More like Vice-no-man’s-land.
Vice, Shane Smith’s media empire, is not doing as well as it had hoped, according to a new report from the Wall Street Report. And a lot of these financial pitfalls were due to Vice’s foray into cable TV.
The Journal reports that Vice “missed its 2017 revenue target of $805 million by more than $100 million.” Viceland, the company’s cable TV channel, may be the cause. According to Nielsen data, Viceland brings in an average of 55,000 primetime viewers in the United States, which is a drop in the bucket compared to other cable channels. Meanwhile, Vice’s co-president, Andrew Creighton–who oversaw the company’s ad program–has been put on leave after sexual harassment allegations surfaced in the New York Times.
Vice isn’t the only media company in this situation. BuzzFeed, too, had trouble hitting benchmarks last year. Though both companies are growing, these hiccups show the tough landscape ahead for digital media companies. Both BuzzFeed and Vice are looked to as beacons for strong, scaling businesses. Both have also invested heavily in diversified revenue streams, video and TV being a big bet for the two.
These forays now don’t seem to be working out as planned. Digital media is going to have to try to find another panacea, I suppose.