Singapore-based VICE APAC CEO Hosi Simon shared a number of announcements for the youth media company in the region, highlighted by the hire of the award-winning Natashya Gutierrez as Head of Content Strategy APAC. VICE will also launch in the Philippines, alongside rapid and continued digital and commercial growth across all of Asia.
Natashya Gutierrez joins the team in Singapore from Rappler, a top online news site based in the Philippines where she was a founding member. She is the recipient of several journalism awards including the Society of Publishers in Asia for reporting on women’s issues, and the Asia Journalism Fellowship. She was also selected as one of Asia’s emerging young leaders and named a Development Fellow by the Asia Foundation.
Gutierrez says, “I’m excited to be joining the VICE Asia team, and being part of guiding and expanding our voice and strategy across the entire region. Some of the most interesting stories are hiding in plain sight all throughout Asia, and young people here are hungry to both consume and engage in creating that content.”
VICE is launching a local VICE.com offering with all accompanying platforms later this autumn. The site will engage the Filipino audience on platforms they love (63 percent of the population are active social media users), through formats they consume (34 percent of internet users watch online videos every day). From culture to current affairs, VICE will cater to the Filipino audience and celebrate its unique complexities, whether it’s their obsession with beauty pageants, its rich food scene, its unique relationship with the Catholic Church, or its underground rap battles.
VICE has been dedicated to covering the Philippines for many years, with two Emmy nominations this year for their coverage of the Battle of Marawi, and two in 2017 for their coverage of the Philippines’ Drug War. The Philippines is one of VICE’s largest markets in Southeast Asia already; with over 2.4M Filipinos organically engaging with VICE monthly, VICE aims to grow that audience substantially in the coming months with more dedicated focus through editorial and video content.
Gutierrez adds, “As a Filipina, I couldn’t be more excited to put a huge focus on my native Philippines and share the country’s stories to the rest of the region, and the world. Asia is an extremely young region, and in the Philippines, the median age is 23 years old – VICE’s core audience. VICE plans to cover the Philippines with an acute focus, finding and promoting the up and coming young voices in the country who deserve a more regional audience and platform.”
Building on this growth and local content success, VICE is also engaged with brand partners in the region to create both partner content and provide agency services. Recently their agency arm VIRTUE teamed up with Closeup to produce a short film series featuring Filipino couples for their #freetolove campaign with Closeup and Lowe.
VICE has recently produced important content across the region, including the award-winning VICE Census in India, a deep dive into debt collectors in Indonesia, and a long-form documentary on Chinese rap battles published on TenCent.