Social media magazine app Flipboard turns its sights to TV and film

Aug 29, 2011
Tech

Seems it’s not just Two and a Half Men that Ashton Kutcher is taking over. As an investor in social media magazine app Flipboard, he no doubt had a hand in the company’s decision to carry movies and episodes of TV shows by the end of the year. In an interview with Reuters, Flipboard Chairman […]

Seems it’s not just Two and a Half Men that Ashton Kutcher is taking over. As an investor in social media magazine app Flipboard, he no doubt had a hand in the company’s decision to carry movies and episodes of TV shows by the end of the year.

In an interview with Reuters, Flipboard Chairman and CEO Mike McCue discussed the company’s plans to compete in the area of Netflix, Hulu and Facebook, although he declined to disclose which studio partners have been approached about the video project. He also mentioned plans further down the pipeline to reach deals with publishers to sell e-books through the app.

“We get asked about various kinds of content in Flipboard all the time, and our answer is that we can envision all types of content becoming viewable via Flipboard over time, especially as all content becomes more social,” said Christel van der Boom, who handles communications at Flipboard. “It’s our vision for the future.” And there will be a new way to view all this burgeoning content, as the company plans to grow from an iPad-only app to an iPhone one as well within the next several weeks.

With more than 3 million downloads, $60.5 million in venture capital funding, and partnerships with media outlets such as Oprah.com and The Economist, Flipboard already has the groundwork in place to reach a broad audience of media consumers. Additionally, Mike McCue said the company will reinvest the operating profit it’s set to make next year from the portion of revenue it makes from ads sold for the app.

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However, it remains unclear how the app will stand up to powerhouse competitors in the video space such as Netflix, and if the app really is as influential as it purports itself to be. Many publishers claim regular Flipboard readers represent a small part of their audiences. Just like Kutcher in his new TV role, the app must prove if it’s got the “tiger blood” needed to succeed.

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