Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Viacom In Talks To Acquire VidCon

Viacom is close to acquiring VidCon, Variety has learned from individuals with knowledge of the transaction.

VidCon 2016 | Tara Ziemba/WireImage

VidCon is a popular online video conference held annually in southern California since 2010. VidCon will become an independent division of Viacom and its team will remain intact at the same offices. Jim Louderback, who became CEO of VidCon last summer, will continue to lead the company.

Its leadership team will remain intact. A formal announcement is expected to be made later this week if the deal closes.

For Viacom, VidCon adds to a growing portfolio of influencer marketing assets. VidCon likely fits into Viacom’s efforts to connect with youth audiences, who gravitate more and more to digital platforms than the linear cable channels that are the conglomerate’s core assets. Just last month Viacom also acquired WhoSay, an influencer marketing firm that specializes in targeting young audiences online with branded content. Through VidCon, Viacom, the home to young-skewing networks like Nickelodeon and MTV, will also have access to a haven for YouTube stars and other talent bubbling up in the increasingly valuable digital sphere and to the thousands of engaged young fans and access who descend on the Anaheim Convention Center each year to meet their favorite YouTube stars.

Viacom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Bakish has been aggressive about remaking Viacom as the company looks to get back on its feet. He has also begun to engage CBS Corp. in a potential merger at the behest of National Amusements, which owns controlling interests in both conglomerates.

The annual conference got its start in 2010 when the YouTube creator community was just beginning to blossom. John and Hank Green, aka the “Vlogbrothers,” whose popular YouTube channel now has more than 3M subscribers. (John Green is also the author of books like the bestselling The Fault in Our Stars) founded VidCon as a way to encourage vloggers from across the country to meet up and share tips.

Often compared to Comic-Con, VidCon is a mix of young YouTuber fans who get a chance to mingle with their favorite stars, most of whom are barely older than them. While YouTube typically has a dominant presence at the event, other digital giants who court the influencer crowd have become more active in recent years including Facebook, Instagram and Musical.ly.

The event has grown significantly in the years since, moving to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 to accommodate its increasingly larger crowds. Last year's flagship VidCon hosted over 30,000 fans, creators and industry executives and is set to add square footage at the convention center. It has also grown to include events in Europe and Australia.

VidCon has also become an increasingly popular destination for media companies looking to promote upcoming movies and TV shows to the Generation Z crowd who tend to favor digital stars. Viacom has been a past participant, with Nickelodeon among the brands with a sizable presence on the show floor. NBCUniversal, Scripps and Fox have also made their presence known at the Anaheim-based event.

In August, VidCon announced that longtime programming executive Louderback would become CEO and Green would transition into the role of chairman. At the time, Louderback told THR that he would focus on growing the business through the creation of new events.

Viacom declined to comment on the transaction.

UTA manages the VidCon business. It's ninth edition of VidCon is scheduled to take place at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 20-23; international editions of the event are also in operation, a nod to the robust overseas marketplace for digital influencers. The explosion of online video content internationally prompted organizers to add editions in Amsterdam and Australia. VidCon Europe will take place March 22-24 in Amsterdam and VidCom Australia will take place Sept. 1-2 in Melbourne.

More Nick: Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Viacom Announce Spring/Summer 2019 Opening of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya!

Additional source: Deadline, L.A. Biz.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.