The news aggregating behemoth Huffington Post is continuing its march into new markets: the next stop is Spain, where the site will partner with respected national daily El Pais to produce a local edition.
From the looks of it, El Huffington Post, as the new site is known, follows the template AOL (NYSE: AOL) and Arianna Huffington started with the French edition of the site, Le Huffington Post. There, HuffPo partnered with daily newspaper publisher Le Monde Group as well as Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendante. But in that deal, the two French publishers will share equity with AOL in the site, whereas in this deal it looks like no equity is changing hands, according to Capital New York.
The French site has yet to launch — a trip to a spoofed URL today took me to a password-protected page, similar to the holding page that existed for Huffington Post UK before it launched this past summer. Even so, the Huffington Post is also eyeing up a French Canadian edition. An English-language Canadian edition already exists.
Extending the footprint with the Spanish edition could prove much more lucrative when you consider the Spanish-speaking footprint in the Americas. Capital NY quotes Arianna Huffington’s own interest in how El Pais is a respected title worldwide as well as in its home country.
In both France and Spain, the deals point to how Huffington Post is looking to local brand power in its international strategy. But it also points to how newspapers in Europe are looking to established internet brands to further their reach online. Le Monde has erected a paywall for some of its own content.
It is also in contrast to the UK effort from the Huffington Post, the first to launch outside of North America. Here, HuffPo has gone it alone; currently has an editorial team of 18 plus an army of freelancers; and trumpets its “independent” editorial voice.
Some other interesting details coming out of the Capital New York report: The deal was only closed last Thursday; the Spanish edition will be based out of El Pais’ own offices; and there is a team of translators being hired to translate across the three languages to help syndicate the content. That points either to more North American content coming to those local sites, or more international coverage in the U.S. edition — or perhaps both.