If all goes as planned, FlipGloss Media and its flagship FlipGloss.com will emerge from stealth mode this morning. The latest entrant in the glossy-magazine-online category is billed as an “interactive photo experience that lets you flip, hover and discover.” Founded in March 2008 by digital music vets Kerry Trainor (CEO), Mike Randall, Robyn VanTol and Christopher Shattuck, FlipGloss Media has been funded by Forbes Media from the beginning, though the amount is undisclosed. Forbes COO Tim Forbes is an adviser as are execs from Forbes minority shareholder Elevation Partners and Launch.com founders/former *Yahoo* Music GMs Dave Goldberg and Bob Roback. Forbes is also syndicating content to FlipGloss; a photo spread on The World’s Coolest Hotels was on the pre-launch, password-protected site.
In some respects, the look and the emphasis on black-background photos with hover text is reminiscent of Wonderwall, the MSN celeb site from BermanBraun that launched a couple of weeks ago. But FlipGloss is after something else, a fashion mag feel combined with a requirement that users interact with the image to get the most out of it; all content shows up as full-page images with “relevant” advertising, product information, related recommendations or how to purchase. Like Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, FlipGloss is launching the consumer product without advertising locked in. A company spokeswoman says it will share details in 60 days. Ad/revenue options include branded content and sponsorship sales through full-page glossy ad inserts sold by CPM and affiliate-style paid links.