A  nationally representative survey of 1000 16-35 year olds found that 46% of people agree that the X-Factor takes advantage of vulnerable contestants. One respondent even stated, in reference to Britain’s Got Talent, that ‘I don’t think all the contestants were treated with respect… some have been ridiculed… too much time is devoted to poor quality entrants.’ As well as this, a number of other enlightening statistics about how people view current talent shows were revealed by the survey.

The survey, commissioned by RVL productions for their new talent platform, Salute, was conducted by AudienceNet for market research purposes. The research sought to establish an understanding of the target audience’s likely uptake of the proposed talent contest, focusing on: demographics, lifestyle/interests, music and TV consumption behaviours, attitudes towards existing talent shows, engagement/consumption of existing talent shows and evaluation of RVL’s proposition.

Launching at the beginning of April, the new and innovative music talent platform, Salute, has aimed to find out what people really want from talent search programs. Their survey has produced some intriguing statistics about how the public feels towards shows such as The X-Factor and The Voice.

Aside from the aforementioned statistic, Salute also found out that:

  • 70% of people agreed that the X-Factor ‘serves to make money for the show’s producers/presenters’
  • 63% of people see the X-Factor, at times, as a ‘glorified karaoke session’
  • Only 18% agreed that the X-Factor ‘has the contestants’ best interests at heart’
  • Only 12% of people agreed that The Voice completely ‘supports its contestants’

Aiming to provide a fresh and alternative talent opportunity for UK musicians, Salute goes against the conventions of the typical talent show. By empowering and supporting the creation of new music at a grassroots level, Salute will bring something invigorating to the masses, rather than just another program looking for the next best cover singer.

Consequently, since these shows have been around for a while now in the reality television sector, Salute have questioned whether it is time for something new and exciting that challenges our preconceptions of how music should be showcased. To reinforce this, the survey concluded that 59% of people agreed that the form of the X-Factor is becoming ‘tired’ as opposed to ‘fresh’. On top of this, 55% said that they were interested in a new talent show based around original song writing talent.

Comments from those who took the survey backed up these sentiments, one participant noting that ‘It would be refreshing for people to show off their original content instead of being brainwashed into becoming a cookie cutter popstar’. In similar fashion, another commented that ‘Anyone can make a cover of a good song. Only a few can write their own content. That’s where the real talent is’ and it is this ‘real talent´ that Salute is yearning to find through their revolutionary music platform.

Another issue that has arisen from the TV talent show is that of the audition phases of the competitions. Less talented contestants, who aren’t necessarily quality musicians, are often showcased on prime-time TV, seemingly for the amusement of millions of viewers. One participant of the survey encapsulated this notion, arguing that this ‘comes across as bullying’. Salute will feature no such ‘audition’ phase, instead, they are implementing a portal through which contestants can upload their music, whereupon it will be vetted and evaluated fairly, with no embarrassment as a result.

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