Vice Media continues to go beyond its famous news reporting. The media company has partnered with Phoenix-based Live Nation Entertainment to create an ad-supported digital platform for live music programming.
The as-of-yet-unnamed venture will cater to a millenial audience and feature original music programming, including editorials, documentaries, live digital music experiences, and e-commerce and ticket offerings. Audiences will be able to access the content via the web, mobile, and TV, and will be able to view some of the feature-length films in theaters.
“This isn’t the voice of music, this is the voice of live music,” Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, told Variety.
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“This partnership rethinks the live music experience, offering unprecedented access to the world’s biggest stars and emerging artists, and groundbreaking content that will be distributed across the holy trinity of mobile, online and TV,” added Vice’s founder and CEO Shane Smith, in the release.
“Today the content world is in upheaval, with new brands being created in real time, and mainstream media seeing its audience migrate in record numbers. It’s this de-stratification of the status quo that we find so exciting because that, combined with the lack of any real quality music programming out there, equals one hell of an opportunity. We think that this partnership will give VICE and Live Nation the unique ability to totally re-imagine music content on a global scale, and if that doesn’t get your rocks off I don’t know what will!”
Variety reports Live Nation, who produces over 23,000 live events a year, was finding it difficult to offer its network of over 800 advertisers and sponsors any valuable content. Rapino said Live Nation considered pricey acquisitions before teaming up with Vice.
“This is a beautiful case where the costs already are in house,” Rapino noted. The digital platform will allow both companies to “fill a hole in the market of great creative in the live music business,” as well as get closer to consumers turning to digital first for their music needs.
On Vice’s end, the media company discovered its audience was interested in both news and music, but its audience wasn’t getting what it wanted from mainstream outlets. “We see [the digital platform] as an opportunity to make groundbreaking content,” Smith explained.
Some of that content is already planned out. Variety reports an original show called Hometown Heroes is in the works, where musicians will return to where they grew up. Additionally, there will be shows focused on making music videos out of live events, with directors like Spike Jonze.
Live Nation and Vice will both contribute resources such as marketing and sales to the venture, as well as split earnings from marketing revenue and brand partnerships. Suspected to arrive sometime in 2015, the digital platform will have its own staff with Smith overseeing creative direction.