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NBC bets on Flipboard to propel new TV show tune-ins

NBC is aiming to build up some hype for the new ?The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? program through custom content within the Flipboard news application.

NBC is running in-app ads within the Flipboard iPhone app and has also created a digital magazine to help promote the upcoming premier of Jimmy Fallon?s new late-night talk show. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon kicks off on Feb. 17, and Mr. Fallon is replacing previous host Jay Leno who led the show for 22 years.

?Flipboard assists its user base, currently larger than 90 million users, to sift through the vast amount of news and information in order to collect the news,? said Sarah Kahn, analyst at IBISWorld, Santa Monica, CA.

?The ability to connect with such a broad and loyal user base is attractive to media brands and allows them to connect with users 24/7 through mobile devices,? she said. ?The companies can create attractive magazines to share and promote new services to an ever expanding audience.?

Ms. Kahn is not affiliated with NBC. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

NBC did not respond to press inquiries. 

Driving viewership
NBC?s full-page ads pop up in the app between articles within the digital magazines from publications including Rolling Stone.

The ads promote Mr. Fallon?s new show program and time.

A call-to-action near the bottom of the screen encourages consumers to click through to read additional content from a branded in-app magazine.

NBC is using its Flipboard magazine as a hub for video content to get fans excited for the premiere of the show.

For example, NBC has published two Olympic-themed 20-second trailers that are currently running on TV. The spots remind consumers that once the Sochi 2014 Olympics are over, Mr. Fallon will begin hosting the show nightly.

There is also a call-to-action at the end of the video clip to encourage consumers to subscribe to NBC?s YouTube channel.

Other examples of videos include interviews and clips from Mr. Fallon?s previous show on the network, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Additionally, consumers can bookmark the content so that it is saved to their Flipboard account. The content is added to a user?s custom magazine so that consumers can quickly flip back and forth within the app to find favorite articles.

Premiering new content
NBC?s new campaign shows the growing role that mobile is playing for broadcasters and entertainment companies in promoting new shows and line-ups.

Given that Mr. Fallon?s core demographic is younger and tech-savvy, it is no surprise that the network chose to leverage mobile to drive a tune-in.

In addition to NBC, Gap and Starbucks are other big brands that have run mobile campaigns with Flipboard recently.

These kinds of niche, third-party news apps are increasingly popular with consumers because they cut down on the amount of growing Web content available.

For brands, the goal is tailor mobile ads towards a group of consumers who are reading related content.

?According to a 2012 New York Times survey, about 20 percent of the company?s subscribers consume Web content through third-party apps,? Ms. Kahn said.

?Consumers are sifting through an increasing ? and for some, overwhelming ? amount of content over the Web,? she said. ?Third-party apps [such as Flipboard] that sift through the Web for them and provide them with the information they are interested in are expected to become increasingly popular.?