New Delhi: The American news and opinion website Huffington Post has launched an India edition through a collaboration with Times Internet (TIL), the digital arm of The Times of India group. The Indian version is the 13th international edition since the launch of the AOL-owned website’s international operations three years ago.
“We are happy to be launching the Huffington Post in India at this critical juncture as India is accelerating both because of 4G coming which will come here next year and the government’s commitment for expanding the online roadmap. We are a platform where thousands can participate at any time,” said Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the eponymous website.
The coming together of two media powerhouses will create newer opportunities with a differentiated content offering. “Huffington Post has both the qualities of being disruptive and differentiated while still keeping a level of authority which a lot of online media haven’t necessarily been able to do,” said Satyan Gajwani, CEO, TIL. TIL, a digital product company, reaches over 100 million visitors and over two billion page views every month across various media, including desktops and mobile.
The Huffington Post and The Times of India have partnered with Group M for digital media promotions. Group M’s chief executive officer, South Asia CVL Srinivas, said India was on the cusp of a digital explosion and a partnership such as this will help this will help create a strong digital brand that will appeal to advertisers.
HuffPost, launched in 2005, has managed to create a distinct identity for itself with its innovative approach to content, often using celebrities. Huffington told that the website is a hybrid one that works as a journalistic platform as well as a platform for people to express opinions. “News has always been the same, but what we find now is that who brings us the news has changed, that is, it doesn’t have to be a professional journalist. And in addition to this, people want to consume news as well as interact while reading the news. HuffPost is great on social (media) and we want to create content that people want to read and share,” she explained.
The American online news aggregator was acquired by AOL in 2011 and has over 119 million multi-platform unique visitors per month in the US.
HuffPost is looking to replicate its global model, a key element of which is integration of social media, in India. This, according to HuffPost executives, is not only important to start conversations on social networks, but also from the advertising perspective. “We run a lot of programmes internationally that create narratives and that is important for advertisers.
We engage over 80,000 bloggers and have over 300 million comments on our site. As we grow into India, together with brands, we will grow programmes like The Global Motherhood platform, a partnership with Johnson & Johnson dedicated to highlighting issues affecting women and children around the world,” said Jimmy Maymann, CEO of The Huffington Post.