From its origins as a scrappy culture zine, infamously hailed as the hipster bible, to its enormous web prescence - its many spin off websites, millions-strong social media platforms, and, most popularly, observational documentaries - Vice has risen up the media feeding chain. Recently the publication launched a TV channel, Viceland, which you can see founder Shane Smith discuss here.
Smith criticised the TV industry as moribund in its approach to yougn people, so no wonder there was a lot of industry schadenfreude when Viceland launched with virtually zero viewers, while the eight or so people who tuned in were in their 40s. It was further proof that young people don’t want to sit in front of the box waiting to watch content, not least when there’s a wealth of Vice videos that are immediately accessible via a phone, tablet or laptop.
Not wanting to join the naysayers, we had a quick brainstorm and have developed some ways in which the channel can double its audience.
1) Broadcast Viceland on the screens you get in A&E. During evenings they're packed with young people who've had a drunken fall or overdosed, so it hits the target market square on. Plus, given NHS cuts, people will be forced to watch for at least six hours- great for advertisers.
2) Make it compulsory for everyone in Vice's substantial Shoreditch HQ to tune in, smashing the viewing figures. A quiz the next day on the contents of the programme will flush out any bullshitters who were sat watching something worthwhile on Netflix.
3) Vice is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch and Viceland is broadcast on Sky. Shane could use his influence on the octogenarian mogul and ask him to switch off all the other channels on Sky, thus guaranteeing Viceland a decent audience.
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