YouTube stars and industry professionals gathered in L.A. on Thursday to revel in online video during Day 1 of the 2nd annual VidCon.
Organizers John and Hank Green opened the festivities, explaining that the conference is intended to celebrate online video and the people that make them.
But even creators of the cutest cat videos and wacky “Harry Potter” spoofs need to eat, so industry professionals took the stage to explain the direction online content might be going and how to make the most of it.
Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision 3, an independent free online video service, said online services such as Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu are changing the way for the ways users engage with their media.
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The “internet wins,” he said, calling the traditional cable channel guide the “worst interface ever.” Louderback predicts that TVs will soon include iPad-esque app icons when users are choosing channels.
YouTube darling Olga Kay, whose videos range from complex juggling acts to tender moments with her cat, told Youtubers aspiring to grow subscribers to “stop worrying what people think, and do what you love.”
“Put it out, sit back, and hope people like it!” she said.
Kay, who moved to L.A. for a stint with the Barnum Brothers Circus and has now taught herself to create and edit custom content, has racked up to 434,877 subscribers since joining YouTube in 2006.
YouTube NextUp program winner Ethan Newberry, who was flown to New York and given $35,000 by the company to expand the quality of his content, echoed Kay’s sentiment and spoke of the importance of building community and collaboration.
“Do what you want to do,” he said. “You are your own boss; there are no rules.”
The potential of YouTube and online media to disrupt who’s the boss of content and build people from nobody’s filming themselves with the tiny camera on their laptop to ad revenue-baring YouTube stars is a running theme throughout the convention.
“This is something that nobody believed in four years ago,” said Kay “They think it’s just a web site for cute kitten videos. Well, Hollywood is noticing: Yes! We win!” Related Articles: EXCLUSIVE: YouTube Finally Goes Hollywood With New Movies on Demand Service (Updated) Mark Cuban: YouTube Can Change the World, But It Can't Make Money Streaming