Tasting future BBC success

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Empowering television viewers to help shape the future of unknown stars is nothing new. I’m trawling back through the archives here…but how about Opportunity Knocks, the original Stars in their Eyes, Pop Idol, Fame Academy, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice – the list goes on, and on, and on.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise then that the BBC has launched a new interactive platform today called BBC Taster. The online interactive service will be used to experiment with new content and technologies, encouraging users to ‘try, rate and share’ what they are looking at.

Billed as doing for interactivity what the iPlayer did for on-demand programmes, the digital initiative is certainly raising the bar when it comes to discovering new talent. Not only will it peel back the once secretive development process, but it will ask online audiences to judge new comedians, musicians and poets who are trying out experimental material.

How much influence we will have on future television and radio schedules remains to be seen – it also will rely heavily on an effective BBC PR machine to profile and showcase the stars who were ‘tried, rated and shared’.

As audience numbers tumble for the likes of X Factor and The Voice – Simon and the gang suffered their lowest viewing figures for ten years in last year’s final – the dawn of a new interactive service is likely to be a breath of fresh air. Changing the format, tapping into the vast potential of the online world, and removing the contrived panel histrionics that have undoubtedly been responsible for the exodus of viewers, sounds like a recipe for success.

Watch this space….