Oprah’s Book Club is Apple’s most high-profile podcast to date

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Oprah's Book Club podcast is now a thing.
In case you just can't get enough of Oprah's Book Club ...
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club is now an Apple podcast. The show, which launched Tuesday, bears a predictable name: Oprah’s Book Club. And the subject matter might sound familiar, too.

The eight-episode series features Winfrey talking with Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste: The Origins of our Discontents. Winfrey called it essential reading when announcing it as her book club pick last month.

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“This might be the most important book I’ve ever chosen for my book club,” said Winfrey at the time. “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents provides a new way of seeing racial inequality, giving rise to countless aha moments and helping us truly understand America as it is now and how we hope it will be.”

As Black Lives Matters protests continue in the United States, Winfrey’s pick for her new Oprah’s Book Club podcast couldn’t be more topical. CNN says Wilkerson’s book “defines racism in the country as an American caste system, comparing it to social hierarchical systems in India and Nazi Germany.”

Apple and Oprah Winfrey

Apple’s creative relationship with Winfrey continues to expand. Cupertino signed the media superstar to a multiyear deal in 2018.Since then, Apple TV+ played host to interview series The Oprah Conversation and Oprah Talks COVID-19. Her book club also spawned an Apple TV+ series (and found a home on Apple Books).

Winfrey also landed a gig as the first guest editor of the Apple News service (again, focusing on Caste and the topics the book tackles).

However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Winfrey axed a high-profile documentary about alleged sexual misconduct by record producer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons that had been slated for Apple TV+.

Oprah’s Book Club and other Apple podcasts

Winfrey’s new book club podcast isn’t Apple’s first foray into producing podcasts. After neglecting the increasingly popular audio format for years, the company seems intent on capitalizing on its network by cross-promoting its content and creators.

The Zane Lowe Interview Series features the Apple Music DJ. And Apple News Today features stories from the company’s news app (as well as plenty of promotion for the premium Apple News+ service). A podcast based on Apple TV+ documentary series Little America is reportedly in the works, too.

You can listen to the first episode of the free Oprah’s Book Club podcast now. New episodes will land every Tuesday and Thursday.