Based in New York and with 35 overseas offices and 1,100 employees, VICE is a for-profit news business, making US$175 million in revenue in 2012, according to Forbes.
Rupert Murdoch’s Twentieth Century Fox invested 5 percent, or $70 million, in VICE in 2013, which places the value of the company at $1.4 billion. Murdoch praised VICE as a “wild, interesting effort to reach Millennials who don’t read or watch established media.”
VICE CEO and co-founder Shane Smith knows he has a gold mine on his hands, telling Forbes in Aug. 2013:
“At some point, Google and Facebook or somebody is going to wake up to face that we’re the world’s largest producer of premium video content on the web, that we have the world’s biggest brands in our pocket, so we can monetise, we have long time on site, we’re great at engagement, we do experiential, we do everything they don’t do. So if Facebook, for example, would wake up and say, oh, we’re going to go public and we can tick off monetization, content, engagement, all these things….and the reason why I would do that is if we became the network for Facebook or the network of Google, we’d achieve that dream of mine overnight of being the next CNN, the next ESPN or the next MTV with the largest audience in the world. And it would be hard to say no to that, not because of the money but because of the f—— cultural impact you would have. At this point I don’t give a s— about money. I’m worth more money than I can ever spend.”
Indeed, VICE is at the bleeding edge of advertising innovation.
Founded: 1994 in Montreal, as a punk magazine
Headquarters: New York City
Content: News and entertainment targeting Millennials, emulating television content and magazine media styles
Wall Street valuation: US$1.4 billion in 2013
Source: FIPP World Digital Media Factbook. The report features research, data and analysis covering digital media revenue and usership trends, including social media, video, tablets, smartphones, e-commerce, apps, gaming, copyright and much more.