Flipboard is following Twitter, Facebook, and other services in the push for more video. The publishing platform provider has struck a deal with media partners to provide additional inventory for outlets to distribute and monetize their premium video content. To accomplish this, Flipboard has adopted the video ad serving template (VAST) as a standard.
Videos have been a part of Flipboard for some time and the company launched ad products around it last year, but for publishers, the problem becomes distribution. “What we hear from publishers is that they’re out of video inventory,” said Flipboard chief executive Mike McCue, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Also from advertisers, they’ve run out of places to buy video ads. We thought about how to bring these two things together, and so we’re building on version 4.0 and adding more videos to passions from publishing partners.”
Flipboard has partnered with Hearst Digital Media’s Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan magazines, as well as The Enthusiast Network’s (TEN), TransWorld SKATEboarding, CNBC, ABC News, and others for this latest effort. Publishers are offered an editorial package that lets them repurpose video content that may have normally run on their sites and feature it on Flipboard across the technology, news, and lifestyle/entertainment “passions.” Rather than just displaying a single video within the feed, this generates a series of videos by publisher.
Each video package can be monetized, and publishers can either sell the space themselves, have Flipboard do it, or leverage a private trading marketplace.
Publishers were already able to push videos to Flipboard without this feature, but that was more like featuring independent articles. Now it’s possible to package multiple videos together in a more editorial format to tell a better story while making money off them.
A key to the company’s video investment is the adoption of VAST. “VAST videos can be really premium, have high CPMs, and be served up in a way that’s respectful to a user experience, but also done programmatically with targeting, analytics, and other things advertisers want,” McCue explained. “It gives users a great collection of videos they want, organized by passion, gives publishers a way to sell more inventory, and gives advertisers a way to buy more with open standards.”
He went on to explain that the support of VAST is in line with what other publishers are starting to do, banding together in a bid to garner enough inventory to compete “against the duopoly of Facebook and Google.”
Flipboard has also teamed up with Concert, the premium private marketplace for high-quality impactful ads created by Comcast and Vox Media. With this relationship, Flipboard can bring in more premium commercials, similar to those you’d see on TV, sticking to its standards of providing more luxury ads, instead of things you’d normally encounter through Google AdWords.
McCue stated that since the last major update to Flipboard, the company has seen its 100 million monthly users 40 percent more engaged with the app. Video consumption has also increased 38 percent.