it.


T Beacher

I am surprised the offer expires so soon. I am predicted a $299 price long term on the Kindle in order to compete with the other readers.

Lou Hoffman

It’s interesting to me that Oprah gets a pass in blending “church” and “state.”

For all the noise in the blogosphere on Oprah’s life-changing experience from a Kindle I have yet to see anyone point out that Amazon paid for the product placement on the show. It’s really no different than BMW cutting a check for one of its cars to appear in a chase scene in a 007 movie.

Giving Oprah the benefit of the doubt, the story starts out authentic and heartfelt. She receives a Kindle as a gift and it changes her life. Wonderful. Everyone should be so lucky as to have their lives changed by an e-reader in these economic times.

But why is it Oprah doesn’t go public with her revelation until Oct. 24?

In a word, money (nicely timed to build momentum into the holiday buying season).

Stacey Higginbotham

eidard, such a tease :)

And I added the discount code, but still think the Kindle’s a bit rich for my blood. As for buying Oprah’s books at independent bookstores, I’m not sure there’s a link, as Barnes and Noble or Borders tends to promote those choices heavily as well.

Also curious if it changes actual book-buying habits much. Anyone out there own a Kindle? Do you buy all your books online now?

Marshall Kirkpatrick

The Oprah Book Club has for years pointed women to really great physical books, which they go in droves to independent bookstores to buy. I think the Kindle seems cool, but this is kinda sad too.


My favorite features are subscriptions to things like NY Times and blogs. However, the fees for them are the worst things about the Kindle. The costs of a regular ebook are just right.

I would wait for the 2nd version that comes out next year.

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