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Video Ads Come to Flipboard

No autoplay -- and no premium prices.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Now appearing in the virtual pages of Flipboard magazines: Video ads.

Not a surprise, since every digital platform is selling, or wants to sell, video ads. And in this case Flipboard was clear about its intentions in August, when CEO Mike McCue announced that the new ads would come this month. Sony, Gucci and Chrysler are some of the first brands trying out the new format.

Flipboard, which claims 100 million active users, has two twists on its version of video ads worth paying attention to. The first is that the videos are being presented as additional components to its existing display ads, and that users need to engage with them to get them to play. You can’t buy a standalone video ad, and there’s no Facebook-like autoplay option.

The other thing worth noting is that Flipboard says it won’t charge a premium for video, though it will require advertisers to lay out a minimum spend. Clever, since one of the main reasons digital publishers are gaga about video ads is that they can charge higher prices for them.

Here’s the “Fury” trailer you’d see if you clicked on that Sony Pictures ad, by the way:

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