Youth content brand Vice Media and communications giant Rogers are joining forces to create a new C$100 million (US$89.2 million) Canadian studio that will make factual and entertainment content for TV, the internet and mobile devices.
The pair will also launch a Vice TV channel in Canada.
Vice will have creative control of the studio’s output, which will be dedicated to Canadian content but distributed internationally. Rogers will put out the Vice content across its TV channels, mobile platforms and online sites.
Announcing the deal yesterday, Vice and Rogers said the Canada Studio “will address the dramatic shift in Canada’s media landscape”, noting that a majority of 18-to-24 year-olds use connected devices to view news and entertainment.
Vice founder, Shane Smith (pictured), said: “This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity. Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company that will program – simultaneously – the holy trinity of convergence; mobile, online, and TV.”
“This revolutionary idea puts us not only at the forefront of tech/media space in Canada but we believe our bold experiment will be followed by media and tech companies around the world. Why? Because this is the future of media.”
“We wanted to build a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18 to 34-year-olds,” said Guy Laurence, president and CEO, Rogers. “[Vice] started in Canada but then moved to New York to prove they could build a global media company, which they’ve done. However, they’ve never forgotten their Canadian roots and have always wanted to open a Canadian production studio.”
He added: “We’re going to shake up Canada with exciting, provocative content and we’ll export it around the world.”
Vice said it will make mobile versions of shows including foodie series F*ck That’s Delicious and travel strand Toxic.
Vice started out in Canada before becoming an international brand. It has recently been aggressively expanding with programming and distribution deals with HBO and FremantleMedia among others. In September, A+E beat Time Warner to a deal for a chunk of Vice, paying US$250 million for a 10% stake.