Vice News has experienced a meteoric rise since its launch in March 2014.
It quickly became the fastest-growing online news channel, amassing 221 million video views and 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.
Headed up in London by former Channel 4 Dispatches editor Kevin Sutcliffe, Vice News’ reports have covered the conflict in Ukraine (pictured), West Africa’s Ebola crisis and civil protests in Hong Kong, Thailand and Venezuela. A 40-minute documentary about Islamic State helped grow awareness of the channel among mainstream media and racked up 20 million views.
An average view time of more than 20 minutes has placed Vice in the top 1% of YouTube videos, proving that younger audiences are interested in foreign news if it is packaged and distributed in the right way.
The channel has experimented with innovations including Google Glass, drone footage and Instagram video. It has also partnered with Skype and Snapchat to extend distribution. More traditional sales deals for its programming in countries including Italy, France and Canada, along with a daily news show on HBO, have also helped cement the foundations of the channel.
The judges were impressed by the quality of content and the way Vice has shifted the landscape. “They continue to create ambitious and disruptive content, which raises the bar for other news outlets,” said one.
Along with hundreds of original video clips, designed to spread virally, Barcroft TV produces at least five factual mini-docs each week. While broadcasters have picked up several of the videos for full-length commissions, Barcroft has self-financed six 30-minute docs and its YouTube channel has passed 500 million views.
BBC Radio 1 on BBC iPlayer
The full breadth of the radio station’s eclectic output is showcased via the channel’s 12- to 14-minute filmed live music sessions, weekly chart show and two round-up shows. Launched in November, the channel now has 4 million views, boosted by posting super-short content clips to its 2 million Twitter followers.
Designed to act as a platform for Manchester United fans to connect and air their views, social interaction has been a major part of the channel since it kicked off. A range of regular formats are supported by ‘hero’ videos, which highlight significant moments in the season or tap into trending topics. The channel peaked with 6 million views in December and has signed up 175,000 fans, making it bigger than many official club channels.
Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube
The sister channel to Food Tube has expanded to reach 140,000 subscribers and more than 600,000 video views in its first 12 months. Covering cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks, the clear, informative videos have been designed specifically for YouTube and are search engine optimised. Two live events, Cocktail Request Week and London Cocktail Week, helped generate additional noise.
Channel 4’s home for short-form programming on All 4 has generated 27 diverse series, ranging from Tattoo Twists to The Black Lesbian Handbook, from 20 production companies. Some 5% of visitors to All 4 (and previously 4oD) have watched Shorts since the strand launch in August 2014, while a staggering 90% completion rate is testament to their quality.