Vice Media to reduce workforce by 15% and consolidate digital brands as growth stalls

Vice Media has pivoted to slash its digital portfolio by half as growth stalls

Vice Media will reduce its headcount by as much as 15% and the number of digital sites by at least half following disappointing revenue predictions for the year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Vice will slash its staff numbers through a combination of natural wastage and a hiring freeze.

Vice currently operates a sprawling online empire of over a dozen websites including music-related Noisy, food-themed Munchies and female-focused Broadly, but it's reported that these could be reduced to as little as three or five in the face of stalled traffic growth.

The former darling of the media industry has revealed disappointing revenue expectations of between $600 and $650m for the year – equivalent to the sums reached in the year prior and $100m below projections - following a period of rapid growth.

Chief executive Nancy Dubuc now plans to allocate dwindling resources towards the in-house advertising agency Virtue while simultaneously producing more TV shows and films for third party content providers.

Metrics logged by comScore show that the number of unique visitors to Vice’s family of websites was just 27 million in September, well down on the 36 million logged two years prior.

In 2017, Vice is reported to have lost $100m and is expected to lose a further $50m this year, despite boasting a valuation of $5.7bn, the highest of any new media business.

TV veteran Dubuc assumed the mantle of Vice CEO from Shane Smith in March.

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