Vice Media Signs Content Deals in Japan

Patrick Frater

Youth-media group Vice Media has struck a content distribution deal with Japanese phone giant NTT Docomo and expanded its existing deal with mobile TV provider AbemaTV.

NTT’s Docomo Digital platform will deliver original, locally produced video alongside curated content from Vice’s network of digital channels. The partnership will see more Vice content produced across platforms in Japan, and could eventually expand throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Under the pacts, Docomo and AbemaTV also will use Vice’s in-house creative services and marketing divisions to develop branded content for the platforms.

“This partnership highlights the shared goal between Vice and Docomo Digital to help grow the mobile content ecosystem, improving payment, marketing and acquisition capabilities,” said Hiroyuki Sato, CEO of Docomo Digital.

Vice began operating locally created and programmed digital channels in Japan in 2012. It began an earlier partnership with AbemaTV in April this year. In addition, Vice Japan’s video content is distributed on its YouTube channel as well as its owned-and-operated websites.

“In a time when more and more people in Japan are taking in content through digital and mobile channels, it is important that our programming is available any way a person wants to obtain it,” said Bingo Sato, GM of Vice Japan. “These partnerships with Docomo and AbemaTV will expand our presence across multiple platforms, and allow even more creators to share their innovative content with young people in Japan.”

The company has not launched the Viceland cable TV channel in Japan but execs have said it is looking at global distribution deals for the network, including in Asia.

Related stories

Vice Plans Nightly News Show for Generation That Has Already Seen Daily Headlines

Vice Exec Admits 'Weak Spots' in Paying Freelancers in Response to Report

Vice Chief Shane Smith Urges TV Biz to Listen to the Young, Addresses Disney Rumors

Get more from Variety and Variety411: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter