Though the specifics of the deal are under wraps, there is no way Flipboard isn’t the winner here.

The New York Times has long needed a better distribution model and this is it. The iOS app (nestled gently in the Newsstand Folder) and its Android counterpart are passable but no where near as functional or easy to use.

In a lot of ways, Flipboard has become a better version of Apple’s Newsstand.

It has given readers a catalog of content in a clear, simple and publisher-centric way. It’s ubiquitous on tablets and smartphones alike and gives power to the publication and the reader, not Apple.

More importantly, Flipboard is now an option for media companies behind paywalls.

It’s quick and simple distribution method for any newspaper. I have never been a fan of the paywall, but it has become an option for a lot of media companies, particularly local media.

Flipboard has a great way it displays ads within content, so this could potentially become an alternative to a paywall. A journonerd can dream, can’t he?

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue had this to say to TechCrunch:

“We think this is a milestone for us and directionally important for the industry. We certainly believe there is a way for Flipboard to help publishers deliver premium content side-by-side with free, Web content and we will continue working with publishers to figure this out. We don’t succeed unless they do.”

Best part. This goes live on June 28. My birthday.