DanceOn Digital Network Rebrands in Expansion Into Music Programming
Izo will become the parent company to DanceOn.
For the last six years, YouTube network DanceOn has built an audience with its choreography and dance-themed programming. Now, the executives behind DanceOn want to do the same for music.
The team that created DanceOn has launched a new music-themed brand, Izo, that will also serve as the parent company of DanceOn. "We've always thought of DanceON as a sub-genre inside the larger genre of music," explains CEO Amanda Taylor, noting that the two mediums are "intertwined" and "when combined they're incredibly compelling."
While focused on dance videos, DanceOn has also driven interest in up-and-coming musicians. In 2015 the company helped five new artists onto the Billboard Top 40 chart through dance-themed videos. For example, it helped Silento's "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" take off through a campaign with its network of dancers.
"We're making a huge impact on music and pop culture," Taylor continues. "We wanted a brand that encompasses dance and builds that community but also has the broader ability to focus on music."
DanceOn was funded through YouTube's original channel initiative in 2011 and counts Madonna and manager Guy Oseary as co-founders. Today, parent company Izo claims an audience of 300 million monthly views to programs such as Dance-Off Juniors, Dance Showdown and Artist Request.
DanceOn's leadership team will continue at Izo — which was named for the musical term "intermezzo." The board of directors of the new company includes Taylor, prolific angel investor Allen DeBevoise, AMC Networks executive Paul Rehrig and So You Think You Can Dance creator Nigel Lythgoe.
Izo, which will live across social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, will adapt several DanceOn formats to build out a slate of music series. But Taylor says she also sees opportunity in the music documentary space and in producing parody videos, covers and other formats. And with longtime American Idol executive producer Lythgoe on the board, expect to see Izo take on the music competition format.
DanceOn's push into music-themed content comes as the genre is seeing a boom online. Apple Music is now funding shows designed to appeal to its music-loving subscriber base, and Spotify on Monday announced a slate of 12 original series.
"Music is by far the largest and most engaging category in digital," said DeBevoise. "Given the demand today's generation has to engage with and create content, it seems like a natural evolution that the next major player in music programming would be, at its core, a programmer that enables and empowers fan participation."