Vice Media has bought a Brooklyn-based events production company as the publisher eyes producing more events for its editorial properties and advertising clients.Via TalkingBizNews, March 28:
Vice Media’s president of digital Josh Cogswell wouldn’t say how much Vice paid for Villain, which is based close to Vice’s headquarters in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The events producer, which employs 12 people, produces more than 300 events annually, ranging from live music performances to branded “experiential” events, said Vice. In the past, Villain has produced and managed campaigns and festivals for advertising including PepsiCo, Rockstar Games and Red Bull Music Academy. Villain also owns a 15,000 square foot warehouse space in Williamsburg, which it’s used for public and private events.
Announcing the acquisition during its NewFronts presentation Friday afternoon, Vice is putting a greater emphasis on its ability to produce live events and activations for advertising clients. The company is no stranger to hosting events sponsored by brands, but the Villain acquisition will allow Vice to expand its work in this area with a help of a team with a proven track record, said Cogswell.
“Demand [from advertisers] for experiential offerings is very, very high, and we’re proud to have a reputation in the industry as a team that can activate unique and immersive expressions for brands interested in reaching young audiences,” Cogswell added....MORE
Recode’s Swisher on the difficulty of the events business
Kara Swisher, cofounder of the tech news site Recode, talked with Aditi Sangal of Digiday about how the site makes money through events and is exploring other venues.See also FIPP (née Fédération Internationale de la Presse Périodique), Sept. 2017:
Here is an excerpt:
Events are difficult to growPivoting to TV
“Conferences are not a scale game. It’s like putting on a Broadway show. They can be very profitable, but our conferences are dependent on Walt [Mossberg], Peter Kafka and I. That’s a problem. But you can only do so many of those. It takes a while to make those. Scaling is hard, but it’s a nice little business.”
“The way cable is set up is such a reductive screamfest. You learn nothing. I believe in substantive conversations. I was angry about the tech industry. I was very interested in the future of work. So I said, let’s talk to Google, Facebook and other people who are making the future. Let’s have town halls with real people. We don’t have to have solutions, but let’s talk. Because who is responsible? We’ll see if it works on TV.”
Read more here.