Simon Cowell has had varying levels of success with the winners of American Idol, The X Factor, and Britain's Got Talent over the years, so now he's looking to the Internet for the next big star.
Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment has teamed up with YouTube to launch The You Generation, a global online talent competition that wants to find people with "unconventional and original talents" in what they call "a new worldwide entertainment concept," the Washington Post reported.
The contest is set to start on Mar. 20 exclusively on YouTube and run for a year. Potential contestants can upload their audition on a YouTube channel—they plan to focus on a different category every two weeks—where a panel of judges associated with Syco (as well as the public) can view the videos.
It will extend across 26 territories that will include the U.K. and Ireland, the U.S., Russia, and a good part of South East Asia for talents in fields like TV presenting, singing, and cooking.
The You Generation teased the contest in a one-minute video which showed the reveal of Cowell, the man behind the curtain, to a number of contestants who were clearly shocked.
A winner will be selected each fortnight, and an overall winner will be selected to receive a bigger reward.
Some of Cowell's shows have previously incorporated YouTube in the audition process, but selected contestants then had to audition live. In comparison, The You Generation will be completely online.
For Syco, it's an experiment to top into social media to discover talent, which has helped launch the careers of stars like Justin Bieber.
"The channel offers people with unconventional and original talents the opportunity to have their talent recognised by the world and become the next internet star," Syco said.
Syco has already experienced the success that can come with a YouTube phenomenon. Susan Boyle, the runner-up on Britain's Got Talent in 2009, became a household name after her audition went viral (her performance has more than 500 million views). They also signed One Direction in 2010, whose videos collectively have over 1.2 billion views.
YouTube is already a force to be reckoned with in the music world. Just last week, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart after it started to incorporate YouTube views. The U.K., however, has refused to use YouTube when tabulating their Singles Charts.
Photo via yougenerationtv/YouTube