Huffington Post continues global expansion - follows ad dollars

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 11 March 2015
The Huffington Post's executive editor for international, Nicholas Sabloff speaking at AdTech

Fresh from announcing its Australian launch partner, The Huffington Post has outlined additional launches it is hoping for this year, with the publisher setting its sights on China, Mexico and an Arabic language edition.

Speaking at the ad:tech conference held in Sydney yesterday, The Huffington Post's executive editor for international, Nicholas Sabloff, said that the publisher, by expanding, is simply following the money.

“So we're in 13 countries today and we have a roadmap for this year which includes Australia, and an Arabic language edition, and we're also hoping to expand into China and into Mexico,” Sabloff said.

“Why is this so important to us? It's very simple. We're following the money. In 2016, 66% of global advertising dollars will be spent outside of North America. The numbers are there, we need to follow them. That's where the money is, that's where we want to be in the future.”

When it comes to launching in a new market, Sabloff explained it isn't as simple as 'Set up a website and they will come,' even if you are launching in the same language.

“English isn't always easy. An easy mistake to make when you're going international is to think: "Oh they all speak the same language they must be interested in the same things, so all you have to do is create a URL, slap the content on there and it will take off." We found that's just not the case.”

“Even when we just crossed the border to Canada or when we expanded into the UK, and also here in Australia, it's those local things that make all of the difference,” he said.

The Huffington Post recently announced that it will be partnering with Fairfax Media for its launch into this market, with the publisher also naming Chris Janz as its Australian CEO.

Even though the HuffPost brand is expanding, Sabloff said that the sites aim to capture what's going on in local markets, rather than just being a large global brand.

“We don't want to it to be The Huffington Post in France, for example. We want it to be the French Huffington Post,” he said.

“We want the DNA of The Huffington Post to be a part of that site but we want to make it something that's going to be authentic and be very much as French as Le Monde or Le Figaro.”

HuffPost Australia is currently hiring a range of editors ahead of its quarter-two launch this year.

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