Vice Media partners with A+ E Networks to launch own cable TV channel Viceland

MUMBAI: Vice Media is all set to launch its cable TV channel in partnership with A+E Networks. With this move, Vice will become the first digital media company to have its own cable TV channel. The new channel, Viceland will go live from 14 March 2016. Catering to a younger audience, the channel aims at reinventing traditional TV ad model and has rostered majority advertisers.

The channel will carry only about half of the 18 minutes of ads that most cable networks air in an hour of programming. Advertisers on board are Unilever PLC, Bank of America Corp., Smirnoff maker Diageo PLC, watch and apparel maker Shinola, Bushmills whiskey, Mailchimp, Samsung Electronics Co., T-Mobile US Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Within six months’, Viceland wants roughly half its advertising inventory to be made up of native ads packaged to look like editorial content and keep audiences from tuning out. These spots will frequently be longer than a typical 30-second ad and will be tailored specifically for the network.

Talking about the new launch, Viceland co-president and Vice chief creative officer Eddy Moretti informed the Wall Street Journal, “We are trying to displace the clutter by injecting some humanity and authenticity.” He further added, “If we create a user experience that is more engaging than what else is on the dial, people won’t flip.”

Vice, which was valued at nearly $4.5 billion last year in a recent funding round, isn’t alone in identifying that the barrage of traditional ads that appear on most cable channels are a turnoff for viewers, particularly younger ones who have grown up with Netflix, DVRs and ad-blocking software.

This is Vice’s second foray into content, when Vice Media had made its first foray into basic cable nearly a decade ago, with programming on MTV2, but its  scrappy documentaries sent advertisers fleeing. 

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