AOL, Huffington Post Canada Audience Numbers Jump

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If you're reading this, you probably don't need to be told that Huffington Post Canada's audience is growing.

But the official numbers are in, and the country's newest online news source is showing double-digit traffic growth. HuffPost Canada clocked more than 1.8 million unique visitors in August, a jump of 21 per cent over the previous month, according to web analytics firm ComScore.

That places the site ahead of the National Post websites in terms of traffic numbers, parent company AOL Canada said in a statement released Thursday.

The Canadian version of the popular U.S.-based website has been busily expanding its roster of Canadian content since its launch May 26, with its Politics and Business pages launching over the summer. A Canadian Living section launched earlier this month.

The AOL.ca website saw 10 per cent growth in the latest reporting period, as 10.1 million unique visitors helped propel the site to the rank of Canada’s fourth largest portal, leaping ahead of the Canoe network.

"AOL Canada is acting on our 2011 commitment to build a smart, creative and competitive team in every part of our business, including signature channels like The Huffington Post Canada," AOL Canada General Manager Graham Moysey said in the statement. "And with our solid group of both media and editorial contributors in place, we will create an even bigger and better splash in 2012."

AOL and The Huffington Post joined forces in March when HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington sold her news site for $315 million, in a deal many analysts said could result in a new online news superpower.

HuffPost quickly took advantage of AOL’s existing platforms in Canada and the U.K. to launch Canadian and British versions of the site.

Since it launched in the U.S. in 2005, The Huffington Post has grown into one of the largest and most prominent news sites in North America. The site typically battles for pole position with The New York Times, and Alexa.com currently rates the site as the 24th-most-visited one in the U.S.

The AOL-HuffPost merger managed to reverse a declining trend in AOL’s advertising revenue, but that wasn’t enough to keep the company from struggling with the bottom line this year. The company clocked an $11.8-million loss in the latest quarter due to an unexpected fall-off in revenue that began in late June.

AOL’s Armstrong described the earnings slump as "a short-term economic bump" on what the company sees as an otherwise smooth road towards earnings growth.

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