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Casey Neistat in Hamburg at OMR Festival 2017!

Internet sensation appearing at Online Marketing Festival 2017 not once, but twice

Casey Neistat OMR17

Casey Neistat will be speaking at Online Marketing Rockstars Festival 2017—with $25 million more in his pocket

He’s one of the biggest YouTube stars worldwide, and now one of the richest. Just last week, Casey Neistat announced the sale of his app Beme to CNN for a cool $25 mil. On stage at OMR Festival 2017, Casey will share with us where the journey goes from here. Read on to find out why he won’t just be taking one stage, but two.

On March 2 and 3, 2017, the wait will be over: Das Online Marketing Rockstars Festival 2017 will rock the Hamburg Messe expo center. Neistat is the latest addition to a star-studded lineup of speakers that includes Gary Vaynerchuk, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Ben Lerer, Tamara Lohan and Bruce Dickinson. A man who knows how to perform when the lights are on, Casey is an online business institution, who’s on the cusp of a brand new chapter in his storied career after selling his app to CNN. When he takes the Conference stage on day 2 of the festival on March 3, Casey will have much to tell.

Twice as nice

While his appearance on March 3 will be a highlight for most, you don’t want to miss your chance to get up close and personal on March 2. That’s right, the day before Casey takes the big stage, he’ll be taking part in a Q&A session with Expo visitors.

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Filmmaker and marketing machine

When Casey arrived in New York, he was a broke 20 year old with a three-year-old son. He wants to be a director and shoots his first videos with his brother Van, primarily family videos of weddings and birthdays. In 2003, he lands his first breakthrough with “iPod’s Dirty Secret,” where Neistat spray paints a warning to would-be customers on posters for the new iPod “iPod’s unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months.” In its first six months, the video was watched more than 6 million times—three years before YouTube was launched. The reach garners attention from production companies and he begins his first large-scale project with his brother.

In 2008, HBO purchases the rights to “The Neistat Brothers” for $2 million. In eight episodes, Casey and Van do, well, whatever they want. Even then, the style is akin to that of a viral video, with the notable exception that the platform (YouTube) is not far enough along for it to be lucrative for Casey.

That all changes in 2011, when his video bike lines goes viral. He was so incensed at having to pay a fine because he wasn’t riding his bike in the bike lane that he vented his frustrations in a video and shows just how dangerous it is riding in bike lanes. The video has been seen 18 million times on YouTube.

Shortly thereafter, he films his first ad. Nike gives him a generous budget, but instead of spending it on actors and equipment, he takes off with a friend to see how long they can travel with Nike’s money. The answer: 10 days. The spot they end up shooting nets over 23 million views on YouTube.

Videos for 20th Century Fox, J.Crew, Emirates, Mercedes and many others follow. His spots are never conventional and he’s always doing whatever he wants only seeing to it that his undertakings align, more or less, with the campaign objectives.

Vlog takes Casey to the top of YouTube

He begins focusing on expanding his brand in March 2015, when he starts a Vlog on YouTube and promises to publish one video a day about something from his life. The moves proves to be a good one: his subscribers and views go through the roof: in January 2015 he has 3.3 million views and 23K new subscribers; in September of the same year, those figures are 122 million views and 845K new subscribers—just for that September.

He keeps the Vlog up and running until November 19, 2016, when he pulls the plug. His goodbye Vlog entry has been seen more than 7 million times, his YouTube channel has almost 6 million subscribers and more than 1.3 billion views.

Beme and the deal with CNN

Casey may not admit as much, but beginning in mid 2015 his YouTube channel primarily functions as a marketing channel for his app Beme. Along with former Head of Brand Strategy & Marketing at Tumblr Matt Hackett, he develops Beme as counterpoint to Snapchat and Instagram. Users are supposed to show their true selves and real lives. “Reality is so much more interesting than the fiction we are used to,” he said at the time.. With Beme, users are able to make 2 to 8-second videos of unedited moments, from their perspective.

Just over a week ago, the Beme team announced that they had sold the app to CNN for, according to several media outlets, $25 million. CNN will retain everyone at Beme—including Casey. Despite his YouTube celebrity, the app was never able to reach the lofty heights of other social media projects like Snapchat or Musically. In a video (obviously), he explains that while he doesn’t know where the future will take him, he plans on continuing to publish videos on YouTube, just not as regularly.

There will be plenty to talk about on stage this March. How to build a massive reach on YouTube? How to build a personal brand? What does he hope to achieve at CNN? Online Marketing Rockstars Festival 2017 is your chance to get answers to these questions from the man himself! Find more information on OMR Festival 2017 and ticket information here. To see Casey both days, get your All-In ticket before they’re all gone!

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Related content: Listen to Gary Vaynerchuk in the OMR Podcast talk branding and celebrity - Hear it from the source.
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