Internet empire Google has long been working to bring quality content to its subsidiary YouTube. Their efforts appear to be working.
This past June, “Step Up 2: The Streets” director Jon M. Chu teamed up with Hulu’s “The Legend of Extraordinary Dancers” web series to launch DS2DIO- a YouTube channel focused on dance lifestyle programming.
DS2DIO just released a schedule for several dance-related reality shows, as well as ‘The Floor’, which is based in L.A.
The Wall Street Journal’s SpeakEasy recently interviewed partners Chu and Hieu Ho regarding their project:
SpeakEasy: I hear that Miley Cyrus was a sort of catalyst for your first web series LXD. How did she get involved?
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Chu: After finishing “Step Up 2: The Streets,” we made a little video for YouTube in 2006 that challenged Miley Cyrus to a dance battle. One of the 14-year-old stars on Step Up has a crush on her so we got all of these dancers together and ended up getting 200,000 views in the first couple of days. Miley answered a few days after that with all of her dancers and we responded back. The video faceoffs got all of these followers who became interested in the dancers and that’s where it started. We needed funding to take our ideas further so ended up developing an idea that turned into LXD for Hulu.
SpeakEasy: Do you think there’s enough interest to support a dance only channel?
Hieu Ho: There definitely is. It’s crazy to see how popular dance has become with shows like “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Dance with the Stars.” In the past ten years alone, there have been 26 dance shows. Sixteen of the most viewed videos of all time had dance in them, so we were excited to continue telling these dance stories, particularly in the online space.
Chu: There’s an interactive part that allows us to have conversations with our audience. One thing that I learned working with Justin Bieber is that online conversations can really engage. People are talking, learning, work shopping and we wanted to become the hub for that. If you live in Hawaii or Japan, we can connect you with the people we know here and you can interact with us as well.