Vice Media has partnered with A+E Networks to launch a new channel, Viceland, which will be available in early 2016. The digital youth brand will see Vice moving to TV screens as a new 24-hour channel programmed and produced exclusively by the company. A+E Networks’ channel H2 will be transitioned to the new channel.
Viceland will be distributed in approximately 70 million homes, and will feature new programming developed and produced in-house. Viceland plans to work with brand partners to change the nature of TV advertising too, making the commercial time an extension of the entertainment programming itself, in a bid to keep viewers engaged. However, exactly how it plans to do this has not yet been revealed by the company.
Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO, A+E Networks said that the channel “represents a strategic fit and a new direction for the future of our portfolio of media assets. Shane Smith has led Vice from a fledgling magazine into a global media brand and all of us at A+E are excited to work with him and his passionate and innovative team.”
Spike Jonze, Oscar-winning writer/director and creative director at Vice has been overseeing the development of the new channel, and said that the mission with the channel “is not that different from what our mission is as a company: it’s us trying to understand the world we live in by producing pieces about things we’re curious about, or confused about, or that we think are funny. And if it doesn’t have a strong point of view then it shouldn’t be on this channel.”
Viceland will launch with prime-time shows, including Gaycation, an LGBT travel series, Huang’s World, hosted by the chef and restaurateur, Noisey (with Zach Goldbaum), Vice World Of Sports, which covers sport, business, politics and culture, and Weediquette.
The launch of Viceland coincides with Vice’s growth across online and mobile, and the new channel is designed to complement this, offering engaging, original content covering fashion, food, music, sports, and more. The move completes Vice’s ‘trinity of screens’.
“This network is the next step in the evolution of our brand and the first step in our global roll-out of networks around the world,” said Shane Smith, Vice co-founder and CEO. “First: It allows us to be truly platform agnostic and enable our audience to view our content wherever they want. Second: It represents a continued growth in our content quality and raises the ceiling even higher for our brilliant teams to attack stories from long form features to multi-episode series and even short form interstitials that will challenge the accepted norms of current TV viewing. Third: We will test new and innovative monetisation strategies placing Viceland at the pointy tip of the spear of the rapidly changing terrain of TV advertising.
Image: Vice’s HBO show, Shane Smith in Greenland