Vice founder predicts traditional media consolidation "bloodbath"

William Turvill
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'Vice' New York Premiere - Arrivals
Shane Smith is the founder and chief executive of Vice (Source: Getty)

Traditional media companies beware. There is a “revolution going on”, according to Shane Smith, the chief executive of Vice.

The founder of the youth media organisation has predicted a consolidation “bloodbath [in the sector]... and we will be sitting there laughing our heads off”.

He also said older media organisations risk alienating youngsters who will soon themselves be working in high-profile positions.

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“And it’s scary, and it’s fast, and it’s going to be ugly,” he said at the Edinburgh International Television Festival today.

Delivering the MacTaggart lecture, Smith also warned of “mild to medium chaos” in the media industry, which he said baby boomers have had a “stranglehold” for a generation.

“That stranglehold is finally being broken by a highly educated, ethnically diverse, global-thinking, hard-to-reach generation, and media is having a hard time adapting to this rapid change,” Smith said.

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“Open shit up. Media today is like a private club, so closed that most young people feel disenfranchised. You have to hand it over to the kids.”

Smith also said in the speech: “You've already seen huge consolidation this year, next year will be a bloodbath... In the next six months everyone is going to try and buy everyone else and we will be sitting there laughing our heads off.”

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