#VidCon Rocks!

12Jul10

It was an all-out SXSW/Comic-Con/w00tfest mashup complete with ball pit, karaoke room, and hugs from YouTubers and their favorite stars. Collectively the audiences of these vloggers rival that of the major tv/cable networks with Ryan Higa at the top with 500+ million views and nearly 2.5 million subscribers. And as much power as that implies, these young Pokemon-haired YouTube stars know that the audience rules, that fans make the famous, and that there is a sacred symbiotic connectedness betwix the two.

The producers of the event, Hank and John Green, the Vlogbrothers, one a Wizard Rock master, the other an award-winning author, delivered a world-class all-day all-night all-day all-night affair for the lucky 1400 that found out about it before it sold out. Tickets started at a mere $80 and rooms at an unbelievably low $129/night rate for those who booked early at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Droves of parents brought their kids instead of a trip to Disneyland. If Hank and John Green wanted to, they could do VidCon every weekend and live like kings, but as Nerdfighters dedicated to the cause of awesomeness, they donated all their proceeds to the American Red Cross – awww!

From the get-go, it was non-stop entertainment. Day One, I found myself on a Smosh-chase with Turnip Time, catching dollar bills off the stage from Rev3, ducking as a lightbulb exploded in a microwave, charmed by Charlieissocoollike and blown away by Ze Frank’s brilliant presentation of The Man With The Button. The UK clan brought down the house during the opening concert with Tom Milsom’s manic multi-instrumental cover of Radiohead’s Creep, Alex Day’s confetti-sprinkled Mario Cart Wii and ALLCAPS Delete You – the angst-ridden song about two onstage YouTubers breaking up on Facebook.

Never really got to sleep because it was already Day Two. iJustine was getting skewered by Rootberry sword- swallowers, The Station’s Rawn went unplugged with his bikini song and filled the audience with dancing Batmans, turkeys and gold guys, David Choi was romancing us with his YouTube love song, and DaveDays was stripping-not during the closing concert. Most inspiring was Shane Dawson who lost 150lbs telling everyone the secret to having a healthy weight is doing what you love instead of eating. And there was so much more jaw-dropping stuff from Mystery Guitar Man, Michael Buckley, Ryan Higa, The Gregory Brothers (Autotune The News), Julia Nunes, Shay Carl, Brittani Louise Taylor, Livelavalive, Charles Trippy, Alli Speed, WillofDC, Catrific, Johnny Durham, Lisa Nova, KassemG, Rhett and Link, Kevin Nalty, KevJumba, Philip DeFranco, Johnny Durham, Julian Smith … even Tay Zonday came just to hang.

Orabrush, the super generous sponsor who paid for everyone’s WiFi and gave away an iPhone 4 and contract, joined the fun with their crowdsurfing tongue – 20 million views, 500,000 tongue scrapers sold.

YouTube, although not an official sponsor, was everywhere. George Strompolous, the $5 million dollar man, became the hottest guy in the room after he announced funding production for top channel partners. Thursday night there was a YouTube sponsored meetup of 300 partners. Throughout, YouTube had sessions on how to land sponsors, game AL, get featured and drive subs/views. And then there were those late night parties in the penthouse.

VidCon ended with the World Cup as John Green and Tom Milsom hosted commentary for their legions. There were tense moments as the tent was going for The Dutch and many, many tears when it was all over. But the Octopus called it and has never been wrong, so everyone knew it would end this way. Luckily, the ball pit was open and there was the mall. Just kids having fun.

These VidCon YouTubers incubating next gen talent and the very future of musical sketch parody entertainment were completely unaware that NATPE’s #LATV Fest was about to take over the hotel with Hollywood big wigs coming to find the next big thing. Those standing at the nexus are set to profit wildly. So stay tuned.

VidCon was live-streamed and videos are still posting. I’ll be adding links to footage, twitpics and channels later this week. Now I’m off as the NATPE pitch seminars begin. Follow @contentnow #LATV.

*For the sake of transparency, you need to know that I head up content acquisition for PlaySpan Marketplace, a gamers space that just launched a revolutionary virtual currency video micropayments platform that will enable vloggers to make a lot of money, and such, I am sourcing best of the web content for our video showcase, so please be aware that there are client and prospective relationships with those mentioned in this post, and I am totally biased towards them – this disclosure is brought to you by the FTC who should know the people’s right to blog is protected by the U.S. Constitution. And now that you know, check out PSM’s awesome showcase featuring Diggnation, Chad Vader, Turbo Dates, ChadMattandRob, and more and see if you have a web show you want to upload: store.playspan.com/videos-landing

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