Viacom Nears VidCon Buy

Sources confirm reports that programmer close to purchasing online video conference

Viacom is close to closing a deal to purchase popular online video conference VidCon, with sources familiar with the companies adding that a formal announcement could come as soon as this week.

Sources familiar with Viacom confirmed earlier reports on the deal from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

The comapny's leadership team, headed by CEO Jim Louderback and chairman Hank Green, is expected to remain intact.

VidCon is a popular online video conference held in Anaheim, Calif. each year – some have called it the Comic-Com for YouTubers – and has gained considerable steam since its launch in 2010.

VidCon usually attracts a young audience, which fits in well with Viacom’s target demographics. According to its website, the conference attracted more than 30,000 attendees last year and is an opportunity for online video fans to mingle with digital media stars from YouTube, Facebook, Musical.ly and Instagram. The conference, which has expanded beyond Anaheim to shows in Europe and Australia, also has become an increasingly popular venue for media companies to promote upcoming projects. The conference was started in 2010 by John and Hank Green, also known as the Vlogbrothers. John Green is the author of several popular Young Adult novels, including The Fault in Our Stars.

VidCon Europe is slated for Amsterdam March 22-24, with the U.S. conference scheduled for June 20-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The purchase would come as Viacom considers a merger with its former corporate sister CBS, and is on the heels of its buy of social media influencer WhoSay earlier this month.