The biggest brand in digital media has lost much of its lustre

SOON AFTER the new year in 2015 Shane Smith, co-founder of Vice Media, enjoyed an epic run at the blackjack tables in Las Vegas, and spent $300,000 of his $1m winnings on dinner and booze with his buddies, according to media reports. It was a heady moment to be gambling in, and on, digital media. BuzzFeed and Vox Media, which like Vice were rapidly accumulating young audiences coveted by advertisers, would eventually be valued by investors at $1.7bn and $1bn respectively. By June 2017, Mr Smith had charmed the likes of Fox, Disney and TPG, a private-equity firm, into investing a combined $1.4bn in his rapidly expanding news, cable, video and advertising operation. Vice, which started out as a print magazine called Voice of Montreal, was valued at $5.7bn.

No longer. Vice and other formerly hot digital media properties are on a losing streak, as Google and Facebook have squashed all competitors...

via Business Feeds

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