updated 12:00 pm EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
Talks ongoing for more ads
Flipboard has begun the process of adding fullscreen advertising to some of its curated feeds, an interview reveals. The first partner is publisher Condé Nast, which is inserting an American Express campaign into the official New Yorker stream. Wired, Bon Appétit and other magazines will also be saturated with ads as the year progresses. The next advertiser to join the fray will be Lexus, starting in October.
Condé Nast is one of several media companies participating in Flipboard's Pages project, which converts Twitter and Facebook feeds into custom-designed layouts. News Corp., Hearst, ABC News and the BBC are among those participating so far; Flipboard CEO Mike McCue says that his outfit is currently in negotiations with all Pages partners to secure ads. The app will nevertheless see a restricted number of ads in specific content, explains McCue along with Condé Nast digital sales VP Josh Stinchcomb.
"In many cases, people often look to magazines for the advertising," claims McCue. "That's not the case with web ads. It has a lot to do with the format of online ads. The fact that the ads are eating into the content whether it's a skyscraper or a pop-up. With our ads, it will have a similar look and feel to what's in a magazine. In a lot of ways, it will be regarded simply as additional content."
The executive adds that he does not expect Flipboard to offer a paid version of the app with minimal or non-existent advertising. "I think people recognize that the ads are a great way to keep content free, which is what users really value," he says.