Madonna-founded DanceOn was the reason "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" went viral.
Is Silentó's "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" a sham?
The most explosive viral hit of 2015, "Watch Me" seemingly began as an organic Vine dance meme that grew into a cultural touchstone and spawned a music video that has garnered 641 million views in seven months. In truth, the song's viral take-off was largely manufactured by a company called DanceOn that, in the words of Business Insider, is "in the business of creating viral dance hits."
DanceOn, which was co-founded by Madonna, partners with 1,200 dance "influencers" (presumably people like King Imprint) to help their dance videos gain exposure and generate revenue.
In the case of "Watch Me," DanceOn CEO Amanda Taylor approached Silentó for permission to use the song in unofficial dance videos. Silentó agreed; within three months, "Whip/Nae Nae" videos posted by 50 members of DanceOn's network of content creators had driven 250 million views. Taylor estimates that the total mass of "Whip/Nae Nae" videos created in that time span garnered 500 million views.
Fascinating stuff -- capitalism at its finest. Was iHeartMemphis' "Hit the Quan" a DanceOn initiative? Given the pre-existing popularity of Migos and Quality Control, one doubts that the Dab was a product of DanceOn's behind-the-scenes viral scheming.