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22 Feb

Ep. 28 – Amanda Taylor – Founder of DanceOn – Creating a Vast Digital Platform To Connect People Worldwide

Amanda Taylor –  Founder of DanceOn; Creation of one of the largest online communities in the world; Leading a startup; Innovation as the key to building a community; Content creation and execution for audiences.

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Segment 1: (Length :05:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Amanda Taylor and her background to becoming the creator of DanceOn; Creating a programming brand and curating massive content across a community-based platform.

AboutDanceOn (1)

Amanda’s finer points:

“I started in artist management and I think I saw a really big opportunity at a good time. People weren’t really looking at dancing music the way that I was. I was working with dancers and choreographers and I saw what was happening on YouTube in other categories and other social media networks.”

“I saw that there was a really big opportunity for folks like gamers or beauty gurus and I thought, ‘Why is that happening for people that I’m working with. Let’s figure that out and build a platform that empowers them.”

“It’s evolved because we’ve been able to empower so many types of creators. It started with dancers and expanded to choreographers and music video directors. Now, really the music artists themselves.”

“We’ve expanded into being a programming brand, to a community of artists that are really creating content. We started on YouTube and expanded from there to take all the social video platforms really serious around Facebook, around SnapChat, around Vine and now we’re on some premium platforms like Verizon’s go90.”

Segment 2: (Length :07:00) – Talking with Mayor Amanda Taylor; Creating opportunity from building a community.

Amanda’s finer points:

“It took a long time to educate everybody in why this is important as an artist. Why is it important to put yourself out there in social and build your reach, build your fans, talk to them everyday and every week?

“As people started to do that, the would get real value . . . first it was getting real value in the real world because they were getting gigs from it, and then it was actual real value just in digital. I’m making money here in this space.”

“This last phase, because we have enough people active all the time, has allowed us to start programming.”

Segment 3: (Length :07:00) – Creating and leading a startup; Embracing new platforms; Strategy and Monetization for choosing the right social media channels.

Capabilities Deck - Silento Timeline - 1-25-16a 2

Amanda’s finer points:

“We’ve been doing it for several years, but every year and really every quarter is very different because we find ourselves in the next phase. The challenges change. In the very beginning – ‘Can we get enough capital? Can I get people interested?’ – It’s so rocky because it’s just starting and nobody has ever heard of you.”

“Finding team members is hard, and then that changes and you have a small team with everyone wearing a bunch of hats. You have to be comfortable with that. Then you scale up even more and you have 25 people and now it’s not about wearing a bunch of hats, but just try and stay in your lane but be supportive of other departments.”

“It continues to evolve as an organization where I feel like we’re at that tipping point. We have 45 people right now and you linger at the 50 and then next thing you know you have hundreds of people. So, we’re still at that nice size where you know everyone and I can talk to everyone.”

“As a brand you want to be on all of the different platforms, but there are new ones that launch all the time. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and you want to make sure the strategy is to have the strongest execution on the most important platforms.”

“We look at what’s the scale on that platform? What’s the relevancy to music on that platform? What’s the monetization strategy? If we can validate those three points, then we’re there.”

Segment 4: (Length :04:00) – Having multiple channels on the DanceOn Network; Building out other channels; Asking your existing audience for feedback; experience in growing through leveraged networks.

Amanda’s finer points:

DanceOn is the main brand channel. We also have a really cool channel called Yak Films. It’s really different from DanceOn because DanceOn skews female. It’s very young Millennial, Gen Z. Yak is 90% male, all underground hip hop from all over the world.”

“It really starts with the creators. It’s not my own ideas or somebody on the team. It’s looking at folks that are doing it really well and doing really cool things and then saying, ‘hey, do you want to work with us on it?'”

“There’s different ways to partner. In the case of  Yak, they existed actually prior to DanceOn launching but they were one of the first people we called and said we love what you’re doing. How can we work with you and support you? We’ve been in partnership ever since.”

“There’s power in numbers and power in building community, especially on YouTube. There are so many different tactics that do that. I think it’s always been incredibly mutual benefitting. If people don’t feel that than it won’t work. Most of the time it just works for people.”

“I definitely see the continued rise of next generation programming brands, 100%. You look at players like Awesomeness TV and Vice and Tastemade. All those guys are doing it really really right. The thing that I think is most exciting is the fact that we can have global conversations about content now in real time. That will continue to get stronger and stronger with more and more connectivity.”

“We wanted to get really good at competitions specifically. Competitions are obviously really successful in TV and people weren’t really doing them in digital yet, and we’re in the music and dance sphere. So, why not? Let’s own this.”

“We’re expanding into all genres of content and have the capital to really invest in, which is exciting because fund raising for content is tough.”

“Madonna is finding talent through the network. One of the first things we did is tell her to check out Lil Buck and Lil Buck has been going on tour with her ever since.”

Segment 5: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

“A big piece of being an entrepreneur is just jumping in and recognizing that you’ll learn as you go. No amount of education will teach you this.

– Amanda Taylor for ProfileMagazine.com

Amanda’s finer points:

“When I started the company, I said to my first investors, ‘Do you think I can do this because don’t have an MBA.’ I hadn’t started a company before. I’ve raised money around different shows and I understand the different components of fund raising, but it was new and I was scared. I recognized what I was taking on.”

“They said you’ll never be ready. I just had to go and do it. That was the best advice I could have gotten. I’ve taken that with me every step of the way.”


Amanda Taylor – Founder DanceOn Network

  • Amanda Taylor is the CEO and co-founder of DanceOn, the entertainment focused digital media company connecting music and pop culture through the universal language of  dance.
  • Her leadership has driven the network to 5B+ views, 30M+ subscribers and 50M+ fans across platforms.
  • Amanda’s vision has made DanceOn responsible for much of the world’s pop culture connection to dance, and has empowered creators – musicians and artists in the digital era.
  • Prior to founding DanceOn, Amanda worked in artist management for such talents as Debbie Allen and Ben Vereen and creatives such as Francesca Zambello, Sergio Trujillo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and many others.
  • She worked in various capacities (Marketing, General Management, Associate Producing) for Richard Frankel Productions (producers of Stomp, Hairspray, The Producers).
  • Amanda graduated magna cum laude from Elon University with a degree in Music Theatre.




Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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