The Huffington Post, the popular American news website and content aggregator, intends to launch an Indian edition in May and is in negotiation with two companies for the same, according to a PTI report.
There have been talks about the company setting up Indian operations in 2012 and before that in 2011, but there hasn’t been any progress yet. Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann told PTI that the company is in negotiations with two companies right now and hopes to launch it in May. It will start with an English language edition and then start offering news in other local languages as well.
Huffington Post has similarly partnered with media houses across the world to launch regional editions. The Indian edition will focus on broadly four categories — politics, lifestyle, entertainment and business and technology, which are also the key focus areas for its US edition. Its international editions currently include Canada, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Japan.
Times Internet and Zee group have been the two companies that have syndicated websites from international partners and launched them in India till now. While Zee Group launched Indian edition of BGR, Times Internet launched Indian editions of IGN, Gizmodo India, Lifehacker India, MenXP, Pursuitist, Business Insider and AskMen within a year.
We’re also reminded of a tweet by Arianna Huffington a few months ago, while she was in India, where she referred to the Times of India group as ‘partners’:
Beautiful first night in India. Great dinner at the home of our @TimesofIndia partners Samir Jain, wife Meera & son-in-law Satyan Gajwani
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) October 25, 2013
Whoever picks up Huffington Post does a good job, it might finally pose some threat to Network18 group’s FirstPost which has become the go-to site for
link-baity opinionated news. Indiatimes might have the pageviews but appears to be more of an entertainment portal than a news site. It is worth noting that Times of India has a great blog and opinion section on its website that is powered by content contributed by its editorial staff and contributory writers. It is possible for the company to use the same for Huffington Post.. i.e, if it’s indeed Times Internet that’s working on it.
On the other hand, if it’s Zee group, then they might need to hire a new team as it’s not clear if the DNA team can handle another site simultaneously, and the India.com business hasn’t quite scaled as a business.
Update: Maymann has informed us that Huffington Post gets 94 million unique visitors a month and not 95,000 as reported incorrectly by PTI.
— Jimmy Maymann (@maymann) January 23, 2014
Note: We’ve written to Times Internet for a comment on whether it is partnering with HuffPo.