24th
May
2011

Filling in the O

Posted by Admin

Oprah has, over the course of the last two decades or so, amassed an empire that few would’ve thought possible originally. Her TV show, television network, magazine, and other holdings are worth billions. However, she is finally retiring from her show and it is other companies that are worrying about the dip in consumer interest. This article highlights many of the companies and industries that depend upon Oprah to drive interest and sales numbers up. The most interesting part of the article to me, by far, concerned the publishing industry:

Publishers around the country are also voicing concern. According to Nielsen, Oprah’s Book Club has contributed to the sale of 22 million copies of books in the last decade. “It’s a bummer for publishers,” confides Mary Glenn, an associate publisher at McGraw-Hill. “When she recommends a book it skyrockets. Publishers will miss her general support of reading.”

To me, this is the single most astounding figure in the article. Twenty-two million books? Oprah could move some paper. I have no doubt that she will continue to move paper, too, but that is an amazing amount of literature. It’s true that Oprah’s recommendation was like a golden seal of approval–it could make you a millionaire. It will be interesting to see how this collection of side-industries weathers the lack of Oprah.