Rupert Murdoch invests $70 million into Vice
Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. has just taken a slice of Vice. No, the billionaire’s not put his money into prostitution but instead – for those who haven’t heard of it – he’s invested in a local magazine business that has grown into an alternative media empire now valued at $1.4 billion.
Vice Media, which remains 75% owned by its existing senior management, was founded in 1994 in Montreal. A government funded print edition community magazine when it opened, the business evolved rapidly into an online lifestyle title focused on international arts, culture and news topics. Vice’s focus is primarily on youth culture and its style is very much of the gonzo school.
In addition to Vice.com, which grew from 2,000,000 to 15,000,000 monthly users last year, the company has its own record label, advertising agency and HBO television series. The business has 35 offices in 18 countries and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
Prior to today’s announcement, “hard-living, hard-partying” Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive and co-founder, has variously stated:
“[Our] overall goal is to be the largest network for young people in the world… I want us to be the next MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one… We have set ourselves up to build a global platform”.
Many may have written Rupert Murdoch off but given his acceptance and embrace of the substantive growth in online media, this 82-year old has again shown that his finger is still very much on the pulse.
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