As if we don't have enough Simon Cowell in our lives, the music and TV entrepreneur is hours away from launching his next project 'The You Generation', a YouTube based worldwide online talent contest. The venture, which will seek entries from those with "unconventional and original talents" aims to widen its scope from the all singing, all dancing roots of Pop Idol, X Factor and America/Britain's Got Talent and is actively welcoming entries from musicians to make-up artists to chefs. The contest, which will launch tomorrow, the 20th of March and run for 12 months, will change categories every 2 weeks. Submissions will be on public view but judged by Cowell's production company, Syco. There will be a prize given at the end of each fortnight, with a super grand prize awarded at the end of the run.
Although Cowell has found unsurpassed success on terrestrial TV, he is just one of many (like Ridley Scott) who are utilizing YouTube as a way to directly connect with the audience. He's also acutely aware of the input and influence that active YouTube users have and the way they can promote the hell out of an artist if they buy into them. The fans themselves can make someone a star overnight.
He believes that YouTube has changed the way we search for and discover new talent and that:
The system's changed now. We have people looking at YouTube all the time. It's a fantastic vehicle, it's changed everything. It's literally changed the music business - for the good. It's the biggest TV channel now in the world. The problem is there's just so many videos being uploaded. Part of the reason we have come up with our own idea is you are definitely going to get seen on this.
You can hear more from the man himself in this promotional clip:
The You Generation will be available in 15 languages and across 26 countries. Popsters One Direction (*scream* etc.) who shot to fame on The X Factor UK will help launch the new channel via a live stream interview.