This fall, Vice Media is rolling out a slate of new programming on Snapchat, Instagram’s IGTV, and YouTube. The company also detailed its “contextual brand safety” solution for video, the company announced during Tuesday’s Digital Content NewFronts West in Hollywood.
Ciel Hunter, Vice Media’s global head of content, said during the marketplace event that the upcoming “Vice Reports” series will launch on Snapchat and Instagram and allow around 100 correspondents, filmmakers, and photographers across the world to talk about the relevant events happening in their lives. The series was inspired by the company’s coverage following the shootings in Parkland, Fla., earlier this year, when Vice turned over its Instagram handle to students across the country during the walkouts calling for gun reform.
Hunter also announced two new series, including “18 With Issues,” the company’s first to launch on Instagram’s IGTV video platform. “18 With Issues” host Em Odesser, who’s 18 years old, will go to four political hot spots including Chicago and Flint, Mich., to interview teens across the political spectrum about their feelings ahead of the midterms. Odesser said the series will show audiences that teens are passionate about politics and that their concerns should be taken seriously.
Model and activist Richie Shazam will also host “Clothes Minded,” a YouTube series that’s a new spin on makeover shows. Airing on the channel for Vice Media’s Broadly brand, the series will capture pivotal moments in the lives of “young queer people,” Shazam said.
“Giving us the power to tell our stories of being brown, being black, being on the LGBTQIA spectrum and being young, we want to deal with the sort of violent realities,” Shazam said, including “cyberbullying, mental-health awareness, and being able to communicate that and to show that on screen, but also to do the opposite: to show our imagination and show our fantasies and show how we decide to express ourselves.”
In addition to new digital content, Josh Weaver, Vice Media’s director of media, also introduced the company’s partnership with Oracle Data Cloud to roll out the first-ever “contextual brand safety solution for video.” Weaver said brands often steer clear of anchoring their ads with content that contains not-safe-for-work or off-brand messages, but that often restricts material promoting inclusion and diversity, according to the company’s 18 months worth of research. According to Vice, brands often ban content featuring LGBT descriptors like “gay,” “transgender” and “bisexual,” as well as words like “immigration,” “Asian,” “interracial,” and “Muslim.”
Here’s how Vice’s brand safety solution will work: Vice will feed videos to Oracle Data Cloud to assign each video a “brand safety score” based on its subject and theme, in a way that accounts for inclusive content. Brands can decide to either allow their ads to be played during the video, or to block it if the video’s brand safety score is too low.
“Honest, authentic storytelling necessitates an openness for inclusion and a hunger to discover and document the lives of those less visible in our world,” Weaver said. “Today’s youth represent a diversified clash of cultures, identities, and ways of life. Vice, as the voice of today’s new generations, has an obligation to represent and embody these generations and their every form.”
Vice Media was among companies including the New York Times, Gallery Media Group, and FameBit by YouTube to present their developments on the opening day of the IAB’s inaugural NewFronts West conference. Tuesday’s presentations touched on influencer marketing and trending content formats like podcast and video programs. Companies slated to present Oct. 10 include Viacom, Snap, Meredith and Walmart’s Vudu.
Pictured above: Ciel Hunter, Vice Media global head of content