Norwegian talent show format The Stream set to challenge The X Factor's dominance.
A “next generation” music talent show, which promises to use the power of streaming to uncover the next Adele, could finally put The X Factor out of its misery.
The world’s largest record companies are backing The Stream, a new talent format from Norway, which “reflects today’s way of discovering new talent” by harnessing the popularity of YouTube and Spotify.
The X Factor, which returns to ITV for a 13th series this weekend, hoping to defy falling viewing figures and a run of flop winners, finally has competition.
In The Stream, set to debut on Friday night in Norway, there are no public auditions for wannabes.
Hopefuls instead upload video clips to the show’s website, where they are instantly available for the public to view, comment, share and stream. The most-streamed 100 will perform at a showcase in front of leading industry talent spotters.
Instead of celebrities, the judging panel will be A&R executives from Universal, Sony and Warner Music, who will choose the best to go forward to a weekly live show. They will be signed to record deals and their music released on Spotify. The most streamed artists over the following week remain in the show whilst the least popular face eviction. The ultimate winner, the most-streamed act, will be the singer or group that “speaks the language of our generation.”
Uploaded clips gave Bieber his break
Ann Christin Siljan, Vice President of Acquisitions at NordicWorld, the company distributing the format, said: “Streaming is how we consume music and find new stars today. Uploading videos is how Adele and Justin Bieber got their first break. “Why be number 761 in an auditions queue when its easier to upload a clip? “Instead of celebrity judges we have respected talent scouts working with the artists and the winner will be the act whose music is genuinely the most popular.” NordicWorld has received interest in the format from UK broadcasters. Ms Siljan said: “We’re looking for the right partners. The UK is famous for breaking new formats and the strength of its music industry.”
X Factor returns despite viewing slump
Despite recording the lowest viewing figures for its 2015 final, ITV has signed The X Factor to a new three-year deal. However ITV has also poached The Voice from the BBC, to run next Spring. A revamped version of that talent show is being tipped as a long-term replacement for Simon Cowell’s creaking format. Sony Music is also a partner in The X Factor through Syco, its joint venture with Cowell. Spotify boasts around 30m subscribers and 100m total users. Its Today’s Top Hits playlist, with 10m followers, has a big influence over the UK Top 40 as paid downloads decline. The company behind The Stream format is Monster, TV 2 and Jørn Dahl.
The Stream – how it works
Everyone can upload their video online to The Stream website, where it instantly becomes available to the public to spread, share and stream. All musical talents can participate – whether they are a talented singer, rap-duo or an electronic group. The 100 most streamed talents will be invited to a showcase, where they will perform in front of the world’s most prestigious record companies: Universal, Sony and Warner music. The record companies will choose 40 artists who they will work closely with for one week. At the end of the week, each record company will choose and sign their three favourite artists. When the artists have been signed, they will compete in a weekly live show. Their music will at the same time be available on Spotify, where the viewers can stream their favourites. The most streamed artists stay in the competition, and the least streamed artist risk eviction. It’s up to the audience which artists stay in the competition, and which ones have to leave, based on the number of streams as well as traditional voting during the live shows. The winner of The Stream is the most streamed artist – discovered and chosen by the public.
X Factor Hits and Misses
2006 winner from Islington hit big with debut Spirit album, selling 8m copies worldwide and single Bleeding Love topping charts in 30 countries. After career sales of 20m, Lewis has transferred to Broadway and is currently starring in a revival of Cats.
Boyband manufactured by Cowell finished third in 2010 series but went on to become a teen phenomenon, valued as a $1bn brand. Four albums were merely a springboard for sold-out tours. The members amassed a combined fortune of £82m before going on hiatus.
The only group to win the competition, female quartet formed in 2011 have gone on to score three platinum certified albums and ten singles in the UK. Became the first girl group since The Pussycat Dolls to reach the US top 5 with their debut album.
Winner of first X Factor in 2004 scored a debut number one album and single but was dropped by SonyBMG after 8 months and fell out badly with Simon Cowell. Released album Forgotten Man in 2014 and published a book, Getting Over The X, about his experiences.
Series 9 winner failed to follow up million-selling single Impossible. Dropped by Syco after being accused of singing homophobic lyrics and recording a song promoting terrorism. Recovering in hospital after suffering a violent attack in Redcar.
2013 winner scored the Christmas number one and supported Beyonce on stage. Parted company with Syco a year later after one album. Self-released a follow-up and toured Butlins holiday camps this year.
by Adam Sherwin - i News The Essential Daily Briefing