It’s a big year for “live” as the dozens of online video companies attempt to make real-time viewing matter to the millions of consumers tuning into entertainment online. For FremantleMedia, that means taking advantage of a platform with a baked in audience — YouNow, around one of its most popular non-scripted/reality formats — “America’s Got Talent,” which airs weekly throughout the summer on NBC.
From the LiveFronts, the two companies today announced that they are renewing a partnership for the competition series that puts a breeding ground for new performers, and “AGT” hopefuls, to audition live using YouNow. Spanning 9 weeks, the first round of auditions kicked off during Fremantle’s presentation in New York City, showcasing YouNow’s capability to drive live, interactive events with its users across the globe.
“It’s about participation. It really exploits the medium in teh best possible way. TV has always flirted with interactivity and this goes beyond interactivity — this is breaking the 4th Wall,” says Adi Sideman, YouNow’s founder. “This is allowing the viewer to jump into the experience and be part of the content.”
The program proved quite successful for both companies, according to Sideman, who says a big benefit from the original partnership was the additional programming that was created and used by Fremantle to promote and drive awareness for the show. Last year’s run produced over 14,000 live auditions for “AGT,” though none of those made it to the final round — an actual episode of the series in front of Judges. The popularity of the first run together is what sparked the two companies to present the format live at the LiveFronts, a new buyer market for brands looking to spend against live broadcast formats.
For the new season, auditions will be hosted by “AGT” digital producer, Adam Davis from Los Angeles, but hopeful auditioners can broadcast from anywhere in the United States by visiting https://www.younow.com/AGT_Auditions., breaking the barrier to discovering and engaging new talent from all markets.
“America’s Got Talent” has been the top performing show for 11 seasons, particularly amongst the 18–34 demographic. YouNow reaches a younger audience. But according to VP of digital marketing and business development, JR Griffin, says the opportunity was less driven by the new reach into a younger demo and more about the opportunity to create a new, engaging and “positive experience” for the fans.