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Flipboard launches new paid video service on Samsung Galaxy S20

The short-form video service faces stiff competition and subscription fatigue.

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Flipboard is launching a video service that organizes topics in channels.

Flipboard

Flipboard, the popular news aggregator app, is introducing a new subscription video service. Called Flipboard TV, the service will sit inside the Flipboard app and contain professional short-form video from more than 100 publishers at launch. The ad-free service will cost $2.99 per month. 

The launch of the video service is timed to coincide with the debut of Samsung's new Galaxy S20 phones. For the first three months, Flipboard, which has long been a Samsung partner, will make the service exclusive to Galaxy S20 owners, who will also be offered a free trial subscription.

Branching into a paid video subscription service marks new territory for Flipboard, which debuted along with the original iPad in 2010. But it's jumping into a scrappy fight, as a wave of new subscription video services grapple to win a share of your streaming budget. In addition to established names like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, new services like Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus are all vying for users' attention and dollars. 

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Flipboard's fledgling service will soon be going up against yet another video service also focused on short video: Quibi, which has an eye-popping roster of stars and is backed by all the major studios. Quibi has been marketing itself heavily, and ran ads during the Super Bowl and Sunday's Oscars. It launches in April. 

In an interview, Flipboard CEO Mike McCue acknowledged the challenges of trying to woo consumers who already face subscription fatigue. Still, he said Flipboard's curation process, which uses both editors and algorithms, would help users find professionally produced video that dovetails with their interests.

"Our vision is to do for video what we've done for articles," he said. 

The video service will be organized in channels based on interests such as entertainment or business. At launch Flipboard TV will include videos by Variety, Us Weekly, Rolling Stone, Barron's and The Wall Street Journal. It will also feature video from local TV channels across the US. Last month, Flipboard launched a local news initiative in 23 North American metropolitan regions.

Flipboard was among the first apps to take advantage of the iPad's magazine-like layout. In the iPad app today, you can create Smart Magazines that bundle together articles and sources around your specific interests, like photography, technology or recipes. 

Joan E. Solsman contributed to this story.