Fairfax eyes more partnerships off the back of HuffPost success

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 16 October 2015
Kristiaan Kroon

Fairfax is eyeing more partnerships with publishers off the back of the success of its The Huffington Post joint venture.

According to The Huffington Post the launch in Australia is the most successful launch its experienced to date and Kristiaan Kroon, Fairfax Media’s director of commercial developments and partnerships told AdNews that this partnership has become the benchmark for all partnerships it's looking at in the future.

“There's a lot of American businesses that want to launch over here and there's a lot of Australian brands that are looking to grow and Fairfax, in our opinion, is perfectly positioned for that,” he said.

While Kroon wouldn't be lead on timings and who the publisher is it's conversing with, either overseas or locally, he explained that a joint venture can get both parties to where they want to go quicker.

“For something like generating scale, we can say what's your plan over the next three to five years and what if Fairfax could help you get there in year one? I think we've shown what a good partner we are with the Huffington Post and we will be doing more of those deals.” he said.

Kroon explained that a major reason for the commercial success of The Huffington Post, in this market, is due to the fact that all of its display inventory has been stitched up for a year in a partnership with Dentsu Aegis. The deal sees Dentsu given exclusive access to the sites display inventory for 12 months, however native advertising is still open to the greater market.

Such a deal has only been brokered for three out of the 15 HuffPost launches – another being with Dentsu in Japan – and Kroon said it was the fit between the publishers and the media giant that got the deal over the line.
“Dentsu saw the approach and saw how we intended to run it with them, very much as a joint venture with The Huffington Post being one of our mastheads, they bought into that,” he said.

“They could see the value and how it was going to work and could see what they could pass to their clients,” he added.
Kroon told AdNews that partnerships such as the venture with HuffPost could soon be a powerful revenue generator for the publisher, noting they are already making money, and he believes despite the brands already in the Fairfax stable, there is always room for more.

“For us there's not a limited number of page impressions out there, there's a lot of people in the market looking for high quality news done with the right tone of voice.”

It's not just the tone and the brands that Fairfax can provide, Kroon believes it's the knowledge that two brands can bring together that makes for the perfect partnership.

“We know Australia best, we have those relationships so we can broker something like a Dentsu deal,” he said. “We can talk about what is working in the Australian market, what sort of benchmarks are there, how we can help bridge gaps and provide knowledge about what will happen when you launch. That combination has been very powerful.”

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