VidCon Is Back In Anaheim This Fall, and Partly Available Online

One of the largest conferences for video and digital creators, VidCon will return as an in-person event at the Anaheim Convention Center this fall, after the pandemic forced cancellation last year.


It's one of the early signs that as vaccination distribution ramps up, conference and concert planners are starting to scrap their virtual plans in favor of big in-person events. VidCon's announcement comes as airline travel is picking up and theme parks open back up.

"We know from our fans from the industry and from creators that they really miss being able to get together face-to-face and celebrate the continuing development and future of the creator economy, so we've been really trying to figure out a safe, effective and fun way to do that," said Jim Louderback, VidCon's general manager. "We figured we could do it in October, and so for us it was a great time to be able to really bring our communities back."

The Anaheim Convention Center has been closed for the past year, but right now is "the brightest spot and the most optimistic we've been [about reopening]," said Mike Lyster, a city spokesperson. "It could be any time now, this week or next week, that guidelines from the state of California would indicate when we can reopen for events and how we can reopen capacity limitations and other safeguards, which we've been preparing for for about a year now."

The Convention Center has been tentatively booking events like VidCon over the past year, though it only recently reopened as a vaccine distribution center. Disneyland's announced reopening at the end of April, along with that of nearby Angel Stadium are big indications the Convention Center will open soon, said Lyster.

The last in-person VidCon drew 75,000 people in 2019. Tickets will go on sale this summer, with online attendance options available for the first time. Vidcon has not said they will limit capacity, instead they announced an ambitious line up of stars from EDM artist Spencer X to YouTuber Brent Rivera and other artists.

In lieu of its 2020 convention, VidCon launched VidCon Now, a year-round virtual experience. Since its creation in June of last year, it has attracted 1.2 million attendees all around the globe.

VidCon's organizers also know not everybody is ready to go back to standing around a convention hall with thousands of others. The event is also offering a "livestream ticket," which allows convention goers to attend events in real time from their homes. Louderback said the livestream is primarily for fans who cannot attend for time, distance, money or health reasons. They'll have access to some of the content for creators and industry professionals as well.

"We want to make sure that we bring the nighttime performances, we bring the stage shows. We bring the interviews, as well as some of the workshops and keynotes, to our fans wherever they are," said Louderback.


VidCon is also providing a subscription service to recorded events from the in person event in October. Louderback said that these events will be more centered around interviews, workshops and keynotes that creators might have not been able to attend or if creators later want to rewatch these sessions.

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Social video app Triller's parent company TrillerNet announced two acquisitions Wednesday, along with a new CEO.

The startup acquired Palo Alto-based Amplify.ai, which offers brands an AI chatbot tool to interact with consumers. It was previously integrated into Triller and will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of TrillerNet, which says it will use the tool to "offer brands and advertisers a unique, fully comprehensive branded content experience, starting with influencer-created short-form content from [Triller] which is pushed through the wider internet while using Amplify's AI tools to properly match the content to consumer," according to a statement.

As part of the deal, Amplify AI's CEO Mahi de SIlva, who was already a TrillerNet board member, will become TrillerNet's CEO. Mike Lu will shift from TrillerNet's CEO to president, and will focus on investor relations.

In a separate deal, TrillerNet also has acquired FITE, a live-events and pay-per-view streaming platform focused on sports. The two companies had previously collaborated to distribute Triller-sponsored boxing matches, and FITE will now become the exclusive global distributor for Triller Fight Club, another of TrillerNet's relatively new subsidiaries.

"The deal represents our ambitions to not only expand Triller Fight Club and grow FITE's distribution relationships, but also to reimagine what, how and when premium music, sports and entertainment is delivered to today's audiences," said Bobby Sarnevesht and Ryan Kavanaugh, who together own the majority of the company's shares, in a joint statement.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The moves represent a continuation of Kavanaugh and Sarnevesht's expansion of Triller, over which they took a controlling stake in late 2019. Late last year the company sponsored a fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., which reportedly generated $80 million in pay-per-view revenue. The company has also recently created its own star-studded content network TrillerTV, launched an NFT marketplace and acquired online rap-battle platform Verzuz.

Sources familiar with the company previously told dot.LA that Triller has explored going public via a SPAC. Those sources said the valuation of the potential move would be dependent on the completion of a series of potential acquisitions. It is not immediately clear whether Verzuz, Amplify.AI or FITE were the targets, nor whether the SPAC plan will still go through.

Elon Musk's SpaceX just secured another $314 million, bringing its most recent round to nearly $1.2 billion, according to paperwork filed on Wednesday.

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It is a great time to be a startup founder, with soaring valuations and investors tripping over themselves to get a piece of startups. As hot as the startup scene was last year, it has gotten even hotter this year, with a slew of megadeals pumping even more money into the biggest startups as they prepare to go public in the frenetic IPO market.

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