Vice Continues to Grow as It Heads Into Its First NewFronts

Expanding into sports and food programming

Since its humble beginnings as a Montreal-based print publication on news and culture, Vice has mushroomed to 129 million views per month across its platforms, which include online channels, TV shows, its tablet and mobile offerings, and the original magazine (not to mention Vice Music, Film and Books).

Vice’s digital mission for next year, which will be unveiled at its first NewFronts presentation on May 2, is all about expansion, especially for recently launched site Vice News and food vertical Munchies. Chief creative officer Eddy Moretti asserts that no publisher has kept up with how prevalent food has become in youth culture. Vice is putting itself in prime position with a slate of cuisine-themed programs, including F-ck, That’s Delicious hosted by rapper Action Bronson.

“Ten years ago, the coolest kids would be in bands. Now you see the cool kids … they’re saying ‘F-ck it, you know what’s cool? A wood-burning pizzeria with farm-to-table f-cking tomatillos,’” Moretti said.“This is 2014. The standard for language, nudity and what’s acceptable for a young audience has completely changed,” he said.

Kerry Tracy, CEO of media agency Working Media Group, pointed out that any number of fashion, video game and extreme sports brands would be clamoring to get their products next to Vice material.

“Even with an edgy brand, you take that risk of being associated with content that is continually pushing the envelope. That said, some brands are looking for that exposure and association,” he said.

It hasn’t stopped the likes of AT&T, Intel or Budweiser from signing on.

Vice is open for new advertisers as it continues the uphill battle that all digital publishers face with distribution and monetization. Vice News launched with minimal ad support and like many outlets will not put ads on breaking news, Creighton pointed out. However, it is looking for marketers to sponsor franchises, including the to-be-announced show about the environment, Toxic.