Mumbai: Global youth media brand Vice Media, known for its edgy content, is making its market entry in India across digital, mobile and television through a joint venture with The Times Group.
Viceland, a joint venture between A+E Networks and Vice Media, will launch as a paid TV network in India with a mix of local and international content. The 24-hour channel is programmed and produced by Vice.
The local JV between Vice Media and The Times Group will also see Vice opening a new bureau and production hub in Mumbai, creating original content for distribution across TV, mobile, digital and linear platforms in the region.
The partnership with Vice will see the opening of local production studios, the hiring of leading journalists and filmmakers, and the airing of tailored local news and lifestyle programming around the clock.
The JV will also see the launch of Virtue India, Vice’s in house creative services agency. Virtue will develop branded content for the Indian market drawing on Vice’s extensive relationships with advertisers and innovative approach to creating branded content that seamlessly weaves content, audiences and brands across multiple platforms.
Vice will split the startup costs with The Times Group. Marketing and ad sales will be handled by The Times Group. By tying up with The Times Group, Vice immediately gains access to unparalleled knowledge of the local market and a proven record of success in a region primed for massive audience growth, particularly among younger people.
This is a key partnership for Times Global Partners, an initiative from the Group that supports the launch and expansion of emerging global digital companies in India. Previously, Times Global Partners has partnered Huffington Post, Business Insider, Goal, Advertising Age, Uber, Airbnb and other digital businesses.
Vice CEO and founder Shane Smith said, “I couldn’t be more excited to partner Times of India, not only to bring Vice’s content to the largest millennial population on earth, but also to create domestic content from India’s rich cultural fabric and bring it to our networks in the rest of the world. India is perhaps the most fascinating and dynamic country in the world today and this joint venture allows us unique access to this fast growing media market.”
Times Group MD Vineet Jain said, “India is emerging as a global player with one of the largest, captive youth audiences. We are excited to partner Vice, which brings boldness and edginess to covering stories that India has never seen. Jointly, we will capture the attention of India’s millennials and provide them a deeper understanding of events and their implications for society. I look forward to working closely with Shane and the Vice team in building the business across media platforms.”
The India launch is part of Vice Media’s rollout in several new markets. The company has inked joint ventures with media firms in not just India but also the Middle East. It has broadcasting arrangements in Africa, Southeast Asia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Vice has also stitched a joint venture deal with Moby Media Group for the Middle East and North Africa. In Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia, Vice will be paid a licensing fee for its content.
Vice said it has developed an outstanding global reputation for producing the gold standard of video content for young people, forging innovative distribution partnerships with A+E Networks, HBO, YouTube, Snapchat, Sky, Live Nation, 20th Century Fox, Verizon, Canal+, Spotify and more to take its programming to young people everywhere.
Viceland to enter India via Times Group