Vice Media cuts 2% of staff in major video push
- Vice Media cut 2% of its workforce of 3,000 on Friday, impacting about 60 employees in sales, branded content, editorial and corporate in the U.S., Canada and Europe, according to a report in Variety.
- Last month, the media company announced a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG, as well as plans to expand internationally and launch Vice Studios, an original programming initiative, per Variety. That cash infusion brought Vice Media's estimated valuation to $5.7 billion.
- Vice is planning to add to its workforce this year with the international expansion and growth in video content production. The Brooklyn-based company aims to operate in more than 80 countries in Q1 2018 with new offices in Mumbai and Dubai opening over the next few months.
Vice Media has been a fairly sprawling enterprise with its signature website, news division, HBO show, an entire branded cable channel and agency work through shops like Carrot Creative. The company expects to attract new hires with its increased focus on video production via Vice Studios and its scripted entertainment for TV, film, mobile and digital platforms as well as nonscripted content.
Instead of cutting staff for cost savings, it seems that Vice Media is doing more of an employee shuffle while refocusing its business model to become even more video-centric — a pivot reflecting and perhaps accommodating a concentrated push into original premium video offerings from major digital platforms, especially Facebook and Snapchat.
Even though branded content employees were part of the recent job cuts, Vice partnered with WPP's research arm, Kantar, in May for projects to better measure audience engagement and prove the value of its branded content. The improved viewer data will likely support the recent ramp up in video production, giving Vice and its advertisers a better understanding of the audience they're reaching, as well as expanded video capabilities.
These initiatives echo other efforts from publishers like The New York Times, Time Inc. and Condé Nast, which also offer advertisers a peek under the hood at branded content audience and impact data.