On the heels of the speculation which followed Verizon’s May 2015 acquisition of AOL last month comes news of a content move, with Verizon adding Vice to the programming scheduled for its mobile-first video service set to launch some time this summer.
Vice is not the first content supplier to partner with Verizon. In June, Verizon announced that it was acquiring a range of programming from Scripps Networks Interactive, including Food Network and Travel Channel series. Earlier this year, the telecom giant had contracted with AwesomenessTV to provide original films and series.
The partnership with Vice encompasses exclusive shows as well as regularly available Vice lifestyle content. Vice’s proffer includes strong reach to the valuable 18-34 demographic. Verizon VP for content strategy and acquisition, Terry Denson, was quoted by the New York Times as saying: “Vice is connecting with an entire generation in a way that no one else is. And Verizon will connect consumers to Vice in a way that no one else does by combining Vice’s storytelling with the most compelling mobile video platform.”
Verizon’s mobile content strategy is consistent with observations at The Hub, and elsewhere that the key value of AOL to Verizon was not its content but its well-developed mobile advertising eco-system. These acquisitions increasingly position Verizon to compete with Facebook as a publisher of third-party mobile video.