Business / Media

VICE Media has 34% profit margin on $500M in revenue: CEO Shane Smith

Is VICE profit margin about to hit 50% with a billion in annual revenue? CEO Shane Smith says it will.

Updated: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Vice CEO, who is Shane Smith. Also, a previous headline may have been misinterpreted to mean Vice currently cites $1 billion in revenue, which is a projection for the future.

Williamsburg’s VICE has a healthy 34 percent profit margin now and CEO Shane Smith can foresee reaching a billion dollars in annual revenue within 12-18 months, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The media maker and executive makes a number of other interesting points about his company in the interview.

  • He seems to suggest that while working with brands to make content has been the leading source of revenue for VICE, that is beginning to give way to licensing its content.
  • Look for VICE to spend $50 million on its new news operation in the next two years.
  • VICE’s HBO show proved they could make news as good as television companies, and now they are making a lot of money licensing content to global TV stations.
  • Bloomberg asks if they might ever be interested in their own cable channel, and Smith expressed openness, and goes on to make a comment that suggests that they may already be looking at a way to do it. He said, “We can look at distressed media assets and see if we might be able to turn them around.”
  • The point of the company’s deal with Fox was to keep the company independent, but they still might consider going public in the future.

Valleywag is skeptical about VICE‘s valuation and the Smith defense of it. Valleywag calls it the bubble talking, and goes into the company’s price-earnings ratio to prove it. Smith makes one comment in the interview that makes it sound like he sees a bubble, too, and wants to cash in, saying, “There’s a lot of money sloshing around the system. Obviously, valuations are high. God knows when the next recession is coming? And if we didn’t take some money off the table we’d go….”

Companies: VICE Media
Series: Brooklyn

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