Vice Media to buy Pulse Films

Vice Media, the youth-focused media company, is set to acquire Pulse Films, the independent content studio, ahead of launching a TV channel in the UK.

Viceland: will launch in the UK on Sky later this year
Viceland: will launch in the UK on Sky later this year

The move, announced by Vice this morning, follows from a partnership with Pulse which began in 2013 and saw the studio produce online content in the US.

Vice said the acquisition would bolster its programming capabilities across digital, mobile and linear TV, while Pulse would continue as an independent brand.

The two companies first worked together in 2012 on Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary film that followed James Murphy, the frontman for LCD Soundsystem, over two days around the time of the American rock band’s final gig.

Vice is hungry for content after recently launching its 24-hour TV channel, Viceland, in the US and Canada, with a UK version confirmed to arrive later this year. Spike Jonze, the Oscar-winning writer and director and creative director for Vice, will oversee the development of Viceland.

Earlier this month Vice announced plans to expand its operations into Russia and other countries in eastern Europe.

Pulse Films, which was founded in 2005 by Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford, employs 130 people with offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin.

While Vice is looking to establish itself further in the UK, Pulse has been looking to develop its presence in the US. Last year Pulse launched a joint enterprise to produce comedy-led branded content with American production outfit Merman, whose talent roster includes Chris O’Dowd, the star of The IT Crowd.

Benski said: "This deal will bolster our respective commitment to create relevant, brave and popular films, TV shows and digital content. 

"Leveraging our complimentary skills, talent and resources will not only amplify our output and reach but provide us the resources and freedom to continue to grow while retaining our culture and identity."

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