Flipboard Expands Support for Video and Video Ads

Flipboard, the magazine-style app that got its start with the original Apple iPad, has been through a number of iterations in the years since its launch. In the latest move, it is expanding support for video in its digital “magazines,” and is also opening up the platform for video advertising as well.

The company announced on Tuesday that starting immediately, three of the most popular categories of content on Flipboard—technology, news and lifestyle/entertainment—will see video packages appear inside them, with content from a range of partners including Hearst magazines like Elle, Harper’s, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, as well as CNBC. Other verticals will also see video added over time.

Flipboard also announced that its platform now supports the VAST video advertising standard, and said it is working with a number of launch partners to bring video ads into its digital magazines, including eBay and Essence. Supporting standard video ads means that brands and publishers can re-use their existing 15-second or 30-second ads inside Flipboard.

“From cooking to product reviews to stand up comedy, video is a powerful part of the media mix people want when staying informed, getting inspired, or learning something new,” Flipboard co-founder and CEO Mike McCue said in a statement. “There’s a growing demand for premium video inventory from publishers and brands—so launching more video on Flipboard is important for all of our audiences.”

In appealing to video advertisers, Flipboard could be facing an uphill battle, since giant competitors like Facebook are also bulking up in video, and offer much larger reach. But the company believes that its platform offers a higher-quality look and experience than many other destinations, and will appeal to premium brands.

Although Flipboard has many more competitors than it used to, including magazine-style news readers from technology giants like Apple, McCue maintains that the company is doing just fine on its own. It has more than 100 million monthly users and its net revenues doubled last year, he said in a recent interview.

There were reports in 2015 that the company was trying to be acquired, and McCue confirmed at the time that there had been discussions about a potential merger with Twitter, but those talks fell through.

Since then, Flipboard has raised $50 million in additional funding and McCue has said the company is well positioned to continue as a standalone business. “There are always conversations going on, but nothing like a serious discussion,” he said in February. “It’s not that we wouldn’t ever sell, it’s just that we’re focused on building something that has value.”

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