My mind is continually blown by how rapidly VidCon is growing. The premiere gathering for YouTubers and the online video community has expanded by geometric proportions in the six short years of its existence, and this year’s gathering is on track to be the largest yet. The community of fans and creators is expanding every day, and the industry that surrounds online video continues to grow as well. If you need evidence, just look to the recently announced roster of keynote speakers for the convention which represents some of the biggest power players in the business.
This year’s VidCon will feature keynote presentations from Jason Killar of Vessel, the subscription-based YouTube competitor that made a big splash with its star-studded launch last month. Also on call to headline the event are Baljeet Singh, the head of product at Twitter’s video and TV division, and Zander Lurie, SVP of media at GoPro. All three organizations have delivered major shakeups to the world of online video this year and their products and innovations are likely to have a big impact on the year to come. Conspicuously absent from this year’s list of headliners is a representative of YouTube, although the video giant is expected to present on the 14 planned keynote speeches. Still, the prominence of new platforms like Vessel and Twitter suggests that YouTube may be taking a backseat in the industry that it virtually invented.
VidCon was founded as a YouTube fan gathering, but as the earliest and largest gathering of its kind it has consistently attracted industry professionals. Industry leaders looking to burnish their credentials, rub elbows with stars, and gain insights into the emerging business of online video have flocked to VidCon over the years. This time around, VidCon is hoping to step up its business game with a special industry track for professionals who want to take the pulse of the industry without wading through the hordes of screaming tweens and teens for which VidCon is also famous.
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