Peter Kafka

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YouTube Brings Its “Channels” — And Vice Media — To Japan

Last month, YouTube announced that it was expanding its “channel” strategy beyond the U.S. by funding video programmers in U.K., Germany and France.

Now add Japan to that list.

Google’s video guys aren’t talking about it openly yet, but they’ll be replicating the same idea — YouTube advances programmers production money in exchange for exclusive content — with a handful of partners in Asia. Among that initial group will be Vice Media, the controversial/successful video maker/ad agency which already has three funded YouTube channels in the U.S.

Here’s a teaser trailer, which doesn’t look to be very Japan-specific, but more of a greatest-hits compilation:

Vice, a Brooklyn-based company that specializes in an edgy-but-not-too-edgy mix of youth- and sponsor-friendly content, is generating lots of attention these days — some of it glowing, some of it not. They also seem to be generating lots of money, and are reportedly on track to generate $200 million this year.

We’ll talk to co-founder Shane Smith — who makes several appearances in the clip above — about his plans, in February, at our D: Dive Into Media conference in Dana Point, Calif.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work