Facebook to launch its own X Factor-style singing competition

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Facebook plans to launch its own X Factor-style singing competition where people nominate their friends as contestants. The show will air on Facebook Watch (file photo), with auditions and votes taking place entirely on Facebook


Facebook plans to launch its own X Factor-style singing competition where social network users nominate their friends as contestants.

Auditions and voting are set to take place entirely on Facebook, the company announced during a presentation at a Television Critics Association event used by networks and streaming platforms to promote thier slate of upcoming shows.

The singing contest forms part of Facebook’s latest push into original programming, as the service attempts to compete for audiences with the likes of Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube.

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Facebook plans to launch its own X Factor-style singing competition where people nominate their friends as contestants. The show will air on Facebook Watch (file photo), with auditions and votes taking place entirely on Facebook

The Menlo Park-based social network launched its own video streaming service, Facebook Watch, in the United States last year with a number of original series, news programs and user-generated content.

The company remained tight-lipped about the details around its new singing contest during the media event, which was held at CTAM’s headquarters, in Maryland.

The show promises to ‘put the audience at the centre’, said Facebook’s vice president of product Fidji Simo.

The company also announced plans to debut an interactive reality show starring basketball star Shaquille O’Neal on a quest to open a restaurant.

The show forms part of Facebook's latest push into original shows as it attempts to compete for audiences with the likes of online video giants like Netflix and YouTube (stock image)

The show forms part of Facebook’s latest push into original shows as it attempts to compete for audiences with the likes of online video giants like Netflix and YouTube (stock image)

WHAT IS FACEBOOK WATCH?

Facebook Watch was launched with more than 20 new premium full-length shows, as well as a number of shorter five to ten minute episodes that are refreshed daily.

This two tier approach allows the company to provide more ‘clip’ oriented content similar to YouTube as well as challenging Netflix’s supremacy for ‘binge-watching’ on-demand series.

CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen is leading the efforts in his role as global creative strategy chief with former MTV executive Mina Lefevre.

For its top-tier shows, Facebook is reported to be spending about six figures per episode.

This gives them full ownership, which allows the social network to release them to its global audience of 1.9 billion monthly active users.

The eight-episode ‘Big Chicken Shaq’ would launch in the coming weeks, Facebook said.

In the series, O’Neal will seek advice from Facebook users while preparing to open a restaurant in Las Vegas.

The former National Basketball Association star will use Facebook Live interact with fans, the company said in a statement.

Both shows represent the type of interactive television Facebook is trying to create to engage users, said Ricky Van Veen, the company’s head of global creative strategy.

Facebook Watch is competing for audiences with services that dominate online video like Netflix and YouTube.

Van Veen said some Facebook Watch shows were gaining traction, including ‘Tom vs Time,’ a series starring New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

‘I think it will be a long way to go before we are at that level of other platforms with big, huge breakouts,’ Van Veen said, ‘but we are seeing some encouraging signs.’





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