Is VBS the future of all media?

So we’re still all waiting for the revolution – that internet TV will eclipse ‘traditional’ broadcast channels – something TV execs have been predicting for years. But for me, this has already happened, albeit quite late and in not a very interesting way. This realisation was brought about by my own TV breaking; a situation I’ve been forced to live with for two months due to me being too tight to buy a new one. As such I’ve been forced to find alternative, internet-based entertainment, and for me, like many others, internet TV has become a real, and compelling alternative to mainstream broadcasting.

My current favourite is VBS TV, which I compel you to watch. It’s part of the Vice media empire and for those who are familiar with Vice, it’s all you’d expect; vitriolic, irreverent, fashion conscious and youth-obsessed but like the magazine, it also has real substance and depth. Because it’s online, it caters for a much more niche (but by no means small) audience, covering issues that would be considered too marginal or too abrasive for mass consumption. A couple of example headlines include: “Stalking for Beginners” and “A Guy Who Was on Acid for a Whole Year”. So not the kind of things your average Daily Mail reader will be that heavily into.

But these guys know what they’re doing. With cult film director and long-time collaborator, Spike Jonze as creative director, it’s no surprise. The Sunday Times, which ran an interesting piece on VBS, revealed what a massive revenue driver it is for the Group and not just a cool kid vanity project. With VBS launching in 2007, it netted $1m from its first year alone, with projected revenues of $64m for 2009.

In their own words: VBS is the future of all media!


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