Oprah Kindle – Oprah's half-hearted Kindle recommendation

The Kindle got a rather half-hearted recommendation from Oprah today – very different from the hearty Oprah Kindle endorsement in 2008.

Oprah had this to say –

Thanks to the people at Amazon all of you (she was talking to her audience) get a free Kindle.

I love books but if you travel you got to get a Kindle.

That’s very, very different from 2008 when the Kindle was ‘Oprah’s favorite gadget’. It was also very different from earlier in the show when she asked her audience to support the ‘Students First’ initiative and suggested that at least 1 million out of the 10 million people watching her show should sign up for the initiative.

No Kindle discount = Amazon has more than enough demand

There was no $50 kindle discount – not even a $25 kindle coupon. Apparently Amazon has more than enough demand and doesn’t feel it needs to discount the Kindle any further.

If Amazon needed any help clearing Kindle stock Oprah’s show would have been the perfect time – The fact that Amazon didn’t offer even a token discount suggests Kindle sales are excellent.

What did we figure out about Kindle positioning?


It’s hard to imagine Amazon wanted to hear Oprah talk about how physical books are priceless and timeless and then mention ‘But if you’re travelling you got to get a Kindle’.

It clearly painted Kindle as a lesser option. We still don’t know anything new about how Amazon wants to position the Kindle.

What will getting shown on Oprah do for the Kindle?

Quite frankly, it’s good exposure and at the same time Oprah but two giant qualifiers around the Kindle –

  1. She specifically talked about how timeless books are and being able to pass them on and how much she loves books.
  2. Then she added the ‘If you’re travelling’ qualifier to the Kindle.

Basically, you could interpret it to mean she’s saying Kindles aren’t timeless and that they aren’t good other than when travelling.

Getting exposure on the Oprah show is great but there wasn’t really a strong Kindle endorsement from Oprah. Not very encouraging. She did say she was a Kindle owner – perhaps that helps.

It should get a decent number of people searching for the Kindle. It’s interesting that the $139 price didn’t come up – So Oprah’s audience didn’t get to know about one of the Kindle’s biggest strengths. They, and the TV audience, did get to see the Kindle and its screen and hopefully that gets a lot of people curious enough to search for more information.

The audience seemed inordinately happy to get a $139 Kindle. Makes me want to see the tape for the show on which everyone got a car.

Kindle Oprah is a non-event this year

This wasn’t Oprah recommending the Kindle. It came across as her reluctantly talking about the Kindle because Amazon gave her audience free Kindles. Not sure what Amazon did to upset Oprah – perhaps it should have handed out free Kindle DXes along with Kindle WiFis.

She didn’t even mention the $7.99 Kindle edition of her Book Club selection.

This was definitely a very lukewarm Oprah Kindle mention – Calling it a recommendation might be a stretch. There’s unlikely to be a very significant impact on Kindle sales. The Kindle is doing very well though and should get by just fine.