Jimmy Maymann, CEO, Huffington Post Media, USA spoke to delegates today at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, Germany, about how the company is expanding outside its traditional markets, and internationalising its brand.
The Huffington Post website started as a portal for politics and news, which according to Maymann, is “still our DNA”. “The great thing about the internet,” he continued, “is that it allows you to create verticals and appeal to niche audiences. We have 70 verticals now and they are all key for us key for us. Once people have come through the front door, you want them to stay and dive into their niche interest areas.” The DIS audience was surprised to hear about the sheer volume of content being produced by the Huffington Post today – 1,600 stories are published every day, which equates to a new story being published on the site every 58 seconds. The site now produces content, and sells to its advertisers, in four different packages: News and Business, Lifestyle, Entertainment and Technology and Innovation.
Other innovations include an algorithm to allow the home page content to be driven by most popular stories and an integrated approach to social media. The site started like a blog, and is today a much more sophisticated social media news site. The launch in August 2012 of Huff Post Live, the site’s very own TV channel, has already won prizes in the US, and is a 12 hours per-day five days per week stream of information for its audience. “We wanted to create something that had the same sort of social experience as the site”, said Maymann. “We wanted to create something and use our technology to produce it at low cost, but also wanted somewhere we could engage our audience and involve them in the channel, so it becomes a two-way thing.” It certainly seems to work. The statistics show that new users are joining the Huff Post Live conversations every day, with 6,000 dialing in to conversations on air. The channel has received more than 100 million video views and more than one million comments from participating viewers. “We’ve just signed a deal to bring Huff Post Live to cable TV”, said Maymann, “this will allow us to further extend our audience.”