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How Meridith Valiando Rojas Turns YouTube Celebrities into Concert Stars: The Full Code/Media Interview

You've never heard of the people onstage at DigiTour's sold-out shows. Exactly, says its CEO.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

You can have Beyonce and U2. Meridith Valiando Rojas has our2ndlife and lohanthony.

Who? Exactly, says Valiando Rojas, who doesn’t want you to know who those people are, unless you’re in her target audience — the teens and preteens who come to the packed concerts she puts on, which feature a new breed of YouTube and Vine stars.

Valiando Rojas’s DigiTour features digital performers (get it?) with a following of more than 80 million people collectively, and figures out how to put them onstage. It’s working very well: This year she’s sold 120,000 tickets.

Digitour, which has attracted investment from Ryan Seacrest and Condé Nast parent Advance Publications, also gives Valiando Rojas insight into the next wave of Web stars. Actually, they won’t be on the Web at all, Valiando Rojas says — they’ll come out of Snapchat.

If all of this sounds puzzling to you, I understand. I’m old and out of touch, too. That’s why I had Valiando Rojas explain all of this to me onstage last week at our Code/Media New York event at the Steelcase WorkLife Center.

Here’s the full video of our chat:

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