Viacom Acquires VidCon, Marking a Focus on Live Events
Viacom, owner of MTV, VH-1, Nickelodeon and BET, to name a few, has acquired VidCon, host of the world’s largest multi-day conference for the global online community.
The move will accelerate its participation and investment in next-generation platforms and expand its focus on live events, according to Viacom officials.
VidCon will remain a stand-alone entity and retain its senior leadership team.
“VidCon has become the foremost gathering place for the passionate online video community, and the access to talent, experts and education that VidCon provides for attendees is unparalleled,” said Jason Jordan, Viacom executive vice president of Multiplatform Strategy and Operations.
He added, “We’re excited to partner with the team to help achieve their vision and expand VidCon’s reach around the world while maintaining the grassroots energy and authenticity that makes the experience so unique and special to so many.”
Even as VidCon expands the reach of its events, the company’s capabilities will both complement and bolster Viacom’s ongoing digital efforts, which includes the November launch of Viacom Digital Studios under President Kelly Day and last month’s acquisition of influence marketing firm WHOSAY.
“We’re huge fans of the VidCon team, and we share the same enthusiasm for the power of connecting talented creators with their incredible fan communities,” Day said.
He added, “This team has built an unprecedented live experience that brings together the global online video community in celebration of the people and platforms shaping the future of content, and we’re excited to join forces as we look to expand our slate of original digital programming and partnerships.”
VidCon is the latest in a series of events that are part of Viacom’s growing portfolio.
Last year, Viacom launched Comedy Central’s inaugural ClusterFest, which attracted 40,000 fans and rave reviews. The BET Experience brought in 165,000 fans. Paramount Network’s Bellator MMA visited New York’s Madison Square Garden for the first time.
With more than 30,000 attendees and 80-plus sponsors, including Viacom, at its flagship Anaheim event, VidCon is billed as the largest multi-day conference of its kind.
“I couldn’t imagine a better partner to help VidCon continue its mission of democratizing the creative economy around the world,” said Jim Louderback, CEO of VidCon.
He added, “Viacom’s expansive reach across all of our key constituents will give us the opportunity to expand our global footprint more rapidly. We’re also looking forward to their expertise in pioneering and executing live fan-first events – from the Video Music Awards and BET Experience to Comedy Central’s ClusterFest – as we continue to make VidCon a life-changing experience for those that create and love online video.”
From its offices in Missoula, Mont., Louderback and co-founder Hank Green lead a 20-person team that has established an important meeting place, safe space, and community-driven destination for online video creators and their fans.
“I’m so happy that we found such a strong, successful, and progressive company to give our team the stability and resources needed to make bold moves at home and grow what we’re doing internationally,” Green said.
He added, “Viacom has decades of expertise creating incredible live events for fans, and we are building something truly unique by blending that with our team’s deep care and passion for the community and culture of online video. I’m so excited to be part of this team and to continue our work connecting people, providing amazing experiences and helping creators create.”
The next VidCon in the United States will be held in June at the Anaheim Convention Center.