Vidcon, the fan-centric online video convention held each summer in Anaheim, is close to a deal to be acquired by Viacom, a person familiar with the matter has confirmed to Deadline.
Buying into the show would offer the media company, home to young-skewing networks like Nickelodeon and MTV, access to a haven for YouTube stars and other talent bubbling up in the increasingly valuable digital sphere. As it formally considers a reunion with former corporate mate CBS, the company has also been focused on increasing its grasp of young media consumers. It acquired social media influencer specialist WhoSay in early January.
Plans call for Vidcon to continue to operate independently and run by CEO Jim Lauderback, the source said. Its ninth edition is scheduled for June 20-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Viacom declined to comment on the transaction.
Vidcom was launched in 2010 by 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.) Last year, the show drew 30,000 fans, creators and industry figures and is set to add square footage at the convention center.
The explosion of online video content internationally prompted organizers to add editions in Amsterdam and Australia.
Variety had the first word about the Viacom acquisition.
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