The Huffington Post has partnered with Media24 to launch its first sub-Saharan African edition, HuffPost South Africa.
The announcement was made by HuffPost chief executive officer Jared Grusd and MEDIA24 CEO Esmaré Weideman.
“South Africa is an extremely exciting market for the company as Internet users there are expected to grow to 35.4 million by 2018, digital video is expected to grow by more than 29%, and overall mobile phone users to 41.5 million,” said Grusd.
“On a personal level, I’m particularly thrilled about this launch as I was born in South Africa and to launch an edition there is a coming home of sorts for me.”
Weideman said he was “delighted” to launch the new edition. “It is one of the most exciting digital media companies in the world and we are proud this pioneering international media brand has chosen to partner with Media24. We are going to do great things together.”
Following the launch of its first global edition in May 2011, the Huffington Post has expanded into 16 markets across six continents, with over 300 editors in nearly 20 countries and 50% of its audience outside the US. In South Africa, The Huffington Post already has a large audience of around 750 thousand unique visitors per month.
Media24 has the leading market share in South Africa for newspapers, magazines and digital publishing, with its 24.com site reaching more than 16 million monthly unique browsers.
24.com head Andreij Horn said that HuffPost is a complementary brand to its current digital portfolio. “This is simply a natural fit for us in the most exciting time in the history of digital media with the convergence of high technology and a relentless demand from our users for simplicity,” said Horn.
“HuffPost will provide international content and its technology platform while Media24 will provide the local content and handle advertising sales. We believe the HuffPost audience will enhance what we already have in 24.com and will therefore provide even more opportunities for our advertising clients.”
In August, Arianna Huffington announced she will step down from the Huffington Post, which she co-founded 11 years ago, in favour of a new venture designed to combat workplace “burnout”.