Vice Media, the content behemoth known for its hard-hitting, gritty coverage of current events, is finally coming to India. Its India entry will be in partnership with the Times Group, which also partners with other global digital publications such as Huffington Post and Business Insider.
— Sonali Krishna (@sonalikrishna) June 22, 2016
Vice was founded in 1994 by Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi. It first focussed its coverage on sex, drugs and rock and roll (hence ‘Vice’), but began doing more mainstream content later on. It is best known for its raw documentaries where its journalists report from some of the most dangerous places in the world, including Somalia, North Korea, and ISIS-controlled Syria. It also runs an eponymous and critically acclaimed series on HBO which is hosted by its founder Shane Smith.
In spite of its unconventional coverage, Vice is a hugely successful media company which netted in almost $1 billion in revenue in 2015. It is currently worth over $2.5 billion.
While it is unclear how its partnership with the Times Group in India will play out, there appear to be no immediate competitors to Vice in India. There are several digital-first firms that dot the Indian media landscape, but there’s none that can boast of content that comes close the Vice’s edgy, non-mainstream and often bullet-dodging coverage. If Vice can retain some of its original journalistic quality in its partnership with the Times Group, India’s digital audience might just have a treat in store.