Media Companies Hung Out to Dry: Vice Next In Line to Go Bankrupt
Old media companies are hanging in the window like Peking Duck — and Vice is the next to roast.
NYT reported that Vice could file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks — just shortly after BuzzFeed News was shut down.
Vice rolled downhill real fast
Vice operates a TV studio business, creative agency and other digital properties such as its well-known news site.
For years, the company has been losing money, laying off employees and losing major execs, including its CEO of 5 years.
- In 2017, Vice was valued at $5.7B and tried going public in 2021 at a $3B valuation, which failed.
- Disney already wrote off its $400M investment in Vice — expecting it to be worthless.
And a sale could fetch much less, especially given BuzzFeed’s (NASDAQ:BZFD) $75M valuation on the stock market (down 95% since going public).
Old guard, meet new guard
Old media companies have struggled with ad dollars drying up, the impact of social media giants and too high expectations from investors.
Now, another technology is knocking at the doors: AI — with similarities:
- News sites initially benefited from increased traffic on social media platforms — but over time, these outlets took more and more ad dollars away from news sites.
- Like social media, AI can benefit media companies but could also disrupt them with new business models.
This week, BuzzFeed said they would significantly increase content produced by independent online creators — hoping to do more with less staff while using AI to write articles and create quizzes. It’s time to make way…