Vice Fosters Global Collaboration and Manages Explosive Growth with MediaSilo
What started as a niche underground magazine has grown into a global media brand. Vice Media is at the bleeding edge of original online content and investigative journalism and is growing like gangbusters across international lines and media platforms.
For Mike Daniels, Vice’s VP of Post Production, managing this growth has meant finding technology that can keep up with the company’s rapid expansion and explosion of original video content created for television, clients and the web.

The Challenge

For years, Vice had gotten along with a basic in-house video previewer, but their needs soon outstripped this homegrown solution. When Vice signed an agreement to produce a television series for a major network in 2012, it soon became clear that the internal player wasn’t up to the task of collaborating with external partners. “We were sending cuts to them, and they asked us to switch to something that was easier to use and more secure,” Daniels recalls.
… they asked us to switch to something that was easier to use and more secure…

The Solution

Luckily, their new partners at the network recommended an alternative: Secure video sharing platform MediaSilo. Vice agreed to try it for the first season of the show. “People loved working with it. The product gave us so many more options: We could download, we could view, we could make comments, and build screening rooms,” Daniels says. “From there, it spread like wildfire and we got rid of our internal player and started using MediaSilo across the US for sharing video internally and with clients and partners.”
… We could download, we could view, we could make comments, and build screening rooms…
Daniels credits several factors for the rapid organic growth of MediaSilo across Vice, including a reasonable price point and the fact that the platform is web-based and does not require any hardware on site. And as the company began working with more external partners and brands commissioning branded content, MediaSilo’s position as an industry standard also came into play. “It’s very rare that we send a link to someone or bring in a new producer or team that haven’t seen a MediaSilo QuickLink before,” Daniels says. “When you’re growing so fast, you want something that people are used to and have used before. MediaSilo is so easy-to-use, anyone can pick it up with a minimum of training.”
Organic growth of mediasilo across vice

But most important was the ability to have complete flexibility in determining security options.

“We send QuickLinks the most, because they are super simple and give us the ability to update and delete passwords and use expiration dates as needed,” Daniels explains. “But every once in a while we have projects that we really want to lock down by having people log in, keeping track of who has viewed what, not allowing downloads and even deleting accounts at the end of the project in the case of freelancers… those kind of security options were crucial for us.” Vice also maintains separate accounts for each department to ensure appropriate access to content.

Facilitating collaboration and leveraging content across
global lines

In addition to using QuickLinks to share video securely, Vice has found many other ways to use the MediaSilo platform to make it easier to collaborate with clients and across offices. Vice has several uses for QuickSites — custom, branded collections of content that automatically update when assets in an associated project are altered.
The branded content team uses QuickSites to send multiple versions of a spot to clients, while Vice sales teams use QuickSites to easily pull up and show content in meetings. And with the upcoming launch of a original programming OTA channel in partnership with A&E Networks, the company will be producing more television content than ever. Television teams across all Vice offices — from London to Toronto to Los Angeles — use a joint MediaSilo screening room to keep up with the latest rough cuts. “If an emergency comes up and there is a last-minute screening, we know we can upload some pretty high-res cuts into our own screening room and watch H264's without even having to get in touch. An executive producer can just pull them down right off the MediaSilo and not have to wait two, three hours, or even a full day to get a cut.”
Vice shoots a lot of content overseas, in a number of different languages, necessitating an internal translation department. This team uses MediaSilo to host and share long-form interviews with a huge database of local freelance translators.
Vice also uses MediaSilo as a creative solution to managing the valuable footage Vice producers are shooting all over the world. They created a separate account where managers can upload brief high-res clips, organized into folders by location and tagged by topic, serving as a universal B-roll resource for the company. “It keeps us from constantly going to the Gettys and APs of the world to buy B-roll, when we have a lot of cityscapes and driving shots and things like that in our own library,”
Daniels says.
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A valued partnership
One of the unexpected benefits of using MediaSilo has been the ability to continue to innovate on a reliable backbone service without tying up additional staff. “It's been a lot easier to do that with the MediaSilo team than it would be with our internal team building it,” says Daniels. “We create a lot of internal products here for our staff, but something like their video player is too crucial because we need it working all the time. If we want a feature added, we know that the MediaSilo team can just focus on that, since they're not doing 500 other things for other departments within the company. They are extremely responsive. It’s been much easier to keep up with our growth and our needs working with MediaSilo than trying to attack these issues in-house.”
They are extremely responsive.
It’s been much easier to keep up with our growth and our needs…