Viacom is close to acquiring VidCon, TheWrap has learned from multiple people with knowledge of the deal. Jim Louderback, who was named VidCon CEO in August, will stay on to run the company, we’re told.
The acquisition of the annual online video conference is part of Viacom’s larger push into influencer marketing. The Bob Bakish-led Viacom purchased WhoSay last month under the same effort. Agency UTA helped arrange the Viacom-VidCon deal.
This year’s U.S. VidCon is scheduled for June 20-23, 2018 in Anaheim, California. VidCon Europe will take place from March 22-24, while the Australian version is set for Sept. 1-2.
Meanwhile, Viacom and its former sister company CBS are flirting with a reunion. The CBS board recently established a special committee to explore merging with Viacom once more.
As TheWrap reported last month, Viacom and CBS vice-chairwoman Shari Redstone had begun pursuing a potential merger after concluding that a bigger footprint would be necessary for the companies to thrive. CBS chairman Les Moonves, who had long resisted talk of recombining the companies, is said to now be open to the possibility.
Redstone’s father, Sumner Redstone, first brought CBS and Viacom together in 2000, only to cleave them again in 2006. Rumblings of a reunification have periodically surfaced ever since, most significantly in September 2016 when National Amusements, the parent company of both media corporations, asked the boards of each to explore the possibility — talks which eventually fell by the wayside.