AWS Startups Blog

How Vice Media Tamed 12 Verticals in 18 Different Languages

VICE had a large-scale problem to solve. Their ecosystem had become too large in terms of the number of brands they supported—they currently have sites in 35 different countries in 18 languages, which read in different characters and directions—and their engineering team wanted to make sure the reading experience worked well for everyone.

“The prospect of, ‘Hey, we’re VICE, we want to add a new vertical’ could have meant reinventing the wheel every time,” says Omar Delarosa, Lead Frontend Engineer at VICE. “So the idea of ‘We’d like to add a whole new vertical with all new types of content and by the way, we’d like to add targeting options and all these locale options’ would have meant building the entire stack just for that one vertical.”

If they were going to scale either their video offerings on the web or their advertising opportunities on the web, it was not possible to just “add a video, control where it’s going to be displayed, put ads in the video, or take an article and control its ad targeting, do that all in multiple CMSes in multiple parts of the world” without unifying everything into a single platform, says Delarosa. “This tied very closely to the Amazon S3 system, which actually allowed us to connect our build system with a really simple way to programmatically push new changes to assets.

Watch as Delarosa and VICE Director of UX Jessica Brown explain how they used AWS and can now build a new site—with all the same features as every other site—and roll it out in a matter of weeks.

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.