Cosmo Is Taking Over the World, One International Website at a Time


As a (paywalled) article in the Financial Times reports, in the next few months, Cosmopolitan magazine will be launching versions of their ever-growing website in countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark. They’ve already added Nigeria to the mix, and the next year will likely see other African countries get their own sites as well.

“We want to be the largest young women’s website in the world,” said Duncan Edwards, chief executive of Hearst Magazines International. FT reports that some of the other African countries being considered for future expansion are Ghana, Kenya and Botswana.

The print version of Cosmo is already a global publication, but is clearly getting there too. When former editor Kate White was in charge, the magazine added almost two dozen international editions; the total number is now at 60. (Included in that is Cosmopolitan for Latinas, which Hearst publishes in the United States five times a year.) Foreshadowing the expansion of the brand’s web presence, in July, the magazine published a “Global edition,” which featured Katy Perry as the “first-ever global cover star” (seen above on Ukrainian cover); instead of different cover models, Perry was on issues of the magazine published around the world. In May, before that issue came out, Cosmo hosted the first Cosmopolitan Cosmic conference in Argentina, where the editors and publishers of the numerous international editions came together to chat about plans for the future.

So its only natural that Cosmo, which has been so successful internationally on the print side, would attempt the same move on the digital side, where they (and Hearst at large) has seen real growth with regards to traffic and revenue. (Especially because obviously the future of media is not in trees.) The website already has outposts in Britain and South Africa and Capital New York reported, “In October, had 30.1 million unique visitors, doubling the number it had in Oct. 2013 and amounting to about 27 percent of all traffic to Hearst sites, according to internal measurement provided by the publisher.” On their website, Hearst refers to Cosmo as “the largest and the most powerful international Hearst brand.”

How does Cosmo plan to expand to all these different countries? The way that other websites (like BuzzFeed) have expanded: by sharing. As FT reports:

Cosmo is hiring local editors and tapping into the 24-hour newsroom comprised of English-language editorial hubs in the US, UK and Australia. Cosmo editors working in other languages can translate the posts. Those of the digital editions have access to content from across the title’s websites, which can be syndicated alongside local stories.

And as Hearst Magazines International Senior Vice President and Editorial Director Kim St. Clair Bodden explained in June, Cosmo will be doing something similar to BuzzFeed and other sites, using their “mega DAM” – “an asset management system that serves as a digital library of a magazine’s content—images, articles, covers—that can be accessed by editors” to allow different sites to create similar content, the way that different Hearst sites already share content.

“We’ve long been using an asset management system primarily populated with domestic content but it has become increasingly important for us to domestically and internationally pool all of our content and create a robust system with the ability to facilitate all of our partners,” Bodden explained. The future truly does mean a fun fearless life for you and yours, wherever you and yours may live.

Image via Cosmopolitan

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