A bit of history first

Do you regularly watch TV or read magazines to get info or training? Then you might have noticed how a small free magazine, created in Montreal (Canada) 24 years ago by a group of unemployed young people (Alvi, Shane Smith and Gavin McInes) with funds from the government, became strong with a breakthrough proposal catching up unexpectedly with many of the traditional media worldwide. That magazine is VICE .

It deals with day-to-day topics: art, society, lifestyle, music, games, sports, news, etc. But, what is the secret of its success? What makes it different from other magazines like TIME, Rolling Stone, Esquire, i-D, Vibe, GQ, Life, Vogue or Vanity Fair?

VICE  goes further.

Why is that?

1 – Its target audience is mostly young people, digital natives, millennials:

  • For them communication is very different from anyone born before the 80s.
  • The language used by millenials is totally different: there is a disruptive, direct and updated language with explicit, violent and always controversial contents unhidden in any protocole book.

2 – Its goal is to INFORM AS TRUTHFULLY AS POSSIBLE without disguising the reality their audience is going to find. The magazine enters where others don´t even try so their readers understand what VICE´s journalists are talking about.

Further it seems this video magazine has no limits; its intention is not to self impose borders like racial conflicts, wars, drugs trafficking, prostitution, sex, raves, urban tribes. It is clear from the very first moment that it will deal with any topic, be it dangerous or thorny. As a consequence, their loyal readership acknowledges VICE´s commitment to truthfulness.

This free magazine is financed with advertising for free distribution. However, its success has led it to face an expansion of its idiosyncrasies at a large scale:

VICE owns a clothing business chain, a record house (Vice Records), mobile apps (VICE, VICELAND, VICE NEWS), a TV channel, a production company (VICE Films) and even a documentary series with the same themes produced by VICE displayed on channels such as National Geographic.


It is based in New York since 1999, where its headquarters are. One of its latest bids is “VICE +” (or VICE PLUS) , an online platform with contents displayed in desktop, mobile devices and tablets targeted to the Japanese market reached via a 799 yens monthly subscription. This specific channel focuses on promoting artistic pieces of work made by unpolished talents; people rescued from oblivion or a minority audience, people that the general public needs to know.

In Japan, you can get this product through this magazine subs page.



We don´t know what the next movement of VICE will be. This is a small magazine that has become an information giant, the biggest source of realistic information, one without limits. Nevertheless, it will always be a surprising and thriving media source.

It is just a matter of time what move it will make next.