With the region’s soaring youth population consuming digital video at record rates, VICE to open local production studios, hire leading creative talent, and create local news and lifestyle programming
Dubai, UAE 23 June, 2016; VICE Media and MOBY Group today announced an expansive partnership that will bring VICE’s digital and mobile programming into every major media market in the Middle East and North Africa for the first time. The partnership will also explore linear opportunities across the GCC Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan and Algeria. This key expansion will allow VICE to continue its lead in serving youth audiences everywhere. The partnership will see VICE content be specifically tailored for Middle East markets, meeting the huge demand for youth focused digital programming in region which is fueled by a surging youth population.
In bringing VICE to the region, the partnership will propagate the opening of local production studios across the region, the hiring of leading journalists and filmmakers, and the airing of tailored local news and lifestyle programming around-the-clock. An independent management team will provide creative stewardship to ensure VICE remains on brand, whilst adapting to the region's nuances and sensitivities to develop relevant content for the region's audiences.
In partnering with MOBY, the leading independent media group in the region, VICE immediately gains access to unparalleled knowledge of local markets and a proven record of success in a region primed for massive audience growth. MOBY have positioned themselves as market leaders, pushing the boundaries of creative content but always within the constraints of societies' expectations.
With the region’s soaring youth population consuming digital video at record rates, video viewership among young people in the Middle East and North Africa is already the highest in the world. The joint venture is just the latest move by VICE to bring its youth-focused content to as many territories as possible, offering local and international programming to viewers across online, and mobile.
VICE CEO and Co-Founder Shane Smith said, “Saad Mohseni is a true media hero and one of the most unique visionaries in the global media landscape. He's not only a respected colleague, but a dear friend. Over the years VICE has worked with Moby in Afghanistan, Iran and beyond. His penetration into the complex and sometimes opaque political strata of the Middle East is second to none. This partnership will strengthen VICE's news offerings around the world and allows unique insight into a hyper dynamic region."
VICE, which has delivered award-winning reporting from the region for years, will begin establishing local video-production and publication operations that will work around the clock to create local news and culture and lifestyle programming, for broadcast online for multiple screens.
Saad Mohseni, Chairman and Group CEO, MOBY Group said, “There’s no question that the Middle East is one of the promising emerging digital markets in the world right now. There’s a massive young audience in the Middle East and North Africa that’s intensely engaged in the debates and stories happening around them—but no one is focused on offering them the immersive, locally produced content that they want. VICE, under visionary leadership of Shane, has successfully captured the mind and heart of the youth across the globe. We have been collaborating with VICE for many years, and now through MOBY’s formal partnership with VICE we look forward to filling a vital void and reaching the digitally savvy young generation with content that matters to them.”
VICE’s coverage of the Middle East has been a cornerstone of the company’s success and audience growth, winning both a Peabody Award and a National Magazine Award. The company’s Emmy Award-winning regional news documentary series was also widely recognized and appreciated by the audience and critics alike.
VICELAND, the new cable network from VICE, has covered fashion in Palestine and the food scene in Turkey. The joint venture with MOBY will take that effort to the next level, working with local talent and journalists to produce gold-standard video, lifestyle, and news content in real time.