Flipboard launches new video packages, now accepting standard video ads from brands
With its publishing partners betting on video, the news aggregation app needed to respond by opening up its platform, while also hoping to sell its own video advertising to marketers
The news aggregation app Flipboard today announced that it would be doing what a lot of magazine and newspaper publishers have been doing: betting on video. Today the company launched video packages for major publishers, and will allow advertisers to run industry-standard video advertising (see announcement below).
Video is the thing, or at least it was what publishing executives said was the thing about a year or two ago. So, Flipboard is a bit late to the game in responding to what its publishing partners have wanted. But, unlike Apple, it is at least responding, rather than going backwards.
Hearst’s titles seem to be among the first to be on board with the effort – with Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan as launch partners, as well as The Enthusiast’s Network’s TransWorld SKATEboarding.
Like with traditional magazine publishers, the goal here is video ad revenue. Flipboard is still not profitable, but says it is half way to where it needs to be.
“You need about somewhere in the range of $50-$80 million in revenue annually,” Mike McCue told Fast Company last year. “We are well over more than halfway there.”
Complicating things is that Flipboard doesn’t sell the ads that appear on premium publisher content, it gets a cut. But it does sell its own ads, and really could have used that to lure more publishers (like TNM). It is the problem with third party distribution products across the board, the money in it is too small for the big publishers, the monetization opportunities nearly nonexistent for the small ones.
Here is Flipboard’s announcement:
Palo Alto, Calif. — April 18, 2017 — Starting today, three of the most popular categories on Flipboard —Technology, News and Lifestyle/Entertainment— have new video packages, bringing the power of video to its magazine-inspired experience. Since the launch of its fourth generation product in February, video consumption on Flipboard has increased 38 percent. With the increasing desire for video, Flipboard is making video a central part of the editorial curation across Flipboard, giving all media partners a new audience for their video content. Launch partners featured include ABC News as the primary provider of video news coverage; CNBC; Hearst Digital Media’s Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan; and The Enthusiast Network’s (TEN) TransWorld SKATEboarding.
In conjunction with the expansion of video content, Flipboard opens its premium environment and now accepts standard (VAST) video advertising from brands around the world. Brands looking to connect with new audiences in a quality, curated environment can now easily extend their video campaigns to Flipboard with the added benefit of having the option to buy programmatically on Flipboard’s private marketplace. The first brands and agencies to go live with standard video on Flipboard include eBay, Oracle Data Cloud and Essence.
“From fashion trends to product reviews, video is a powerful part of the media mix people want when staying informed, getting inspired, or learning something new. And, there’s a growing demand for video distribution for publishers and quality environment for brand videos,” said Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard. “That is why this year we are launching more video packages and opening standard video advertising on Flipboard— it is important for all of our audiences.”
According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, video is the most requested type of ad inventory by brands, with industry-wide revenues from these ads expected to grow to $13.3 billion in 2020. By adding a standard video in-feed ad unit to its premium video inventory, Flipboard unlocks its platform to buyers looking to run their existing 15- and 30-second spots inside the mobile app and engage Flipboard’s more than 100 million monthly active users in a quality, brand-safe environment.
“We’re always looking to reach both existing and potential customers in new and relevant ways,” said Sadie Daryan, Senior Social Media Manager at eBay. “The launch of this new video format creates yet another example of eBay and Flipboard partnering to serve up compelling content for users in a quality environment.”
“Digital video is an extremely important–and increasing–part of our media mix,” said Jolie Giuffre, global program director at digital agency Essence. “Flipboard’s adoption of the VAST standard and its programmatic offering allow us to seamlessly buy media and deepen partnerships. The Flipboard environment resonates with the audiences we’re after, so we’re very excited about these new capabilities.”
eMarketer estimates that the number of digital video viewers in the US will grow from 221.8 million to 239.2 million between 2017 and 2021; a trend that’s reflected among Flipboard users. With the recently launched fourth generation of its product, Flipboard introduced new video capabilities such as layouts optimized for video with autoplay settings and videos embedded in articles.