'X Factor,' 'Got Talent' Get Global YouTube Channels

"America's Got Talent"

Producers FremantleMedia and Syco Entertainment want to draw worldwide eyeballs and advertising revenue with highlights from national shows and original content.

LONDON – RTL Group's FremantleMedia and Syco Entertainment, a venture between Simon Cowell and Sony, have launched  global YouTube channels for hit TV formats The X Factor and Got Talent.

Channels on the Google-owned online video site already exist in various countries, but the global launches are designed to draw worldwide eyeballs and advertising revenue with highlights from national shows and original content.

"The channels will provide, for the first time, a single destination for millions of fans worldwide and a rare opportunity for brands to access a targeted and engaged global audience on one channel," the production companies said.

The channels will feature the best of the viral content from the various local versions of the shows around the world, which already reaches billions of views per year.

But FremantleMedia and Syco also plan to produce original content for the YouTube channels, including formatted spinoff shows, weekly round-ups and curated playlists of the best and worst auditions.

Keith Hindle, CEO of digital & branded entertainment at FremantleMedia, said: "These formats have national audiences of millions of people who share a passion for talent, and through YouTube we are able to reach them all at once on a global level for the first time. The channels present fantastic and unique opportunities for brands to put themselves at the heart of an already engaged and active online global community."

Got Talent recently announced a 55th local version, a mark the companies say is "unequaled by any other talent show in history. The X Factor has been made in 25 territories around the world.

Got Talent has attracted 460 million global viewers since its launch in 2006, while X Factor has drawn 350 million since 2004, according to the partners.

On YouTube, Britain’s Got Talent has attracted more than 1.4 billion views, while The X Factor UK has reached more than 1.7 billion views. In comparison, America’s Got Talent has reached 177 million and Indonesia’s Got Talent 80 million.

"The X Factor and Got Talent YouTube channels are amongst the most viewed in the world, and by launching both as global franchises we’re making it even easier for audiences and brands to engage with our content on a worldwide scale," said Syco CEO Charles Garland.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai