Vice Media Strikes Slew of International Mobile Deals, Will Launch SVOD Service in Japan

Shane Smith - H Getty 2016
Credit: Getty / Bobby Bank

They include direct-to-consumer, original production, licensing and Viceland programming agreements, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

Vice Media has struck deals with eight mobile partners covering multiple territories, especially in the Asia Pacific region, to make its programming available to hundreds of millions of new viewers.

The agreements include direct-to-consumer, original production, licensing and Viceland programming deals. They are part of the company's next phase of its three-screen strategy.

Vice Media CEO Shane Smith made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, describing them as major inroads into the nascent mobile content market. Including the deals, the company's content will be delivered to more than 80 territories by the end of 2017.

"When we first started to roll out our global terrestrial TV program, people thought I was nuts, 'going backwards,' and a victim of my own hubris," said Smith. "Today we announce our first batch of international mobile deals that we will now marry with our TV platforms and digital platforms to offer a comprehensive three screen/one screen/OTT platform-agnostic media company that offers our content at all times — everywhere."

The deals, with more expected to be announced in the coming months, include licensing agreements with AbemaTV and Verizon that will see more Vice content become available in the U.S. and Japan "in addition to the significant original programming Vice already produces for each platform."

The company will also launch Vice+, a subscription video on demand service, with Japan's DoCoMo Digital that provides original Vice content and curated content direct to consumers in Japan. Vice called Japan "a country that has been at the forefront of this type of offering," adding that "his agreement has the potential for further expansion into territories, in which DoCoMo Digital operates."

To create original mobile programming, Vice also has reached deals in Indonesia with XL Axiata and iflix, with the latter agreement expanding into other iflix markets to be determined. 

And to expand Viceland content to mobile platforms, Vice has extended its partnership with Fido in Canada and reached a new agreement with Partner Communications in Israel.