Say what you will about The Huffington Post and AOL, their merger has given HuffPo the resources to conquer the online news aggregation business. Today HuffPo dropped some big stats about the year since its acquisition, most importantly a 47% growth of monthly unique visitors to 36.2 million. Next it’s aiming to take down CNN and the cable news industry with The Huffington Post Streaming Network, which will stream content live on the web for 12 hours a day.
HuffPo proudly announced that it added 170 editors and reporters, as well as 9,884 bloggers. Omitted was the fact that it laid off 120 editorial staff members earlier this year, and that swaths of Huffington Post freelance bloggers got the axe in favor of full-time journalists. On a brighter note, the site launched 44 new verticals, including HuffPost Green, and HuffPost Gay Voices, which are topping the comScore unique visitor charts for their categories.
The Huffington Post Streaming Network, or HPSN its abbreviated, will be “a never-ending talk show” to “mirror the Internet experience” says HuffPo founding editor Roy Sekoff. 100 employees in HuffPo’s NYC and LA office will work on the project which launches next quarter, and it will bump up to 16 hours of streaming a day next year.
Hollywood Reporter says there will also be on-demand clips, that the live stream will include a news ticker at the bottom, and that viewers will be encouraged to video call in and participate. Regarding the potential to become a full blown cable tv network, Sekoff said “We are happy to have it happen as long as we stay true to our format. We do not want to become like everyone else.”
YouTube recently announced partnerships with 100 content providers including Reuters, Slate, and SB Nation to create original web tv series. Unfortunately, you still have to make an active choice of what to watch next when you finish a video, as shown above.
HPSN is another example of the tech industry disrupting the inefficiency of old world media. Right now, news junkies have to pay enormous monthly cable bills to get a constant supply of video content. Sure they could go online and bounce from news clip to news clip, but that experience is exhausting. HPSN’s relaxing, laid back experience will work on the web, but it could be a big winner on internet-capable televisions.
Disclosure: The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, TechCrunch’s parent company.
Image Credit: Shutterstock – Arcady