VidCon brings together thousands of fervent fans at its annual conventions, who flock to the events to see their favorite YouTubers and other digital celebs in the flesh. Now the Viacom-owned division is trying to keep the excitement burning during the VidCon off-season, too.
This week VidCon is launching its first foray into original content with “VidCon Now,” set to produce four episodes each week highlighting creators and digital-video trends.
To lead the new initiative, VidCon hired BuzzFeed and Viacom alum Stacey Kelly (pictured above) as its first content director. She reports to VidCon GM Jim Louderback and is based in Viacom’s offices in Hollywood.
The series, produced under the Viacom Digital Studios division, launches Tuesday (May 21) at 7 a.m.PT/10 a.m. ET. “VidCon Now” episodes will go live every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on VidCon’s YouTube, Instagram, IGTV, Snapchat and Facebook channels. On Fridays, a live “VidCon Now” episode will stream on Instagram Live, Facebook Live and YouTube Live, featuring a “game-ified” recap of the week’s top stories.
Each episode will include three recurring segments: three top news stories about content creators or trends; “ICYMI,” showcasing a specific content creator’s project; and “#VOTD – Video of the Day,” highlighting videos from up-and-coming creators.
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The series launches as a lead-in to the 10th annual VidCon US, set to run July 10-13 in Anaheim, Calif. Among the featured creators scheduled to hit this summer’s convention is Tana Mongeau, the vlogger who last year staged “TanaCon,” an ill-fated attempt to compete with VidCon.
“As the world’s largest celebration of the online video community, it was only natural that we would continue to deepen our relationship with our audience by launching original digital content,” Louderback said in a statement. “Stacey’s incredible background in digital and experience working with a wide variety of online video platforms makes her the ideal person to lead our programming initiative.”
Before joining VidCon, Kelly worked as a branded-content creative producer at BuzzFeed. Her previous experience includes working at mtvU, during Viacom’s early days in online video, and at Endemol Shine Group leading branded content creative for ICON, the lifestyle channel of beauty vlogger Michelle Phan.
Commented Kelly, “I am excited to find new ways to build and engage our digital-first audiences 365 days a year, expanding upon our reach at the conventions VidCon hosts around the globe.”
Viacom bought VidCon in early 2018. In addition to its flagship U.S. convention, VidCon hosted its first London event earlier this year and will return to Australia in September.