Media giant acquires Missoula-based tech company


Media giant Viacom is acquiring the Missoula-based tech company VidCon.

VidCon is a popular online video conference that’s been held annually in southern California since 2010.

The new general manager of VidCon remembers the first VidCon. “It was about 1,400 people in a basement of a hotel just outside of Beverly Hills,” said Jim Louderback.

Louderbach and his team of 18 in Missoula believe the merger is going to be great for VidCon.

“We started expanding last year. We went to Australia, we went to Europe and saw some really good success, so we realized we could do VidCon all around the world,” said Louderback.

Viacom’s cable networks include Nickelodeon, MTV and BET and its connections will likely help VidCon increase awareness among more networks.

Some are worried about what the change means for Missoula, but Louderback isn’t concerned.

“Viacom is not moving us; they have a long-term commitment to growing VidCon, so what that means is we become a bigger business, a bigger based business in Missoula, and that’s got to be good for everybody,” said Louderback.

Chief Operating Officer Colin Hickey agrees with Louderback and says it’s Missoula that makes VidCon special.

“When you plan an event in California and Amsterdam and Australia, people are like, ‘What are you doing in Missoula, Montana?’ We tell them, ‘If you had been there you would know,’” said Hickey.

VidCon was founded by YouTube’s popular vloggers John and Hank Green. Last year’s convention attracted more than 30,000 people.

The ninth annual VidCon will be held June 20-23 in Anaheim, California.

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