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High-rolling Vice Media leads the ‘content’ charge

There’s money in that thar content.

Already this week we’ve seen Publicis announce a bid for news agency Relaxnews and Havas tie up a sharing deal with NewsCred.

Now it’s emerged that Vice Media co-founder and CEO Shane Smith (below) blow $300,000 on a meal for staff and clients at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (with $15000 bottles of wine). Only after winning $1m at the tables it must be said. Although such a win implies rather large bets.

But everyone seems to want a slice of Vice Media’s main property Vice News. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox invested last year and two technology funds have recently put in hundreds of millions. Vice Media is now value at $2.5bn.

Which is pretty steep for an internet documentary maker and news channel, whose biggest commercial deal to date may be Mr Smith’s luck at the tables.

Vice News has produced some genuinely good work, managing to get close enough to the ghastly Islamic State to cast a more revealing light on its gruesome activities than most of its more established rivals.

People still struggle to describe ‘content.’ What’s not at issue is that many organisations are prepared to pay a lot of money for it, whatever it is.

Is this the new media landscape or, that old favourite, an internet bubble?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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