While some media companies are scratching their heads trying to find ways to become profitable and cut costs, (usually by laying people off), Vice is doing the opposite: enjoying an estimated value of $1 billion (with $100 million in revenue) and looking to expand into China.
A recent Forbes story details the company’s rapid ascend and ambitious moves. What started out as a free magazine based in Montreal has transformed into a global media empire that chronicles hipster and youth culture, is headquartered in Brooklyn and employs 800 people in 34 countries. Interestingly enough, as Forbes suggests, it was web video content — the creative, ahead-of-the-curve type — that helped to set Vice apart from, well, your traditional media companies.
With that kind of foresight, China seems doable, especially with recent investment backing.
However, the big question remains. Will Vice’s somewhat, uh, racy content mesh with Chinese conservatism?
The Atlantic Wire reports:
Vice, for one, says that they’re not worried at all about the challenges of working in China. “VICE has already been successful in climbing the Great Firewall of China,” a spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire. “Partnering with Intel to launch the successful Creator Project video platform there, as well as partnering with Dell to launch the Noisey music video platform. In addition VICE has established video content sharing agreements with local portals and outlets.”
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that one of the company’s top advisers and minority investors is Tom Freston, the former CEO of Viacom.