Fuckers I am so sick of reporting on incremental tech news for fucking two years now, so sick I’m pretty much considering reverting full-time to fashion coverage. (Don’t believe me? Well, how amazing and beautiful is my “Clothing I Like and Want To Buy” Pinterest board? A.k.a. my greatest accomplishment in my life thus far …).
But yeah, The New York Times took a step towards the future this blasted Sunday night and all of us tech press are expected to cover it like lemmings. Fine. Sure. It’s a big deal, in a business that is slowly dying, to show an understanding of 21st Century distribution mechanisms. Kudos NYT. You’re still worth less than Instagram. Hahahahhaha, lol (drink).
But still you, The New York Times, are way more important than I am, because you convinced Flipboard CEO Mike McCue to work with you early on, which by the timing of this post you could probably figure out that I couldn’t do (in time). Fail. But we’re still covering it because this is the first time Flipboard has offered a paywall option, and it shows a promising alternative revenue stream for both parties involved … Welcome to the future, old media assholes.
So in between the downing of tonight’s two bottles of wine, I had the good fortune to ask new media visionary McCue the questions y’all are dying to ask, and here they are — Because he was cool enough to answer me :) …
Q: What are the exact terms of the paywall deal with Flipboard? What do you need to pay/where do you need to sign up to get NYTimes on Flipboard?
A: We are not disclosing the specific deal terms, but for readers this will work for all NYTimes subscribers with digital access. Readers can also subscribe to the New York Times App through iTunes, they can then use that authentication log-in to access all the stories of The New York Times right on Flipboard.
Q: What did you guys need to do in order to make this possible? Technically?
A: We worked closely with The New York Times technical team to integrate their content APIs and authentication back-end so it’s very easy to log-in one time then browse all the content from the Times by simply tapping the top logo to see all of the sections of the paper, magazine and blogs. We also enhanced our Flipboard Pages technology to faithfully re-create the visual experience of reading the New York Times. It’s a beautiful paginated experience with full page, print style advertising. Overall this was a ground-up build and our first authentication integration. It’s a breakthrough project for Flipboard.
Q: How was this the end goal of “two years of hard work” (direct Mike quote)? What are the terms of the partnership — revenue share on ads?
A: This is definitely a big step and a part of what we’ve worked together on for the past two years. But this isn’t the end, we will continue to innovate together and we will also work on an ad model together, although this isn’t something we have details on right now.
Q: Any other paywalled media outlets you plan on sharing stuff with in the future? What’s next for Flipboard?
A: We think this is a milestone for us and directionally important for the industry. We certainly believe there is a way for Flipboard to help publishers deliver premium content side-by-side with free, Web content and we will continue working with publishers to figure this out. We don’t succeed unless they do.
So there you have it. If both Flipboard and The New York Times were public companies and you asked me to convert my invaluable Aol stock into either right now, one and a half bottles of wine deep, I’d instinctively go with Flipboard. Suck it, old media. And please die more slowly from now on, because I (clearly) hate you.