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Vice Media to build largest OTT platform, expand to 80 markets by early '18

MUMBAI: Capital infusion of $450 million in Vice Media, which is a partner of Times of India, will help accelerate its expansion from 30 to 80 markets by early 2018 for the youth-focused media group. Known for its online videos and edgy reporting, Vice operates a popular YouTube channel and also produces news programming for Time Warner’s HBO.

Boosting Vice’s reported valuation to around $5.7 billion, and making CEO Shane Smith a billionaire, the Brooklyn, New York-based company has received investment from the equity fund group TPG, saying that the funds would help it “build out its content portfolio and delivery capabilities in the US and internationally.” Vice has earlier received investments from Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and 21st Century Fox, among others.

The funds “will allow us to build up the largest millennial video library in the world — enabling Vice to widen our offering to include news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films,” Smith said in a statement.

Smith said Vice would be working on a standalone video platform (OTT) that could deliver video on demand, in the manner of Netflix, and a direct-to-consumer offering, Arab News reported.

Vice said that it would put TPG's investment toward building subscription streaming and video services to complement its video on digital channels as well as Viceland cable network. Vice will also use the new investment to help fund its push into scripted programming, Multichannel News added.

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