Huffington Post Rivals: Dead-Tree Newspapers & The Beeb

Arianna Huffington is taking a huge gamble by launching the Huffington Post outside North America; although the site will be using the same recipe to replicate its success in the UK and in mainland Europe, things are slightly different once you cross the US frontier.

The Canadian version of the Huffington Post, which was launched at the end of May 2011, is currently listed amongst the top 300 websites in the country with roughly 70,000 unique visitors according to Compete.com, 300 times less than its US counterpart.

Over here, the media landscape is in stark contrast with its US counterpart; competition is vibrant and there are an abnormally large number of media groups competing amongst each other for a relatively small number of readers.

Most of these media groups have both printed newspapers (Guardian, The Times, The Sun, Dailymail) supported by award winning websites. It's no surprise therefore that a website like the Dailymail for example is the fourth most visited English-language news website in the world after the Beeb, NYTimes and Huffington Post.

The UK also has a unique proposition; the BBC, as a public news organisation, is significantly more powerful both commercially and content wise, than its nearest US equivalent PBS.

Not only is the BBC free from any commercial constraints due to the government-backed TV licensing funding in place, it is also by far the most dominating force either online, on TV and radio, with printed press being the only segment not touched (yet) by the Beeb.

Will Huffpo succeed in the UK? Well, the US version is ranked 221st in the UK, sandwiched between Ning and The AA. It is very likely that the US website will be linking extensively to the UK version but ultimately, the latter will have to stand on its own two feet.