Flipboard CEO Mike McCue is on stage at Techcrunch Disrupt conference right now and he is saying some interesting things about the future of the web and the iPad. “The web will feel a lot different in 5 years. It will feel a lot like print and be monetized differently than it is currently.” Update.
McCue also said, “I think that the iPad is a superior consumption device for content on the web. It is actually the perfect device for content on the web. We’re trying to create a new type of browsing experience that is right for the iPad.”
On The Daily and other products that offer media content directly on the iPad, McCue is optimistic. “I think that there will be an opportunity to create new kinds of content companies on the iPad.”
He also said that it will take a very trusted brand to garner a place on a user’s iPad home screen. This means that there is an opportunity for readers like FlipBoard and Pulse.
McCue says that people read more articles on Flipboard than they do in other arenas because they give content room to breathe and have a cleaner layout than the web. This will lead to a better way to monetize that content with clean, well displayed ads. McCue demonstrated an ad involving Oprah that was a full-page, interactive experience, this is Flipboard’s first paid ad.
Flipboard is currently burning around 10 million of cash a year on employee expenses, which McCue calculated at 50 employees paid about 200k each, and network costs, which gives it about 3 years of operating costs on its current round of funding.
Update: McCue clarified further in an interview that he thinks that there is an opportunity to move from a continuous scrolling interface that the web is using now to something more along the lines of a paginated reflow layout, like the one that Flipbook is using.
Funny enough, you can actually see this kind of interface in action at the newly launched BostonGlobe.com now.