WE do so many things on our phones today that we wouldn’t have been able to 10 years ago. We can work – send emails, edit documents, pay bills, stream music, read the news and watch TV or movies in bed or on the train.
In fact if you wanted to, you could throw away your TV and computer and still have access to absolutely everything they offered in the palm of your hand – which, incidentally, a large portion of millennials have started to do.
Smartphones have changed the way that big companies do almost everything, especially in the media, entertainment and technology industries.
Most new products and services today are made for “mobile first”, based on the assumption that customers and audiences use their smartphones more than any other device.
But there’s one big event — something that attracts millions of people in different ways in dozens of countries around the world — that’s never really made the leap to smartphones.
It’s reality TV and, specifically, the uber popular talent competition.
From ‘The Voice’ to ‘Idol’, ‘Got Talent’ and even the ‘Miss Universe’, talent shows remain focused on TV first. Which is weird, seeing as though they were so good at embracing mobile phones and pioneering SMS voting in the early 2000s. Their reluctance to break the TV-first model is even more peculiar considering that their audience is diminishing and the average age of viewer hitting nearly 50* (Nielsen*).
When I was working at Endemol in London, we launched quite a few innovative web and mobile products for shows like Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal — but they were always “add ons” to the main TV show.
During my time with Big Brother UK I worked on world-first live-streaming from the Big brother House to mobile devices. The technology was ground breaking but was still considered a secondary source and the unedited content was never designed to be a real alternative to the main TV production. MSMCI believe the time has come to turn the tables and disrupt the model. Today’s reality entertainment needs to be designed for an audience who consider their mobile devices to be their primary, if not only screen.
Holding a talent competition on smartphones is such an obvious idea, but one that’s never really been floated, and certainly not at this scale.
In ignoring this avenue we have alienated an enormous segment of new talent whose attention is focused solely on their highly engaged, online audience.
Think about it. Can you imagine a season of American Idol or similar where all the performances were on YouTube instead of TV, where the performers brought their social audiences and encourage them to vote, and their audiences can cross-pollinate and be truly responsible for discovering and celebrating talent?
That, in a nutshell, is what we’re doing with Megastar Millionaire.
Last year, after more than a decade in TV and marketing, I joined a digital technology company called MSMCI, which is an Australian publically listed company with its technical team based in the US. MSMCI is effectively a digital incubator with a slate of global, mobile, social products – their first being Megastar.
MSMCI has developed the world’s most advanced talent competition platform for smartphones by taking the best parts of TV talent shows, mobile gaming, user-generated content and social media, and turning it all into an app.
We’re launching the first competition to use the technology, Megastar Millionaire, in the coming months.
It will be unlike anything people have seen before.
Megastar Millionaire will be a worldwide competition, calling for performers from Australia, The USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the UK, the only conditions will be that you a). have talent and b). have a social presence.
With the sort of big-name celebrity hosts and digital influencers you usually only see on TV and a grand prize of $US1 million, not only can people win the huge grand prize, but they can also increase their social footprint AND be discovered for a digital film with some of Hollywood’s top movie producers.
The entire competition will take place on your smartphone.
Anyone with Megastar Millionaire ambitions will be able to enter the competition just by filming their entry and submitting it on their phone. They’ll then have to engage with fans and other performers as the competition progresses to build up enough of an audience to have a shot at winning.
Think of it as the world’s first mobile-based reality talent show that will include performers from around the world – not just from one country – and in all sorts of styles, not just singing, but dancing, gloving, BMX, Surfing and Frizbee tricks. We want it to be the most meritocratic talent show you’ve seen with an array of amazing performances and skills to shock, thrill and amaze.
We want Megastar Millionaire to change what talent shows look like forever. But more than that, we’re also looking forward to bringing people together.
If you’ve got a smartphone, you can take part, and we hope to have you on board later this year.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Sophie McGill for her article.