Sky1 to launch 'Music' competition series

Show's 'unique edge' is that it gives control to winning artists

LONDON -- After years of watching rival ITV win blockbuster ratings with shows like "X-Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent," Sky1 is putting its weight behind a new music talent-hunt format "Must be the Music," promising "a competition with a unique edge" as a highlight of its summer schedule.

Instead of locking in competitors into record deals and representation if they win, the twist for "Must be the Music" is that it hands control to the winning artists, giving them creative support, a cash fund of £100,000 and the chance to perform in one of the U.K.'s top live music arenas.

The show will also give viewers the chance to download music from the show and influence the results.

Commissioned by former ABC and ITV entertainment executive Duncan Gray, now Sky's head of entertainment, "Music" will be produced by Princess Productions and is open to all musicians across all genres whether they are solo artists, groups, vocalists or instrumentalists.

"Any age, any style -- this show is about a passion for music and a desire to perform -- whether you are a bedroom rapper, a beatboxer, a gospel choir or a Bhangra group," Sky said.

"At last here's a chance for the huge variety of unrepresented new talent to showcase real music and grow as an artist both creatively and financially," added Gray.

Open auditions will be held around the U.K. in May.