If DanceOn is any indicator, YouTube is on to something with its much-hyped $100 million, 96-channel rollout.
Backed by entertainers like Madonna, DanceOn has clearly benefitted from the ties to the Queen of Pop; it has drawn some eye-opening view numbers for a YouTube-only entity in just a few months. Leveraging the popularity of well-known YouTube "celebrities," DanceOn’s centerpiece, Dance Showdown, pits 15 minutes of famers like ObamaGirl and Tay Zonday (of "Chocolate Rain" YouTube glory) against each other in a dance competition.
The results speak for themselves. The first episode garnered more than 1 million video views in the first week alone. While the content is certainly not for everyone, DanceOn’s video entertainment network is hard at work producing dance tutorials, films, competitions, docu-series and other original content to the tune of 26 million monthly video views. Dance Showdown, hosted by current America’s Best Dance Crew judge D-trix, leads the way with 4.8 million views only halfway through its online season.
Dance Showdown is in many ways a program that digital video advertisers and programmers might want to consider. The show blends the successful reality performance competition format and brings it to a casual, easily digestible online environment. DanceOn CEO Amanda Taylor said, “The remarkable traction we've seen in the first few weeks of the show speaks to the strength of not only our content but the audience's interest in this type of programming online week after week."
Dance competition has already proven to draw viewers on the Web. The cult hit The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers has thrived, churning out three seasons on platforms like Hulu.
For DanceOn, audience engagement seems to be the key, as its shows look to attract audiences with a chance to vote and impact the final outcomes of each episode. Taylor expects this growth to continue as more and more flock to the YouTube channel to get their quick reality fix. “We know this is only the beginning as we near the last few rounds,” she said.