How BuzzFeed, Vice, and Bill Simmons followed the same path to success – Silicon Alley

BuzzFeed is going all-in on video.
Vice is openly talking about being a $50 billion company.
Bill Simmons has a new show on HBO.
These seemingly disparate media brands have a few things in common. They are primarily digital entities. They have enormous scale and an attractive audience.
But how we came to use each of these brands — and make no mistake, "Bill Simmons" is a brand, not just a name — as shorthand for media success in 2016 is really just about one thing: They were each first.
BuzzFeed was first to perfect the dis-aggregated, we-will-find-you-wherever-you-are-with-extremely-compelling-headlines model. Now, the company has billions of monthly content views.
Vice was first to go all-in on delivering the kind of brash millennial attitude, and representative audience, of which all stodgy media companies now want a piece. Vice now has a television channel and a cozy relationship with media giant Disney.
Bill Simmons had a column on the internet in 1999...

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