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Vice inks deal with AbemaTV and m-commerce firm Docomo Digital to push its mobile content in Japan


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

September 15, 2016 | 4 min read

Vice has signed a production and distribution deal with Japanese m-commerce provider Docomo Digital as it looks to extend its coverage to a young mobile audience in the country.

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Vice inks deal with m-commerce firm Docomo to expand its mobile content in Japan

The partnership between the pair will start in Japan before moving into the wider APAC region, with Docomo providing Vice with customer acquisition, marketing services and payment platforms to deliver Vice programming straight to the devices of thousands of its users.

Additionally, Vice and AbemaTV, a Japanese mobile app TV provider, have expanded their partnership to bring even more original Vice content to the platform. Since the pair began working together in April this year, Vice's productions have already clocked up millions of views per month. With over 60 per cent of viewers under 35-years old the expansion represents the company's commitment to capturing the youth audience in the region.

The stories being served to customers as part of the Docomo Digital deal will include original, locally-produced video that will premiere alongside curated content from Vice's network of digital channels around the world.

“When we launched our Japanese office in 2012, we were excited to give a voice and platform to the compelling stories coming out of Japan. This content has become immensely popular among young people in Japan, with several million Japanese people viewing Vice content every month,” said the media brand's global general manager Hosi Simon.

“As the demand for Vice content continues to grow rapidly in Japan, these partnerships will offer even more access to the stories we tell every day, and will allow us to reach even more young people across all screens.”

The company's general manager for the country, Bingo Sato, said the the partnership would focus on topics "most relevant" to the media brand's millennial audience such as news, fashion, the arts and tech.

"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," he added.

Vice has operated a network of local and programmed digital channels in Japan since 2012 to compliment the significant rise in the consumption of video content on mobile devices by young people across the country. The latest move will allow the title to share its content with a rapidly expanding audience.

The partnership comes on the heels of a major global expansion for Vice. In June, it unveiled an expansive slate of international deals that, within the next year, will make its multi-screen programming available to audiences in over 50 new territories in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and India.

Speaking at Dmexco yesterday in conversation with WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, Vice's founder and chief executive Shane Smith discussed media measurement, Snapchat and more.

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