Anaheim, Ca – Gamers have E3. Cosplayers have Comicon. YouTubers have VidCon: the annual Shangri-La for the online video world, started in 2010 by the VlogBrothers, Hank and John Green. From June 23rd to the 25th the Anaheim Convention Center will turn into a social media summer camp of sorts filled with YouTube and Vine stars, their fans, video creators and media leaders sharing their predictions for the future of online video.
My first VidCon last year felt like landing into a near-future science fiction movie where every teenager has their own TV show, broadcast live across the globe via their cell phones attached to selfie sticks. I grew up looking into camera viewfinders to capture the world on the other side of the lens (and marveled when 1-hour photo was an option). Here at VidCon everyone points their camera (now a mobile computer) at themselves to Snapchat, Instagram, YouNow, Periscope, Vine and now Facebook live.
It’s no secret online video – led by YouTube – dominates the web and gets more views than cable TV. YouTube has over a billion users and on mobile alone, they reach more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
Just today Facebook Live and Periscope saved the day for the House Democrats when their C-SPAN broadcast was turned off after they started a sit-in to bring a vote on gun control after the worst mass-shooting in U.S. history.
VidCon is at the center of the online video movement, bringing the community together in real life to celebrate and chart the rapidly evolving eco-system of content makers, distributors and technology. Today VidCon announced their expansion to Amsterdam and Australia in 2017.
Gaming and virtual reality are coming into their own here as well. Last year YouTube and Google in collaboration with EleVR treated Industry attendees to a sneak-peak of 360 cameras by Kodak, Ricoh Theta and the Google Jump camera featuring an array of 16 GoPros. Google cardboard was given out like candy. Oculus and HTC Vive VR headsets had yet to hit the market.
This morning Mashable reported that Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera will be available for sale in limited quantities at VidCon and HTC Vive is listed as a VidCon sponsor. As media companies announce partnerships and development deals over the next few days, perhaps the VR stars of tomorrow will begin glimmering at VidCon.
Watch our videos from last year, Greetings from VidCon and VidCon Elevator Confessions.