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Flipboard TV launches on Galaxy S20, offers an ad-free video experience

A screenshot of Flipboard TV
Flipboard TV is a new, ad-free premium video service with videos produced by the world’s best publishers and local TV stations.

Friday marks the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup of phones, including the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra and the more mainstream Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus. It also marks the launch of Flipboard TV, a new curated video service that lives inside the Flipboard app and launches exclusively on Galaxy S20 phones. It features video content from 16 launch partners including the Associated Press, Hearst, Bloomberg, and Digital Trends.

With its eye on the enormous interest in streaming video, Flipboard unveiled the new service on February 11 at the latest Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco. Flipboard TV is a $3/month premium platform for video content that will ultimately feature more than 100 publisher partners. Since the initial announcement, additional publishers have signed on with Flipboard TV, including Hearst Magazines, which adds video from titles including:

  • Elle
  • Seventeen
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • House Beautiful
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Men’s Health
  • Runner’s World
  • Delish
  • Clevver News
  • Clevver Style
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Women’s Health
  • Mansueto Ventures, the parent company of Fast Company and Inc. magazines
  • Bustle Digital Group, which operates nine media brands including Bustle, Elite Daily, Mic, NYLON, Input, Inverse, Romper, The Outline, and The Zoe Report

The service will forgo the preroll and midroll ads that clutter online video, Flipboard explained.

“There’s a tremendous amount of high-quality, professional-quality video coming from our publishers, but it’s not always easy to find,” Claus Enevoldsen, vice president of global growth and business development at Flipboard, told Digital Trends. “There’s a lot of noise out there. We, though, we might be able to do better.”

The world of streaming video has exploded in recent months, thanks to the launch of premium services such as Disney+ and CBS All Access, which compete with Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services to offer professional-quality movies and TV shows. But the dozens of publisher partners Flipboard works with are also making top-notch video — and it’s getting buried, Enevoldsen said.

“It’s either on social networks and mixed in with user-generated stuff or it’s on your own platform,” he said. “There’s something in the middle where we can create a difference and provide a really stellar experience.”

Flipboard has made a name for itself through the app’s beautiful design and well-curated collection of content. The Flipboard TV service promises the same. Galaxy S20 owners will be able to access it through the phone’s “minus one” screen, which is accessed by swiping left on the home screen.

There’s also a new icon on the bottom of the Flipboard app shaped like a TV. Within the tab is curated video content in the Editor’s Picks section, and the ability to select your favorite sources from publishers such as Digital Trends, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Deadline, IndieWire, Variety, and more. As in regular Flipboard, there are categories such as Local, News & Politics, Business, and so on. Flipboard TV aims to help people dig into their favorite topics, Enevoldsen explained.

“We will have videos from Bike Magazine. We will have video from Surfer. There’s a big landscape out there, and what Flipboard has always been good at is getting you to go deep with your interests,” he added.

Flipboard said it would support publishing partners through revenue-sharing agreements, through which publishers are paid a portion of the subscription revenues, with amounts likely proportional to video views.

It will first be available with the Galaxy S20 family from its launch on March 6, and will expand beyond that down the road, likely to existing Flipboard users on other devices, as well as to the widening world of form factors. Enevoldsen said it was natural to expect an extension to tablets, but beyond that, it will also reach the range of folding devices both announced and expected, such as the Galaxy Z Flip, laptops such as the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold, and the forthcoming folding devices from Microsoft, the Surface Duo and Neo.

“All these foldable devices are coming, and for us, it’s like, wow, what can you do with this?” Enevoldsen told Digital Trends. “Now, we have a new playground. That’s pretty amazing.”

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