Oprah is now officially mobile. The release of her mobile apps today span the gamut of major platforms – including titles for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm and Android. It’s a hefty and widespread release, with ambitions of reaching every consumer on every smart phone. Given Oprah’s latest moves towards extending her brand with an evening show, the empire that already covers print, film, television and social media can claim the mobile industry as well.
First look: pricy for the content
Oprah exclusives, including show clips, photos and video contentare all available from the menu options on both the iPhone and the Android versions, though this menu is more readily accessible on the iPhone. Content can be shared with friends, with Android users getting the perk of accessing other apps from the Share menu in order to do so. This is especially helpful, as Oprah Mobile is lacking a dedicated social sharing feature.
Future expectations: social media integration
While the price of Oprah Mobile ($2.99 for BlackBerry users) may seem unnecessary given the content’s free access on her website, it’s important to consider the long-term potential of the brand. With mobile access comes more personalized content delivery, interactions and recommendations. Location, which is currently used solely to find TV program scheduling, can be far more integrated with the content and its socially-driven interactions.
While Oprah Mobile seems to be missing some major components of social media, namely access to Oprah’s website and highly popular Twitter profile, I expect the loose ends of the app to be tied up before too long. Oprah’s brand can live on long past her television programs, with the footholds creating traction with the ability to aggregate and personally recommend and deliver content through mobile devices.