Archive for the ‘Caitlin Buggy’ tag

VidCon 2015: Caitlin’s Impressions

with one comment

Our very own Caitlin Buggy from MKTG’s New York (and sometimes San Francisco) office spent a few days last week at Vidcon. Check out her impressions below. Enjoy!

vidcon

For those of you who don’t speak teen, Vidcon was started in 2010 by Hank and John Green, two brother otherwise known as the “Vlogbrothers” (John Green is also moderately well-known for having written ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Paper Towns’) as an event for YouTube personalities meet their fans and communities. It began as maybe 1,000 people in a basement at the Hyatt Regency in Century City, and is now a multi-day event at the Anaheim Convention Center with around 30,000 ticketed attendees.

VidCon in 2015 looks like a part of the Internet that we, in the 20+ demographic, rarely see. Tickets are broken into 3 tiers: Community (the majority of attendees, which would get you access to Creator panels and entertainment, as well as the Expo Floor where you may run into your favorite Vine star and get a selfie), Creator (evaluated by the numbers of subscriptions your channel or account has [I believe the benchmark was 10,000], and granted access to creator-only panels), and Industry (self-explanatory, and includes press). The median ages of Community was probably 17 years old, Industry was 32, and Creator was all over the map.

You could tell that this year was the most biggest and most commercial year yet – teens were everywhere, though they didn’t exactly know what to do with the Jimmy Kimmel booth on the Expo floor. Kia, NBC Universal, PBS, Nickleodeon, and Cover Girl all had equal presences on the Expo Floor as Maker Studios, Fail Army, Instagram, TRIXIN, and Vessel, or more traditional digital platforms.

Brands are paying more attention to VidCon because the teens (or their parents) are spending a ton of money to meet and support their digital video idols. Community passes started at $100, and the main theme running throughout the Industry and Creator panels is ‘how do we leverage this audience in the future’. Creator panels included seminars on how to read contracts and leveraging analytics tools, and the Industry track featured talks from Jim Lanzone, CEO of CBS Interactive and Baljeet Singh, Head of TV & Video at Twitter, both of whom focused on the amazing growth they’ve recognized in digital video and how it will only continue to grow in the future as the current early adopter generation (TEENS!) ages and becomes more sophisticated in their content-viewing habits.

Our friends at YouTube are at the head of this trend, and Susan Wojcicki’s keynote (that MKTG had a hand in) emphasized their growth, a new mobile app, new creator tools in development, and the fastest creator revenue growth they’ve ever had. And their creators are making a ton of money – the week before VidCon and before he was featured on the cover of Variety, PewDiePie released a(n uncharacteristically un-shout-y) video addressing the reports that he made $7million off of his videos last year. PewDiePie has gotten too big to attend something like VidCon, but digital video stars of that level like Grace Helbig, GloZell, the Vlogbrothers, and Tyler Oakley drew huge screaming crowds at all of their appearances, and they were all plugging something other than their videos (Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, interviewing Obama, Paper Towns, and a new book, respectively). These creators support each other through their videos and through their MCN’s, but their audiences are distinct, passionate, and are eager for more inroads to these creators that they feel they know intimately. Imagine the Spice Girls in 1997 or the Beatles in 1965, except the fans feel closely connected from the constant stream of videos and sharing.

So this was a long post, but I think only touched the surface of VidCon! It was definitely a fascinating experience that I really think is only going to grow in the coming years (someone online described it as SXSW in 2006). As long as there are teens, there will be VidCon.

Share Button

Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 31st, 2015 at 2:57 pm