Rob Bell's 'NOOMA' Videos Now an App

Christian publishing company Zondervan has developed an app for “NOOMA,” a series of short films featuring the author of Love Wins Rob Bell, for mobile users of Apple’s iOS and Android platforms.

“Having video content wherever you go and whenever you want it is probably the future, so why not have a NOOMA everywhere you go?” The Grand Rapids Press newspaper Saturday quoted John Raymond, vice president and publisher of curriculum at Zondervan, as saying.

It was perhaps the record of the “NOOMA” series, which sold more than 2 million copies, that led to the developing of the app for iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, and Android, a Google’s mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel for smartphones, the daily hinted.

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“NOOMA,” a series of 24 short films, 10 to 14 minutes each, blend everyday life with discussion about God, and was developed by Flannel. The first and bestselling title in the NOOMA series, “Rain,” is free with each download of the new app while the 23 other films are available for $2.99 each.

Flannel, a non-profit filmmaking ministry, also made “BASIC,” a short film series featuring Southern California Pastor Francis Chan.

Francis Chan’s latest book, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, featuring biblical teaching on eternal destinies, counters Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, which envisions God saving everyone eventually. Bell is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Mich.

Steve Carr, executive director of Flannel, earlier compared “BASIC” and “NOOMA” speaking to The Christian Post. He said “NOOMA” latter was “kind of random.” The 24 films had no order and had different topics. “But with ‘BASIC,’ the way the series came together was purely out of discussions with Francis.”

“BASIC” has not been developed as an app.

“The iPad and the iPhone are continuing to set record sales, so that’s definitely the place to be,” Raymond said, explaining why Zondervan undertook its first in-app purchase app. “But there are also an enormous number of smartphones being used, plus several new Android platforms available for smartphone and tablets,” he added. “NOOMA” is also the first app ever launched for Android by Zondervan and its parent, HarperCollins.

Although early statistics showed Apple sales were higher, Raymond said, Zondervan wanted to test the Android market because the number of smartphone users was also very high. “To have ourselves positioned in both platforms is a healthy way to watch how users acquire their content,” he said.

Zondervan may bring out additional apps after it studies the market. “We’re trying to figure out what makes the most sense to an end user,” said Raymond. “Once we’re pretty clear on what that is, that is the direction we’ll go in.”

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