Forever justifiably accused of having a vice-like grip on the media industry, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (combined with their recent spin-off company 21st Century Fox) have control over a range of the biggest names in the world, but for those insolent folk who refuse to use such sources on principle, the conglomerate could soon be making money off of you as well.
Primarily a magazine, Vice is sold as a lifestyle monthly in Canada, USA, and the UK, and have expanded to include services in film production, a successful YouTube channel with close to 3 million subscribers, book publishing, and a record label, amongst other ventures.
Murdoch is publicly believed to have been an interested party to Vice Media for the best part of a year, having reported on Twitter in October 2012 the foreshadowing passage: “Who’s heard of VICE media? Wild, interesting effort to interest millennials who don’t read or watch established media. Global success.”
While it would be established from such tweets that ‘established media’ specialists 21st Century Fox would not be the best fit for Vice, their co-founder Shane Smith offered a different view, stating: “[We plan to make Vice] MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one. The reality is that MTV was bought by Viacom and CNN went to Time Warner. We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control.”
Founded in 1994, Vice is perhaps most notable for being one of the companies responsible for NBA basketball legend Dennis Rodman’s ‘diplomatic visit’ to North Korea earlier this year, so for a company willing to do things out of the ordinary, is accepting support from the Rupert Murdoch empire their biggest surprise yet? Having said that, it is not as though 21st Century Fox would have an unconvincing sales pitch, as especially when it is just a small portion of your company being given up, anyone with half a chance would take their money in a heartbeat…