Flipboard Friends Oprah

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue wants the company’s platform to be seen by publishers as a friend not foe. He got one powerful one in Oprah.
Flipboard is rolling out a deal with Oprah that will bring bits of her many content properties to the Flipboard app. The Oprah on Flipboard section will feature outtakes from her TV show, articles from Oprah.com and tweets from Oprah herself. Oprah is making a Flipboard-only video that will appear on the app. The Oprah section will appear on Flipboard’s homepage.
Flipboard is touting the partnership as a model for how it can work with publishers. It is the 16th media property to strike a deal with Flipboard for their content to appear within the app. The ideal for the company is if publishers begin to view it as a new platform to build on top of, much the way they’re used to managing presences on platforms like Youtube and Facebook. Of course Flipboard, which is reportedly raising money at a $200 million valuation, has nowhere near the scale of those.
The Oprah section will carry ads sold by OWN. For articles of three pages or more, a full-page, magazine-style ad will be shown.
What it does have is a great looking iPad app that hooks easily into social media. A company rep said the deal is meant to complement OWN’s existing iPad efforts, which include an application for O, The Magazine. In fact, the Oprah Flipboard section will be used to promote those apps.
The question is if publishers buy into Flipboard’s argument that this is additive to their efforts elsewhere, or if Flipboard is yet another platform that’s disintermediating them from their audiences.
Read a Q&A with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue on his hopes for bringing the beauty (and ad rates) of print magazines to the real-time nature of digital media.

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