What you missed at Australia’s first VidCon: 3 key takeaways

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Aisling Finch September 2017 Video

Australia’s first-ever VidCon was held in Melbourne this month, attracting over 600 YouTube creators, 6,000 fans, and hundreds of savvy brands and marketers. Keep reading for three takeaways to go along with your FOMO.

Apologies to the French Riviera, but there’s a new Cannes in town. VidCon—an annual celebration of online video—made its Asia Pacific debut this month, bringing together an entire ecosystem of fans, YouTube creators, and marketers under one roof in Melbourne.

From the fabulous entertainer and transgender rights campaigner Gigi Gorgeous to the Australian beauty and lifestyle creator Wengie, VidCon is a powerful confluence of content, culture, and creativity. But what does this mean for brands and marketers?

Here are three key takeaways:

1. Aussies can’t get enough YouTube

We already know more than 14M Aussie adults visit YouTube every month, but hearing the screaming fans at VidCon really brought this massive stat to life. Aussies love their YouTube stars, and when you see fans up close and personal at VidCon, you realise how leaned in, engaged, and passionate they are about their favourite YouTube creators.

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Whether they were tuning in to Lauren Curtis’ beauty tips or jamming out to the latest Carpool Karaoke episode, the average Aussie viewer spent more than 20 hours watching YouTube in July alone.1

2. Audiences connect with YouTube content and creators

Audiences develop close relationships with their favourite YouTube creators. Fans talk about creators as if they’re talking about good friends who happen to be famous. The level of connection is unique in the entertainment world: An increasing number of Aussies who watch or subscribe to YouTube creators say their favourite YouTube stars understand them better than their own friends do.2

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Fans know these creators intimately, and many creators prefer the two-way interaction to hiding behind a velvet rope or tight security. For their part, creators speak highly of their audiences, even tapping them for creative inspiration.

Today, there are more than 60 Aussie YouTube creators with more than 1M subscribers—and their audiences just keep growing.

3. Opportunities for brands are on the rise

Many of Australia’s leading brands attended VidCon to form partnerships with the creators their audiences love. Why? Because creators are capturing their audiences’ undivided attention. VidCon showed how important it is for brands to leverage the creator ecosystem in ways that align with their identity, purpose, and audience.

For example, a cappella musician turned YouTube sensation Mike Tompkins has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Disney, Universal, and Pepsi, to create innovative content that connects with his audience.

The bright future of online video

For me and many other marketers in attendance, VidCon was an “aha” moment, and the enthusiasm and energy of the fans illuminated the data and insights we hear every day. We know that Aussies are watching more online video than ever before, but seeing the lines of excited fans reminded me what that actually means. The confluence of content, culture, and creativity that was on display at VidCon is exactly what we’re trying to tap into for our brands, clients, and partners. Hope you can make it next year!

Why I’m Skipping Cannes for VidCon This Year