Its core business is owning TV channels and movie studios – so why has Viacom bought in to the conference business? Connections, according to the man at the center of the deal.

Back in February, the MTV owner – which is itself the target of a takeover by CBS – acquired eight-year-old VidCon, which examines how a new generation of YouTube talent is coming to market.

But operating a conference sounds more like something an old-line B2B publisher would do. What does VidCon bring Viacom?

“We bring a great entrée into the world of online video, into the talent and creators and producers that are growing up in this new world of media,” says VidCon GM Jim Louderback. “We allow Viacom Digital Studio to extend itself into an experiential place as well.

“It really is part of that whole spectrum of engaging with audiences, building affinity with audiences, having the audiences love you, and doing that in lots of different places.”

In truth, whilst VidCon includes plenty of debates and discussions, it is also a showcase, where young YouTube talent can demonstrate itself to an audience of commissioners.

Louderback is the video industry veteran who once helmed Revision3, the pioneering internet video producer.

VidCon is coming up this june 20 to 23 at Anaheim, California, with three separate tracks for community, creators and industry topics. Signifying the demographic of some of the talent it is putting on stage, VidCon has even laid on services for parents and chaperones.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.