DanceOn’s ‘Showdown’ Surges in Season Three

One of the few funded YouTube nets to endure

There aren’t too many success stories that have come out of the YouTube funded channels effort. DanceOn appears to be one.

The entertainment channel’s competition series D-trix Presents Dance Showdown is on track to generate 40 million views this season, up from 26 million in season 2 and 10 million in season one, according to founder and CEO Amanda Taylor.

The live series (think Dancing With the YouTube Stars) is nearing its midway point with a lot of momentum; has already recorded 5 million fan votes. And, two of this season’s contestants bring particularly huge YouTube followings, including the celebrated violinist Lindsey Stirling and Steve Kardynal, the comedian behind the creepy/awesome Chatroulette version of MIley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.

“We’ve been really aggressively expanding this competition,” said Taylor. "One of the things that’s been driving that is our voting system. And while show is about dancing, we’re really celebrating YouTube culture, from gaming and beauty and music and merging all these worlds.”

Taylor said that while Dance Showdown is available on demand—like any other video on YouTube—it does attract a sizable live audience, and many fans look to watch episodes at least during the week they first air.

“They want to be a participant in the conversation and the voting,” she said. The show has also reached out to the show’s “super fans” and enlisted their help in marketing the series.

Last month, Coca-Cola and (RED) kicked off a sponsorship tied to Dance Showdown aimed at raising funds to help eradicate HIV among children.

DanceOn is one of just a few channels from the much hyped YouTube funded channels effort that is still standing. The company received $4 million Series A round of financing in October.

Why has this worked when so many others struggled? (ComedyShaq anyone?)

“It’s the power of dance,” Taylor joked. But indeed, dance content has been surprisingly enduring in the Web video world, going back to the YouTube video clip The Evolution of Dance to underground hits like The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Last spring, it was noteworthy how many companies were pushing series built around electronic dance music, including a project from Microsoft.

“It’s huge trend, and there’s plenty of room,” said Taylor. “People think of dance as niche, but it’s really for everyone. And it’s arguable the most viral content. Think of twerking, Gangham Style, Harlem Shake. Part of [dance's virality] is there’s no language barrier, and YouTube is truly global."