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The very day I sat down to speak with Matt Elek, VICE Media’s Managing Director of Europe, the MIddle East & Africa, rumours were swirling online of multi-billion dollar takeovers by names like Rupert Murdoch and Time Warner. Not bad for a company that started off in 1994 selling punk magazines in Montreal.
Since then VICE has developed a signature style and courted the “Millennial” generation that consumes media in digital form while the old folks are busy eavesdropping. And talk about diversification, in the past year alone they have launched Vice News, Motherboard (Tech), Munchies (Food), Noisey (Music)…well you get the point.
But unlike your typical tech startup these ageing hipsters have been about the bottom line from the very start running profitable magazines since inception. I think it’s that underlying ethos that has brought VICE much of the success it has today.
Whether it’s Dennis Rodman chilling court-side with Kim Jong-Un in North Korea, front row seats of the Ukrainian protests violence, or Shane Smith getting drunk on the Joe Rogan Experience, we all have a special place in our heart for VICE media and secretly hope they succeed.
Namaste to our fellow independent media producers.