While Om was off gallivanting in Paris this week for a conference, I subbed in for him as co-host of the GigaOM Show. I got to pick a guest from my video beat at NewTeeVee, so we brought in Stanley Burrell, a.k.a. MC Hammer, to talk about his new startup, DanceJam. Roll the tape:
DanceJam aims to bring together various dancing communities. The site will include videos from aspiring dancers everywhere as well as Hammer and his celebrity pals (click on the thumbnail for a screenshot). It will be driven by contests that include offline regional meetups, and be monetized through ads and contest sponsorship. The company — which is based out of a few offices in the Bay Area — hasn’t given us a firm launch date. The latest word is “mid-January” — but last week it opened up part of its site to the public so as to solicit videos to have ready for the launch. Check it out for an early preview.
We spoke further with Hammer and DanceJam CEO Geoffrey Arone about the founding of their startup, which they say was an idea they had both hatched independently before being set up with each other by some mutual acquaintances. Arone said he’s “not a great dancer.” Hammer said he’s OK.
Arone told us he was attracted by the market opportunity, with videos featuring dance, from The Evolution of Dance on down, being especially popular on YouTube, and dance-related movies and TV shows taking off in recent years.
If they’re successful with dance, Hammer and Arone say they hope to extend their social video platform to other genres such as extreme sports.
One hundred percent of the people I told I was interviewing MC Hammer about his tech startup said “MC Hammer has a tech startup?!?” So I started out by asking him about his geek cred. Watch the video — which also includes the GigaOM Show’s weekly news roundup and reader feedback portion — to see his reply.