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Viacom has announced that it will acquire the company behind digital media conference VidCon.
The deal will bring together VidCon’s youth-centric live events business with Viacom’s portfolio of media brands. Viacom will look to expand VidCon’s footprint both globally and domestically.
VidCon will become an independent division of Viacom and its team will remain intact. Jim Louderback, who became CEO of VidCon last summer, will continue to lead the company.
The annual conference got its start in 2010 when the YouTube creator community was just beginning to blossom. Vlogbrothers Hank Green and John Green co-founded VidCon as a way to encourage vloggers from across the country to meet up and share tips.
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 VidCon hosted over 30,000 fans, creators and industry executives. It has also grown to include events in Europe and Australia.
In August, VidCon announced that longtime programming executive Louderback would become CEO and Hank Green would transition into the role of chairman. At the time, Louderback told The Hollywood Reporter that he would focus on growing the business through the creation of new events.
VidCon will expand Viacom’s live events business and also add to its growing portfolio of digital and influencer marketing assets, which includes branded content platform WhoSay. Through VidCon, the company behind MTV and Nickelodeon will also have access to the thousands of engaged young fans who descend on the Anaheim Convention Center each year to meet their favorite YouTube stars. The deal comes only a few months after the creation of Viacom Digital Studios under president Kelly Day.
UTA will continue to oversee global sponsorship sales for VidCon. VidCon Europe will take place March 22-24 in Amsterdam, and VidCon U.S. will run June 20-23 in Anaheim.
Feb. 7, 7:38 a.m. Updated with Viacom’s confirmation and more details about the acquisition.
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