Yahoo unveiled a fresh slate of original programming at its NewFronts presentation Monday, including a live electronic-music competition series with “The X Factor” impresario Simon Cowell on board as executive producer.
“Ultimate DJ,” which was created by Cowell’s production banner, Syco Entertainment, is one of multiple projects Yahoo is funneling through its Yahoo Live section, which was first announced with partner LiveNation at last year’s NewFronts.
“Electronic music is one of the most important genres around the world and we want to respect what’s happening around the world,” said Cowell from the stage at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.
Citing strong traffic from the lineup of music concerts Yahoo Live has pumped out, an expansion of the concept will encompass more than just concerts. In a concept similar to Cowell’s “American Idol” and “X Factor,” “Ultimate DJ” pits some of the world’s most promising electronic music DJs against one another in pursuit of a Sony Music recording contract and headlining spot at a major music festival. Live voting will be supplied by another Yahoo property, Tumblr.
“These live conversations, which will also live on demand, will give people a better handle on the stories coming to them fast and furiously in bits and pieces,” said Couric on the Lincoln Center stage.”
Yahoo Live will also build on the momentum from its core concert series with more of same, including a new partnership with the Electric Daisy Carnival festival and four other major music festivals.
As Variety reports, the partnership was announced as part of a slate of original programming from the online giant at its NewFronts presentation at the Lincoln Centre in Manhattan yesterday (April 27). As well as Cowell, Steve Aoki was also at the presentation, where it was revealed> that the EDM cake-thrower would be one of the show’s celebrity judges.
Yahoo chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt also announced the voting would take place through Tumblr – presumably in an attempt to harness the power of EDM’s social media-savvy fanbase – explaining that the show was “very much like the World Cup of EDM — country against country, DJ against DJ, fanbase against fanbase.”
The show is being produced by Cowell’s Syco Entertainment along with Ultra Records president Patrick Moxey, Done and Dusted production’s Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton, who was the director of the 2015 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show and Academy Awards. The lucky winner will get the opportunity to headline a major electronic music festival and will be offered a record contract with Ultra Records and Sony Music, but as Cowell is known for dropping former winners from his record label when they don’t perform, any prospective contestants should probably go in with a back-up plan.
Ultimate DJ has been in the pipeline for a while now – Cowell’s first attempt to get a DJ talent show off the ground was scuppered in 2012 following behind-the-scenes disputes, but it reared its ugly head again last year when it was revealed Cowell was in cahoots with T-Mobile and EDM giant SFX Entertainment to bring the project back to life as an online show. It’s not Yahoo’s first foray into the live music streaming world – last year it announced a partnershipwith Live Nation to live stream selected concerts online