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Vice Media has made a name in online media with its news and documentary content, but the company is set to make a big step in a new direction by debuting scripted entertainment on its digital site.

Though Vice has produced such shows on its Viceland cable channel and has some movies under its belt, this would be its first venture into digital scripted video, Variety reports.

Vice is set to launch scripted programming on its video-on-demand hub. By diversifying its digital content beyond its usual slate of news and documentaries, Vice is opening new channels for audience acquisition and monetization.

At least two production studios will create scripted content for Vice. The content across both studios varies widely by story, style, and genre, which should obviously help Vice to reach a wide and varied audience too. The studios contributing to Vice’s channel are:

  • Blackpills, a French studio startup, with which Vice has signed an exclusive distribution deal on. Renowned filmographers such as Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects), and Zoe Cassavetes (Broken English) will contribute to the Blackpills programming.
  • Pulse Films, a London production company that Vice bought a majority stake in last year, will premiere its original content exclusively on Vice’s new digital channel. The first two series are Pillow Talk starring Patrick J. Adams (of Suits fame), and Twiz and Tuck Bucket List.

Distribution of premium, TV-grade content on digital platforms is becoming much more common. Pioneering video-on-demand platforms like Netflix and Hulu were the early trendsetters. More recently, social and digital video platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have also moved to secure professionally produced content, while traditional TV companies are beginning to launch their own web-based packages, like DirecTV Now.

Over the last few years, there’s been much talk about the “death of TV.” However, television is not dying so much as it’s evolving: extending beyond the traditional television screen and broadening to include programming from new sources accessed in new ways.

It’s strikingly evident that more consumers are shifting their media time away from live TV, while opting for services that allow them to watch what they want, when they want. Indeed, we are seeing a migration toward original digital video such as YouTube Originals, SVOD services such as Netflix, and live streaming on social platforms.

However, not all is lost for legacy media companies. Amid this rapidly shifting TV landscape, traditional media companies are making moves across a number of different fronts — trying out new distribution channels, creating new types of programming aimed at a mobile-first audience, and partnering with innovate digital media companies. In addition, cable providers have begun offering alternatives for consumers who may no longer be willing to pay for a full TV package.

Dylan Mortensen, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on the future of TV that looks at how TV viewer, subscriber, and advertising trends are shifting, and where and what audiences are watching as they turn away from traditional TV.

Here are some key points from the report:

  • Increased competition from digital services like Netflix and Hulu as well as new hardware to access content are shifting consumers’ attention away from live TV programming.
  • Across the board, the numbers for live TV are bad. US adults are watching traditional TV on average 18 minutes fewer per day versus two years ago, a drop of 6%. In keeping with this, cable subscriptions are down, and TV ad revenue is stagnant.
  • People are consuming more media content than ever before, but how they’re doing so is changing. Half of US TV households now subscribe to SVOD services, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and viewing of original digital video content is on the rise.
  • Legacy TV companies are recognizing these shifts and beginning to pivot their business models to keep pace with the changes. They are launching branded apps and sites to move their programming beyond the TV glass, distributing on social platforms to reach massive, young audiences, and forming partnerships with digital media brands to create new content.
  • The TV ad industry is also taking a cue from digital. Programmatic TV ad buying represented just 4% (or $2.5 billion) of US TV ad budgets in 2015 but is expected to grow to 17% ($10 billion) by 2019. Meanwhile, networks are also developing branded TV content, similar to publishers’ push into sponsored content.

In full, the report:

  • Outlines the shift in consumer viewing habits, specifically the younger generation.
  • Explores the rise of subscription streaming services and the importance of original digital video content.
  • Breaks down ways in which legacy media companies are shifting their content and advertising strategies.
  • And Discusses new technology that will more effectively measure audiences across screens and platforms.

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