The Huffington Post will launch a local Australian edition of the online publication in conjunction with Fairfax. The liberal blogging platform said it is going to hire Australian editors and reporters to work in Sydney independently of Fairfax.
Fairfax is no stranger to publishing and currently is the force beyond the the Sydney Morning Herald, Stuff and the Age. Fairfax will have a 49% stake in the joint venture, which will have a staff of about 12. The total costs to setup the Huffington Post is going to be around $10 million.
One of the big reasons Fairfax pursued this deal is because of their company wide priority in digital. In 2014 they now have 140,000 digital subscribers to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age and over 1.2 million visit their website on their smartphones and tablets. Outside of Australia, international distribution via PressReader assists in reaching the traveling business crowd and expats.
The chief executive of the Huffington Post, Jimmy Maymann, said Australia was chosen because it was a rare combination of a digitally advanced economy and a relatively young digital media market. “Australia is the third-largest digital ad market in Asia, and has the third-highest rate of social media penetration in the world,” Maymann said in a statement.
“At the same time its shift to digital news consumption is still in relatively early stages, with digital media readership continuing to grow at 11% annually and still only 50% of all readers regularly consuming news online. The combination of these characteristics make Australia a very exciting destination for our latest Huffington Post edition.”
Established news companies moving into Australia is starting to become big business. The Daily Mail, BuzzFeed and the Guardian have all setup localized editions of their publications. This is a savvy move because not only do their news stories gain an audience in Australia, but the big stories end up crossing over into their main newspapers and blogs.