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HuffPost enters Indian market in tie-up with Times Group

MUMBAI: The digital news ecosystem is in for exciting times. After the entry of Atlantic Media’s digital global business news brand Quartz, another American digital media company has set foot in the country.

In a collaboration that is bound to shake up the digital news market, The Huffington Post Media Group has partnered Indian media conglomerate The Times of India Group to launch an Indian edition of ‘The Huffington Post’, a leading global source of breaking news, opinion, entertainment, and community.

The partnership has been facilitated by Times Local Partners (TLP) which partners emerging global digital businesses to build local collaborations. Developed in 2013, TLP is responsible for striking partnerships with brands including Business Insider, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, IGN, and AskMen.

The TLP had recently announced its partnership with Advertising Age to launch the India edition of ‘Ad Age’, a leading source of news, intelligence and conversation for the marketing and media community globally.

Network18 founder Raghav Bahl has also made known his intentions about starting a digital news product following his exit from the media company. The media entrepreneur was in the US recently along with his wife Ritu Kapur to gain insights into how technology is changing the media landscape.

Coming back to the Huffington Post and The Times of India Group tie-up, the two companies will establish an editorial team based in New Delhi. The site is slated to launch later this year.

The English-language website will combine The Huffington Post’s award-winning news and blogging platform with the local expertise and reach of The Times of India Group.

Targeting India’s rapidly expanding internet user base, which is expected to reach 370 million by 2015, HuffPost India will cover everything from politics, media and entertainment to technology, religion and lifestyle, and open up The Huffington Post’s blogging platform to anyone in the country with a story to tell.

“I’m delighted to launch HuffPost India, which will be our 12th edition since we began our international expansion three years ago. In addition to being a hub for global news and a country that embodies much of the ancient wisdom the world desperately needs now, India has deep personal significance to me,” said Huffington Post Media Group president and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington.

“The Huffington Post is the first real digital-first news success story globally, and their impact is seen across the world. They’ve coupled a best-in-class technology platform with a fresh way of approaching the world’s issues today. We’ve demonstrated our ability to meaningfully grow international media brands, such as Business Insider, Gizmodo, and more. We are excited to combine HuffPost’s world-class product with our local reach with consumers and advertisers to tailor-make a great new destination for Indian consumers,” said TIL CEO Satyan Gajwani.

“As the world’s largest democracy, and with a middle class of more than 250 million people, India is a critical destination for any global media company. And with Indian household consumption predicted to continue to grow nearly 20 per cent per year, this partnership gives us an ideal entry into what is expected to become the world’s fifth-largest consumer market within the next ten years,” said Huffington Post Media Group CEO Jimmy Maymann.

The second largest English-speaking population in the world – trailing only the US – India also has the third largest internet population. The Huffington Post has 86 million monthly global unique visitors (desktop only, comScore, June 2014). HuffPost’s integrated global newsroom has hundreds of editors across 11 countries who collaborate in real-time to create content in eight languages using a custom unified tech platform.