Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The People Who Bring You “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” Bet on YouTube Channel About … Dance?

dance-on-youtube-600x369Does your business distribute video on YouTube?

Did your business just raise a round of funding?

Then there is a good chance that:

  • Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise is one of your backers, and
  • You say you’re going to use the money to help build a business outside of YouTube.

So here’s Amanda Taylor, who has checked both of those boxes, and closed a $4 million funding round for DanceOn, a YouTube network that features what you think it features.

In addition to DeBevoise, who has put money into a series of YouTube networks ranging from StyleHaul to AwesomenessTV, Taylor has some interesting backers on this one. Plus Capital and AMC Networks (yes, that AMC Networks)* led the round, which included MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan, veteran digital exec Jon Miller and Guy Oseary, Madonna’s manager.

Madonna was originally billed as one of DanceOn’s co-founders, and her name helped add glamour to YouTube’s “funded channels” pitch in 2011, when Google’s website handed out advances to various video producers, including DanceOn.

DanceOn, which claims more than a billion views to date, was one of the minority of the original YouTube-funded channels that got a new round of investment from the site this year.

But, like lots of other people who are trying to make money on the world’s largest website, Taylor is now trying to make money via outlets that aren’t the world’s largest website.

* If you want to, you can include DanceOn’s funding as part of a trend we’ve seen where Big Media players bet real money on YouTube, like Time Warner’s bet on Maker Studios. But this is a much smaller bet than others we’ve noted.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald