NBC Orders New Musical Competition, 'The Stream'

The network will mine submitted performance videos before putting hopefuls on air.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images
Justin Bieber

Not content with having TV's last standing musical competition in The Voice, NBC is adding another — albeit a slightly unconventional one. The network has ordered The Stream, a social media-driven contest which will rely heavily on technology.

Based on a Norwegian format, it skirts traditional auditions in favor of hopefuls submitting their own performance videos to a dedicated platform. The 100 most-streamed musicians, which are not bound to any genre, will be invited to an industry showcase until they're narrowed down to just a handful who will compete on a live weekly program. The ensuing streams will dictate who gets eliminated and who wins.

The Stream brilliantly uses technology and social media to draw music lovers in and make them a part of the process,” NBC Entertainment's alternative and reality group president Paul Telegdy said Thursday in a statement. “We’re excited to discover talent in this modern way and connect the best artists with the industry’s top starmakers.”

It's the fifth announcement that the network's new reality house, NBC Universal Television Alternative Studio, has made since its inception in June.

The Stream's methodology is not without precedent. Justin Bieber is among the many musical artists to be discovered by uploaded clips on YouTube and other platforms. It also isn't the first musical competition to try and lean on social media for voting. ABC's short-lived Rising Star had a tie-in app that allowed fans to vote for performances in real time.

The Stream is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Monster, TV2, Nordic World and Little Hill. The deal was packaged by Steve Wohl at Paradigm.