|Limited liability company|
|Headquarters||49 South Second Street, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States|
Shane Smith (CEO)|
Andrew Creighton (President)
Eddy Moretti (CCO)
US$ 915 million|
|Total assets||US$ 2.5 billion (2014)|
|Parent||A&E Networks (The Walt Disney Company/Hearst Corporation) (20%)|
VICE Media LLC is a Canadian-American digital media and broadcasting company. Originating from the Montreal-based VICE magazine co-founded by Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi, VICE expanded primarily into youth and young adult-focused digital media, including online content verticals and related web series, the news division VICE News, a film production studio, and a record label among other properties. In February 2016, VICE Media launched a cable television network in Canada and the United States known as Viceland—a millennial-targeted network which draws upon the resources of the lifestyle-oriented verticals of VICE.
Originally based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, VICE re-located to New York City in 2001. In 2014, VICE Media was the subject of a 10%, US$200 million equity investment by U.S. broadcasting company A&E Networks, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation. Disney made a second 10%, US$200 million investment in 2015.
Founded by Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes, a magazine named Voice of Montreal was launched in October 1994 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with government funding to cover music, trends and drug culture not covered in print.
They changed the name to VICE in 1996, and as the magazine became increasingly popular, the company found it difficult to scale their operations while based in Canada. As a result, VICE moved to New York City in 1999, then to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2001. The magazine continued to gain attention and readership due to its content, commentary, and contributions from the likes of Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley and others. The magazine then rapidly expanded internationally, with Andrew Creighton and Andy Capper co-founding the UK division of VICE. The magazine then expanded further into all 5 continents.
In 2006, on the advice of creative director Spike Jonze, VICE began expanding into digital video, launching VBS.tv, a new video service as a joint venture with MTV Networks. VBS gained a fan base with shows like The VICE Guide To Travel, Epicly Later’d, and Toxic. The documentaries on the channel featured unusual subjects, and were hosted by young people working at VICE Media, often the founders themselves.
In 2006, co-founder Gavin McInnes left VICE Media due to creative differences with the company, and co-founded an advertising agency, where he has since been terminated for publishing his controversial opinions on transgender issues.
In 2007, VICE Media began aggressively expanding its digital video operation, launching new channels, such as Motherboard (tech), Noisey (music), and The Creators Project, an arts/technology site founded in partnership with Intel. VICE Media later would launch sites around Electronic music culture (Thump), global news (VICE News), food (Munchies) and sports (VICE Sports). Additionally, VICE Media launched Virtue Worldwide, a creative serVICEs agency, to expand their capabilities for work around their platforms. In 2012, VICE Media continued to expand its coverage focused around news and current events.
In mid-August 2013, Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox invested US$70 million in VICE Media, resulting in a 5 percent stake. Following the announcement, Smith explained, "We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control."
In 2013 VICE Media premiered a new 30-minute news program for HBO titled VICE, executive produced by Bill Maher. In 2014, the second season of the show won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special in the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
In 2014, VICE Media launched its news channel, VICE News, which almost immediately gained global attention for its coverage of protests and conflict in Ukraine and Venezuela. As of October 2014, the leader of BBC’s Newsdesk claimed the organization was “playing catch-up” to VICE News.
VICE Media has routinely advocated for their “immersionist” brand of journalism in the pursuit of more authentic and interesting stories. Their founders and editors have regularly garnered controversy from the likes of the New York Times’ David Carr, who bristled in an exchange with Shane Smith in the 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times (in a 2014 Time column Carr said that VICE had since grown into a strong news entity).
On July 2, 2014, VICE Media announced that it would be relocating into a warehouse space in Williamsburg formerly occupied by music venues 285 Kent, Death by Audio, and Glasslands. VICE spent US$20 million to renovate the 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building as part of an eight-year lease, facilitating the establishment of new production facilities with full broadcast capabilities, and received an offer of US$6.5 million in tax credits from New York state's Empire State Development.
In June 2014, it was reported that Time Warner was negotiating to acquire a minority stake in VICE Media; among the company's plans were to give VICE Media control over the programming of HLN—a spin-off network of CNN which had recently struggled in its attempts to re-focus itself as a younger-skewing, social media-oriented news service. However, the deal fell through as the companies were unable to agree on a proper valuation, and VICE Media chose to partner with A&E Networks for a 10% minority stake. A&E's co-owner Disney made a second investment of $200 million
On October 30, 2014, VICE Media announced a CDN$100 million joint venture with Rogers Communications that to facilitate the construction of production facilities in Toronto, as well as the introduction of a VICE-branded television network and digital properties in Canada in 2015. Rogers CEO Guy Laurence described the proposed studio as "a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18- to 34-year-olds" that will be "exciting" and provocative." The content of the partnership will be aimed primarily toward digital platforms.
In November 2014, VICE Media announced that Alyssa Mastromonaco, who formerly worked in the Obama administration, would come on board as the company's chief operating officer in January 2015, and that James Schwab, who had previously advised VICE and Dreamworks on media deals, would be joining as Co-President.
In November 2015, VICE and A&E Networks announced Viceland, a then-upcoming cable network that would feature VICE-produced content. In March 2016, VICE acquired controlling stake in UK television and film production company Pulse Films
VICE is a print magazine and website focused on arts, culture, and news topics. Founded in 1994 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the magazine later expanded into VICE Media, which consists of divisions including the magazine and website, a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint. As of February 2015, the magazine's Chief Creative Officer is Eddy Moretti, Andrew Creighton is President, the editor-in-chief is Ellis Jones and Alex Miller is the global head of content. As of October 2014, 29 VICE bureaus exist on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. The monthly publication is frequently focused on a single theme.
VICE News is the name of VICE Media's current affairs brand, consisting primarily of documentaries. It was created in December 2013 as a division of VICE Media, Inc. VICE News promotes itself on its coverage of events that may not be as well covered by other news sources. VICE News creates content daily, distributing written articles and video on its website and YouTube channel.
Viceland is a cable television network operated by VICE in partnership with A&E Networks in the U.S. and Rogers Media in Canada, primarily featuring documentary-style programs targeted toward millennials.
VICE Media, through its magazine VICE, has published the collections The DOs and DON'Ts Book and The VICE Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. In 2008, the photograph compilation The VICE Photo Book was released and featured published works from previous editions of the magazine.
|Parent company||Vice Media|
|Status||Active (as of 7/27/2016, website is nonfunctional)|
|Country of origin||United States|
Brooklyn, New York|
VICE Records or VICE Music, founded in 2002, has released albums and singles by the following artists through various major label distributors:
|Motherboard||2010||Technology and science|
|Munchies||2014||Food and cooking|
|The Creators Project||2010||Arts and creativity|
|Fightland||2014||Mixed martial arts|
- ^ Launch refers to year where the first VICE-produced video was released on their respective YouTube channels.
- ^ In 2014, VICE Media took over the YouTube-funded channel The NOC, which was launched in 2012.
In 2006, on the adVICE from the company’s creative director Spike Jonze, VICE began expanding into digital video, launching VBS.tv, a new video-focused web-only video channel. VBS immediately gained a fan base with shows like The VICE Guide To Travel, Epicly Later’d, and Toxic. The immersive documentaries on the channel featured unusual subjects, and were hosted by young people working at VICE, often by the founders themselves.
VBS.tv began as a deal between Viacom-owned MTV Networks and Logo Group. In March 2007, the VBS.tv network was formed; MTV funded its formation and VICE magazine would supply the content. The videos and documentaries, such as the VICE Guide to Travel (2006), are accessible on the Internet-based VICE channel. In 2010, VBS.tv was folded into a new VICE.com, which incorporated their video library alongside features from the magazine and digital editorial content.
On December 8, 2014, 20th Century Fox and VICE Media launched VICE Films to finance, produce, distribute, market, and acquire narrative films.
VICE Films released the feature length rockumentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad in 2008, which follows the thrash metal band Acrassicauda in Iraq. The New York Times praised the production and reporting, calling it a "splendid feat of D.I.Y. reportage...Both a stirring testament to the plight of cultural expression in Baghdad and a striking report on the refugee scene in Syria, this rock-doc like no other electrifies its genre and redefines headbanging as an act of hard-core courage."
“Fishing Without Nets,” VICE Films’ first narrative feature, won Best Director for Cutter Hodeine at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released online in partnership with 20th Century Fox in October 2014.
The VICE Guide To Everything
The MTV series The VICE Guide to Everything premiered in December 2010 and features VICE films, as well as new material.
VICE HBO series
In 2013, HBO aired the first 10-episode season of a half-hour newsmagazine known as VICE, with Bill Maher as executive producer. The initial season saw international coverage for the season one finale that had VICE play an exhibition basketball game in North Korea with Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters. The show was renewed for a second season, which aired in 2014 and won an Emmy award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.
The show was picked up for two more 14-episode seasons by HBO in May 2014, which aired in 2015 and 2016.
In October 2016, a second Vice News program, a nightly news program called Vice News Tonight, premiered.
Advertising with VICE
Despite its broad coverage of topics, VICE has continued to attract advertisers, in comparison to the big four news corporations who self censor as they are "scared of losing Budweiser or whoever as their advertisers". Advertising is an important component of VICE's business which is targeted at millennials who are weary of traditional online ads, and try their best to ignore them. Going back to the time of its print magazine, VICE has carried out in-house advertising. VICE has been selective as to whose advertising it would carry, aligning it with the interests of its target audience. VICE has worked closely with advertisers to create ads for them, thus receiving revenue from both the production of the ad and its placement within the magazine. VICE has its own advertising agency that "blurs the line between editorial and sponsorship". This type of advertising is called native advertising, since its is merged with the content. Co-founder Alvi has also said that VICE has had "franchises that were underwritten by sponsors - that's our goal, to get a lot of our news franchises and stories and reports sponsored by advertisers. It's kind of the way news used to be in the fifties: 'Brought to you by Gillette' or whatever it was. We love that model".
Some of the brands that VICE has worked with are Google, Levi Strauss & Co. and Intel. However, some advertisers have been controversial; VICE Media has been condemned as "highly irresponsible" by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other anti-smoking groups as Edition Worldwide – a subsidiary of VICE UK – produces promotional content for tobacco giant Philip Morris International. This was seen as especially unethical due to the young audience which VICE News usually attracts.
Lack of union recognition
In February 2016, staff members at VICE UK called for unionisation with an officially recognised trade union by the National Union of Journalists. Staff members said this was following the steps of VICE US (which unionised with the Writers Guild of America, East), in order to allow the staff to "share in the success of the company", to strengthen job security by VICE providing better contracts, to address "pay issues ... so everyone gets a fair deal, including freelancers" and enhance career progression opportunities.
This proposition was rejected by VICE UK; the company refused to recognise the National Union of Journalists but instead said that they were free to set up an internal staff council. VICE chief executive, Matt Elek, claimed the NUJ had displayed "a concerning lack of transparency from them about who they are purporting to represent here [and had] not been able to provide us with any numbers to demonstrate the degree of support they have in this office", adding that: "The NUJ are used to working with old print media businesses and structures – they are not used to innovative, digital workplaces like this where the culture has always been to encourage flexibility and allow people work across different departments."
The rejection is in contrast to the US, where journalists working for the digital operations of VICE, Gawker and the Guardian have all won union recognition. In response, Michelle Stanistreet (General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists) said:
The accusation that the NUJ has not been transparent in its discussions with VICE management is simply untrue. It's a shame that the company has proven so resistant to listening to its own staff and facilitating what they want – a collective voice at work. That the NUJ and its 30,000 members – including those at VICE – are not used to the reality of a digital workforce is laughable and shows it's the company who are out of date with 21st century trade unions. Rejecting calls for union recognition from their own journalists and then trying to fob them off with a Rupert Murdoch-style staff association is a pretty old-fashioned union-busting ruse that misses the point. NUJ officials and reps at VICE will continue with the push for recognition and if the company wants that to be gained through the law forcing their hand rather than through sensible engagement with their staff, so be it.
Acquisitions and investments
Old Blue Last pub
VICE runs a pub and music venue in Shoreditch, east London named The Old Blue Last, in which a live music program entitled "Live at the Old Blue Last" is filmed. After VICE bought the Old Blue Last in 2004, it underwent a series of improvements, with most taking place in 2010. Bands who have played at the venue include Arctic Monkeys, No Island, Amy Winehouse, Chromeo, Black Lips, and Florence + the Machine.
In 2015, VICE announced it invested an "undisclosed sum" in VRSE.farm, a virtual reality company founded by acclaimed director Chris Milk. The announcement came alongside a debut VR experience at the Sundance Festival, a "virtual-reality journalism broadcast" made in partnership with Spike Jonze and VICE News.
That same year, in July it acquired UK magazine Garage to expand it foothold in the youth market and plans to launched a television network focused on Art, Fashion and Literature
Office expansion in Brooklyn
In July 2014, VICE Media announced it would be moving its headquarters to a new building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where their New York office had been since 1999. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the move would allow them to double their current office size and hire about 500 new employees.
Following this announcement, the two music venues occupying the building, Glasslands Gallery and Death By Audio, soon announced the news they would be closing. Following the announcement from Glasslands management in October 2014 that the arts venue would close at the end of 2014, thereby making it the third Williamsburg music space to close through VICE Media's expansion—alongside 285 Kent and Death By Audio—Big Shot Magazine claimed that the Brooklyn music community had received a "proverbial kick in the groin."
After a series of articles covering the venues' eviction, BrooklynVegan reported on the deals that led to VICE Media moving into the new office, including terms buying out tenants and covering past overdue rent, that contradicted some press around the renovation of the building and VICE Media's dealings with the current tenants. Regardless, as the article puts it, "The concept of 'VICE vs. DIY' in Williamsburg is officially a thing."
- "Vice Media Revenue on Track to Reach Close to $1 Billion This Year". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "A&E Networks Buying Minority Stake in Vice Media". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Jaafar, Ali (29 March 2016). "Vice Media Acquires Majority Stake In UK Production Company Pulse Films". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (5 July 2016). "Vice Buys Garage Magazine, Will Launch Digital Channel for Art, Fashion and Architecture". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Levine, Robert. "A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- "Vice Media to Launch Cable TV Channel in Canada". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- The Snarky Vice Squad Is Ready to Be Taken Seriously. Seriously. Wired. 18 October 2007
- "A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- Brydum, Sunnivie. "Gavin McInnes Pushed Out of Ad Agency While Defending Transphobic Views". Advocate. Here Media Inc. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Launder, William. "Vice Media Gets 21st Century Fox Cash". WSJ.com. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Vice". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Plunkett, John. "BBC playing 'catch-up' with Vice News, says Newsbeat editor". TheGuardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Jordan Sargent (22 October 2014). "No One Wants To Say It, But Vice Is Displacing Brooklyn Institutions". Gawker. Gawker. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- Mark Fahey (2 July 2014). "Vice Media grows in Brooklyn". Crain's. Crains Communications Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- "Time Warner Ends Negotiations to Buy Stake in Vice Media". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Paul Bond. "A&E Networks Buying Minority Stake in Vice Media". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Ember, Sydney (December 8, 2015). "Disney Invests $200 Million More in Vice Media to Support New Programming". New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- "Rogers, Vice Media strike $100M deal to create Canadian content". CBC News. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Rogers, Vice Media to partner on $100-million venture". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Emily Steel (16 November 2014). "Vice Hires Alyssa Mastromonaco, Former Official in Obama White House, as a Top Executive". New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Tom Huddleston, Jr. (15 December 2014). "Vice Media sees 'deal spree', possible IPO on horizon". Fortune. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "It's Official: Vice Channel to Take Over A+E Networks' History Spinoff H2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Viceland, a New Cable Channel, Aims to Stand Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "A+E Networks' H2 To Be Rebranded As Vice". Deadline. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- Sterne, Peter (2015-02-11). "Vice E.I.C. Rocco Castoro out at Vice". Capital New York. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
- "About Us". Vice News. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- The Vice Photo Book (book review) Harp. March/April 2008 Archived March 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Rhys, James (16 March 2016). "eSports". Vice. [[Vice Media LLC]. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
- A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV New York Times. 19 November 2007
- "Vice Dos & Don'ts: 10 Years of Vice Magazine's Street Fashion Critiques summary". Atomic Books. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- 20th Century Fox, Vice Media Launch Vice Films Thom Geier thewrap.com, Retrieved on July 27, 2016
- "How to Rock in Iraq". The New York Times. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Interview: Vice's Jesse Pearson on Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze, and the Future of Vice Films & VBS.TV". /Film.
- "Swansea Love Story". cnn.com. 23 February 2010.
- Ellen E. Jones (21 March 2013). "The rebirth of Snoop Dogg". The Independent. London. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Makarechi, Kia (2013-03-18). "'Lil Bub & Friendz' Trailer: From Meme To The Movies (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Lil Bub & Friendz | 2013 Tribeca Film Festival". Tribecafilm.com. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- The Editors (2013-04-25). "Here Are Your TFF 2013 Award Winners | Tribeca". Tribecafilm.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
- Dominic Patten,Jen Yamato. "Sundance Film Festival Winners 2014: Full List — Sundance Awards – Deadline". Deadline.
- "A Spoonful of Exotica Makes the Geography Go Down". The New York Times. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Wire. "HBO's 'Vice' Wins Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special – Sound & Picture". Sound & Picture.
- Adams, Tim. "Shane Smith: 'I want to build the next CNN with Vice – it's within my grasp'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
- "Vice Media cranks up news operations". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
- In Conversation with Co-Founders of Vice - Suroosh Alvi & Shane Smith, retrieved 2015-12-11
- "Vice Media uses Gonzo sensibility to win online". Reuters. 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
- "Why the future of news is Vice". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
- "How Shane Smith Built Vice Into a $2.5 Billion Empire". AdWeek. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
- McCarthy, John (18 March 2016). "Vice Media attacked for making tobacco adverts for Philip Morris". The Drum. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Jackson, Jasper (17 March 2016). "Vice Media attacked for making tobacco adverts for Philip Morris". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Warren, James (10 August 2015). "VICE workers decide they need a union". Poynter. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Sweney, Mark (8 February 2016). "Vice UK staff move to unionise to 'share in the success' of media company". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Jackson, Jasper; Martinson, Jane (27 April 2016). "Vice UK rejects call for union recognition". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Stanistreet, Michelle (27 April 2016). "Trade union recognition at Vice UK". National Union of Journalists. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Vice Acquires Full-Service Digital Agency Carrot Creative". 12 November 2013.
- SOMAIYA, RAVI (December 10, 2013). "Vice Media Buys a Tech Company to Experiment With Content Distribution". The New York Times.
- Andrew Pugh (28 February 2013). "'Maybe we've grown up': Ten years on, how Vice magazine got serious". Press Gazette. Progressive Media International. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Meg Carter (22 October 2007). "Television for trendsetters". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Andrews, Robert (April 5, 2011). "Vice Media Takes Investment From WPP, Others". PaidContent. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- "About". The Old Blue Last. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Rickett, Oscar (2013). "How Vice Bought a Brothel". Vice. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- William Turvill (19 December 2012). "Consumer Vice aims high following acquisition of UK style magazine i-D". PressGazette. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Sweney, Mark (18 December 2012). "Vice Media buys style publication i-D". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Vice Staff (December 2012). "We Just Acquired 'I-D' Magazine". Vice. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- Steel, Emily (23 January 2015). "Vice Uses Virtual Reality to Immerse Viewers in News". The New York Times.
- Alpert, Lukas I. (2016-06-22). "Vice Media to Expand in Dozens of New International Markets". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- Laura Kusisto (3 July 2014). "Vice Media Moving to New Williamsburg Headquarters". WSJ.
- Darren Ressler (23 October 2014). "Gentrification Blues: Williamsburg's Glasslands is Closing". Big Shot Magazine. Big Shot Magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- "Death By Audio booker talks Vice; Vice & the landlord respond". brooklynvegan.com.
- 40°42′50″N 73°57′35″W / 40.713889°N 73.959722°WCoordinates: 40°42′50″N 73°57′35″W / 40.713889°N 73.959722°W Brooklyn headquarters