The Brooklyn-based Vice, which has in recent years expanded its news, documentary and reality offerings to include a TV channel and HBO shows, plans to use some of the financial infusion to expand into scripted content.
“This 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,” Vice founder and chief executive officer Shane Smith said in a statement. “Building out this wide-ranging and rich library of gold standard content will be an essential component of our future Direct to Consumer tech stacks and our innovations in transactional relationships — all of which represent the future of media.”
Vice also plans to use investment to expand its reach by building out its OTT and subscription services — the better to target those cord-cutting Millennials.
“Media is probably at its most dynamic, most evolutionary time in its history. With Facebook and Google taking an ever-growing piece of the online advertising pie, looming ‘skinny bundles’ and OTT/DTC offerings exploding the media status quo — networks have to be nimble, smart and fast-moving,” he said.
Smith seemingly never misses an opportunity to stoke speculation about going public, and Monday’s announcement was no exception. “It’s what we would do if we were going to go public — is get a third-party paying and start building our book, and bringing in revenue on a sort of hockey stick basis,” Smith told CNBC. “So that theoretical IPO would look very sexy.”
TPG has previously invested in media companies such as CAA, Univision and Spotify, as well as retail and beauty companies such as Etsy, E.l.f. Cosmetics and J. Crew. But the private equity fund has been in the news over the last week for a more scandalous reason when cofounder David Bonderman quit the board of Uber following a sexist comment just as the board was developing a strategy to end the ride-sharing service’s allegedly sexist ways.