Vice Media, the youth-focused digital and TV company that counts Disney (DIS) as its largest investor, is expanding its operations into Asia, the Middle East and Canada.
The company said it had secured deals with Japan's DoCoMo Digital, the Indonesian wireless operators XL Axiata and iflix, Vodafone for coverage in Australia, Fido in Canada, Israel's Partner Communications (PTNR) as well as licensing contracts with AbemaTV of Japan and Verizon (VZ) .
The deals come as Vice said it plans to make its programming available in 80 countries by the end of the year from a current base of 30 national markets. Vice's strategy is built around getting paid as many times as possible for content it owns while selling advertising across multiple platforms: TV, mobile and desktop.
The new partnerships include the launch of a subscription video-on-demand service called Vice+ that will be available on mobile devices through Japan's DoCoMo Digital. A rollout into other countries where DoCoMo operates is possible in the coming months, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company announced on Wednesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Vice said it will create original mobile programming with Vodafone in Australia as well as XL Axiata and iflix, which own mobile carriers through much of South Asia, including Malaysia, India and Singapore. The deals call for Vice to create local content specially for young people in their respective countries.
Verizon, which already uses Vice content on its Go90 platform, will provide its wireless users with a larger selection of the company's programming, including Daily Vice, its 10- to 15-minute show about culture and entertainment.
In deals with Fido in Canada and Partner Communications in Israel, Vice will make Viceland, its year-old cable-TV channel, available through the Vice app and on Partnership's multichannel digital platform. Vice operates Viceland in a joint venture with A+E Networks.
Owing to nearly $1 billion raised from Disney, Hearst, 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Silicon Valley's Technology Crossover Ventures, Vice produces an evening news show for Time Warner's (TWX) HBO in addition to a weekly news magazine, in its fifth season, as well as assorted special reports.