The Reading Room

Vice on View

First a youth-focused print magazine and website, majoring on arts, culture, and news topics, then a media conglomerate with divisions including a film production company, record label, and publishing imprint. Now, Vice Media is really upping the ante – following the February launch of two Viceland-branded cable channels in the US and home-turf Canada – with an ambitious global TV push.

TV is still the world’s biggest media platform, and the industry is being revolutionised with a host of streaming and digital offerings. So it makes perfect sense for Vice Media to be putting the pedal to the metal, even though at four months old, they are a relative new born baby in the telly game.

At a Cannes Lions event Vice Founder and CEO Shane Smith raised eyebrows when he said: “We are doing television networks, mobile networks, online networks in 44 countries in four months, which is the fastest-growing television network in history.”

Thanks to a slew of international deals with established media names, Vice is to make programming available across 51 territories – India, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with France, Scandinavia and Germany to follow.

Emulating established media giants like Rupert Murdoch who has TV as one of his main offerings, and the newer kids on the broadcasting block like Netflix and Amazon, who have recently moved into original programming of their own, is clearly the Vice plan. Based on their track record, you wouldn’t bet against them.

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