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VICE Media uses Snowflake to power its multimedia business

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Snowflake Computing, the data warehouse built for the cloud, has announced that VICE Media, the digital media and broadcasting company specialising in edge content, uses Snowflake to power its business in a multitude of ways.

The results of switching to Snowflake include a first-year savings of more than $500,000, re-focusing crucial IT staff from maintenance-only endeavours to strategic technology projects.

VICE was launched in 1994 as a ‘punk zine’ and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with more than 3,000 employees and bureaus in over 30 countries.

VICE operates the world’s premier original online video destination,, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, and a book publishing division.

“I’ve been in the tech industry for more than 20 years, and when I see a great piece of technology, I know it. It hadn’t happened for a long time, but then I came across Snowflake,” VICE Media’s head of engineering, Information Systems, Patrick Przybilla said.

VICE moved to Snowflake about a year ago after struggling with the high costs, inefficiencies and performance limitations of other, cloud-washed solutions. As their data scaled along with the rest of the business, the existing solution set couldn’t keep up. The key Snowflake benefits VICE has seen include:

Cost savings 

With its previous data management solutions, VICE had to frequently add more cluster capacity to keep up with its growing volume of compute and storage. These upgrades doubled costs and often took 14 hours (or more) to complete. VICE started using Snowflake just before another scheduled upgrade, and it quickly paid for itself.

Managing data

With a total data volume in the 25 terabyte range, and a daily flow of about 15 gigabytes of structured and unstructured data, VICE needed many of the features Snowflake offers. These include amassing all data in one place, rapid analytics and supporting all data formats.

Running the business

Snowflake enables VICE to analyse nearly all aspects of its business in near real time, including content and audience metrics; financial information, which is even more important with the advent of outside investors; and HR/employee-related data.

Boosting productivity 

With Snowflake, VICE is able to go from raw data pulled from a variety of sources to actionable insights in a matter of hours. Additionally, analytics are accessible and understandable by employees across all business units. Time-consuming, inefficient queries are a relic of the past. VICE employees now extract analytical insights without any disruption to their workflows.

Reducing administration time

Because Snowflake is a true data warehouse-as-a-service (DWaaS), there is nothing to build and no infrastructure to manage. The time-consuming and expensive tasks of maintenance is now mostly automated in Snowflake, so the VICE IT staff can focus on strategic technology projects.

“VICE Media is the perfect example of a Snowflake customer that starts small needing to move fast without barriers to manage and accelerate getting value out of its data,” Snowflake’s VP of Customer and Product Strategy, Matt Glickman said.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to partner with them as they expand their media offerings and scale their business.”

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