Vidcon 2015 speakers, panelists announced

Fans cheer as their favorite YouTube stars from Our2ndLife arrive for their photo and autograph session during the three-day VidCon convention at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, June 27, 2014.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Executives from Twitter, GoPro and Vessel are among the keynote speakers and panelists for the sixth annual VidCon.

The three-day conference in late July at the Anaheim Convention Center is for people -- industry executives, video content creators, viral video stars and their fans -- who love online video. 

Organizers said Thursday that this year’s speakers include Baljeet Singh (product lead for television and video at Twitter), Zander Lurie (senior vice president of media at GoPro) and Jason Kilar (former CEO of Hulu and Founder of video platform Vessel).

Panel topics range from “Building Audiences on Twitter and Vine” to “YouTube Optimization and Audience Development.” In addition to panels and keynote speehces, there will (of course) also be a VidCon Prom and planned Disneyland meet-up day.

VidCon founders John and Hank Green (known as the VlogBrothers on YouTube) came up with the idea for the convention after going on a small tour around the U.S. for their YouTube fans. Though Hank Green said he knew their YouTube channel had fans, it wasn’t until about 80 people showed up at a small library in Michigan to see the duo that he realized the magnitude of their viewership.

When VidCon began in 2010, the conference took place at a smaller venue in Los Angeles and drew about 1,400 attendees. Last year, a whopping 18,000 people packed the Convention Center.

Hank Green said he expects this year will have an even bigger turnout, with about 20,000 expected guests.

“The goal of VidCon has always been to reflect the state of the online video industry,” he told the Times on Wednesday. “There is a lot of platform diversification going on in video. You’ve got really interesting things happening in the ways to connect with audiences, new ways to monetize content and new systems of distribution.”

The conference’s increasing popularity comes as no surprise, especially as millennials continue to consume most of their content on digital platforms rather than traditional ones.

A recent study from Defy Media, a digital content company, found that a majority (62%) of 13-to 24-year-olds go on online video platforms such as YouTube because digital content makes them feel good about themselves. 

An estimated 32% of the 13- to 17-year-olds surveyed said they are more likely to look up to a YouTube personality over a traditional celebrity. In the 18- to 24-year-old category, that number dropped to 26%. But 52% of that age demographic still said they feel closer to their favorite YouTubers. 

The online community is already counting down to the upcoming conference.

“Will the list of creators who are going to @VidCOn be released soon? #cantwait #vidcon2015,” one person tweeted on Monday.

“VIDCON IS IN 100 DAYS!!!!” another user tweeted on Tuesday

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