Huffington Post Coming To South Africa In Global Expansion Plan

Huffington Post Coming To South Africa In Global Expansion Plan

By Michelle Castillo – From CNBC

Huffington Post will launch its 17th edition in South Africa in November, the media company announced on Friday.

“Africa is an important place in the world, but I would say that the advertising and media markets would characterize it in the emerging phase, and not quite robust,” Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd said to CNBC. “For us, that’s not what’s driving us. What’s driving us is the opportunity to do something really important around the world.”

HuffPost South Africa will be in partnership with top South African media company Media24. Even without a dedicated publication in South Africa, Huffington Post gets 750,000 monthly unique users from the country.

Though the U.S. edition is a still a major focus, more than 50 percent of Huffington Post’s traffic comes from overseas, according to the company. In June 2016, it had 173 million unique global visitors and 74 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S., according to comScore. Currently, the company has more than 300 editors in 20 countries outside the U.S. International expansion will continue, Grusd said.

The South African edition was personal for Grusd because he was born there. Grusd said the number of internet users in the country is expected to grow to 34.5 million by 2018, and mobile phone users to 41.5 million. Digital video is expected to grow by more than 29 percent, as well.

Grusd, who has been CEO of Huffington Post since August 2015, is in a unique position to continue the brand since co-founder and editor-in-chief Ariana Huffington stepped down in August. Huffington left her media company to focus on a new venture called Thrive Global, a health and wellness advisory start-up. She will start there in November. Grusd formerly held executive positions at Spotify and Huffington Post parent company AOL.

For the most part, Huffington Post will continue along the same media plan he’s followed since he took over the CEO post last year, Grusd said. Part of the plan has been an emphasis on helping transition Huffington Post, as audiences consume more mobile and video media.

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