Vice Media诞生时是一家独立的杂志。如今，它已蜕变为数字媒体界离经叛道的强者。这家公司竟然如此叛逆，很大程度上是源于有一位性格豪放不羁的首席执行官，他给这家公司烙上了强烈的个人印记。外界认为，Vice Media对待新闻的方式“与其说是在做新闻，不如说是‘干傻事’”。可是，虽然这家公司报道的态度毫无掩饰、咄咄逼人，却在全球越来越多渴望了解新鲜资讯的年轻观众里形成了共鸣。无论喜欢与否，Vice Media都在蒸蒸日上的新媒体领域脱颖而出，成为最高明的新媒体之一。这家公司正在借助YouTube发掘成功商机（《财富》最近发布的封面文章“YouTube怎样改变一切”（How YouTube changes everything）就阐述了这个趋势）。
Born as an indie magazine, Vice Media has morphed into an irreverent digital media powerhouse, in large part, through the force of personality of its iconoclastic CEO-cum-on-air-personality, Shane Smith. Its approach to the news has been described as "More 'Jackass' than journalism." Yet, Vice's raw, in-your-face voice is resonating with an ever-growing global audience of young people hungry for something new. Like it or not, Vice has emerged as one of the savviest players in the burgeoning new media world that is finding success around YouTube (a trend that was the subject of a recent Fortune cover story, How YouTube changes everything).
In a wide-ranging conversation with Fortune, Smith discussed the keys to Vice's success, offered advice to traditional media, and defended the North Korea stunt. This is an edited transcript of that conversation.
You've called Vice the "Time Warner of the street." What do you mean?
It simply means that Time Warner [Fortune's parent company] (TWX) is a media conglomerate that does magazines, TV, movies, music, books. And so are we. We are the changing of the guard. We have magazines and records and books and online video and TV shows and movies that are more for Gen Y than for baby boomers.
So the "street" refers to the younger generation?
Vice describes itself as an all-digital network, yet as you have just said, you have all these other channels, including a show on HBO. What's the interplay between TV and online for Vice?
We are all digital in the sense that that's our focus. We create things first for online. If they go to TV, if they go to film, fine. That's just another exploitation of that content, but we are online first.
A lot of the other YouTube or online channels aspire to "graduate" to television because the ad dollars are still much bigger there. You're saying that's not the case for Vice?
People want to migrate off of digital platforms because it is theoretically more lucrative, and there's also [a sense] that TV is the gold standard.
I've said I want to be next ESPN, the next CNN and the next MTV rolled up into one. Well everybody says, "He's a megalomaniac lunatic." If you look at the numbers you can do on YouTube, if you look, for example at Machinima (an online video network for gamers) with 3.5 billion views a month, you wouldn't be the next CNN. You would be the next CNN 10x. That's what's exciting for us.
If you want to use TV as a marketing tool for your brand, or it's a margin builder because you have already paid for it digitally, fine. We do terrestrial TV in 23 countries, but it's not core to our business. What's core to our business is increasing our scale, increasing our reach and monetizing that in a meaningful way. The opportunities online are 10x what cable offered 20 years ago.