Vice Media sales chief quits after shock 17.4% traffic drop

29/03/2016

Richard Beckman, head of ad sales at Vice Media, is stepping down after the publisher posted a surprise decline in web traffic.

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New stats from Comscore indicate that Vice Media saw a shartp 17.4% drop in readers in February compared with the previous month, undermining its ability to monetise its digital content.

This saw it post 49.1m unique visitors compared to 59.5m recorded in January, reversing a period of growth after big investors such as Disney came on board as the company expanded its TV reach.

Beckman;s departure comes just ten months into the job. Prior to his appointment at Vice Media in May 2015 Beckman served in several high profile roles within the Conde Nast Media Group as well as CEO of Prometheus Global Media and CEO of Three Lions Entertainment.

Vice has been one of the more aggressive practitioners of traffic assignment in recent years, with Vice.com actually accounting for less than half of the traffic total the company has represented as “Vice Media” on Comscore. The addition of select publishers has driven some of Vice’s biggest audience gains in recent years, allowing the company to position itself as the kind of high-growth media darling that has helped CEO Shane Smith attract millions of dollars in well-heeled investors like Disney, A&E Networks and 21st Century Fox.


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