New York-based Vice Media, publisher of arts and culture magazine Vice, Vice.com and youth television network Viceland, is launching in India through a joint venture with the Times Group, the two companies said on Wednesday.
Vice Media will open a bureau and production hub in Mumbai that aims to distribute original content across television, mobile, digital and other platforms. The group is on a massive international expansion drive and has announced plans to launch its television and digital services in more than 50 countries.
Vice, which was founded in 1994 as a punk rock magazine in Canada under the moniker “Voice of Montreal,” has expanded into broader journalism in recent years and calls itself "an online den of nefarious activities, investigative journalism, and enlightening documentaries." The magazine underwent its first-ever redesign earlier this year, to focus more on its “counter-culture” roots, according to media reports. In recent years, Vice News has acquired a reputation for edgy documentaries.
The joint venture deal with Times Group, will also help bring Viceland, a youth-focused cable network, that will launch in India as a paid TV network. Vice Media is backed by A+E, which in turn is co-owned by media companies Walt Disney and Hearst, and American private equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures.
Vice Media CEO and Founder, Shane Smith, said he plans to bring Vice Media’s content to India’s millennial population and create domestic content from “India’s rich cultural fabric.”
“Jointly, we will capture the attention of India's millennials and provide them a deeper understanding of events and their implications to society,” Times Group Managing Director, Vineet Jain, said in a statement.
Vice Media, valued at $4.5 billion, has been on an international expansion spree, and recently inked joint venture deals with local media companies in the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Vice also has distribution partnerships with HBO, YouTube, Snapchat, Sky, 20th Century Fox, and Spotify , among others.
Times Group has a business division that has partnered with a number of global digital companies in India, including Uber, AirBnb, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Gawker Media, and others.
HuffPost India is published in association with The Times of India Group