In a bid to build deeper traction in the China market, Discovery Communications has acquired a minority stake in multichannel network, VS Media. The company, founded in 2013, has over 55M subscribers in Greater China with 320M video views per month. VS is said to be the first and largest MCN that focuses on creators of Chinese content, of which China’s young people are major consumers.
VS founder Ivy Wong has seen the next generation media company recruit and mentor a stable of more than 500 creators in the past three years, providing production facilities and funding. The company recently recived backing from CMC Holdings. It is now setting up a $4M content development fund to collaborate with creators on producing local formats for consumer brand VS ME. Under the partnership with Discovery, it will tap into content from Discovery Digital Networks which will be locally branded, customized and curated for VS ME.
Arthur Bastings, President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific says the acquisition will allow the group to “get fully plugged in to the Chinese millennial zeitgeist.”
Wong says, “We believe that everyone can be an influencer as well as a digital entrepreneur.” That’s notable given the growing demand for influencers in Asia when it comes to promoting product, including studio films which roundly employ them to help marketing efforts.
Upcoming projects from VS include an eSports docudrama which will feature Jay Chou who recently starred in Now You See Me 2 which has cleared $97M in its Middle Kingdom run. There’s also a VR fashion series and travelogue; a rockumentary on musician Tien; and a dramedy by Jin Da Wei about the journey to online fame.