YouTube, a year after it ceded the title sponsorship to TikTok for VidCon 2022, is returning to claim the top post at this year’s convention.
The Google-owned video giant has typically had an outsized presence at the annual convention for digital creators, having taken the title sponsor spot for seven years in a row beginning in 2013. When VidCon returned for its first in-person event after pandemic-related cancelations and delays, TikTok had exploded in popularity and emerged to take over the sponsorship post.
The changing of the guard, so to speak, did not go unnoticed: For a convention typically dominated by YouTube, 2022’s convention returned with an emphasis on short-form content, the format popularized by TikTok. The main stage keynote was led by top TikTok creators and TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, thanks to the platform’s title sponsorship post, and — perhaps most noticeably — a large photo-ready TikTok statue hovered over attendees in the courtyard outside the Anaheim Convention Center.
This year, YouTube appears ready to grab its spotlight back from TikTok at the convention. And this time, the company will arrive having launched its Shorts revenue sharing program with creators that is poised to pressure TikTok into developing a monetization system that can compete.
“As a longstanding partner of VidCon, we are delighted to return as title sponsor for 2023 to continue celebrating our creators through the diverse programming at this one-of-a-kind event,” Kate Stanford, vp YouTube Marketing, said in a statement. As we continue to provide pathways for success in today’s thriving creator economy, we look forward to celebrating the magic of YouTube and the future of content creation in Anaheim this summer.”
The convention will take place from June 21 to June 24. Featured creators will include VidCon co-founders John and Hank Green, the Try Guys’ Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld, De’Marcus Shawn, Drew Afualo, Brent and Lexi Rivera and Benjamin De Almeida (a.k.a. BenoftheWeek), among many others.
“YouTube has always been an integral part of VidCon because it is one of the biggest players in the digital ecosystem,” Colin Hickey, VidCon’s svp operations, said. “We are thrilled to have them return as the title sponsor to help drive our mission of putting digital culture and its creators center stage.”