The Talent Searching Trend

Everything moves in and out of fashion. Whether it is a particular genre of music, popular foods, cars, clothes or a television show, nothing is immune to an eventual drop off in popularity. But entertainment mogul Simon Cowell has his own opinions on this issue.


Talent shows have experienced a huge boom in the last decade. In Australia alone we have had Australian Idol, Popstars, The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and the X Factor, many of which have spawned from popular shows in America or the UK. These shows have become such a powerhouse television format that they have even caused spin-offs in completely different areas from cooking to renovation.

But in the wake of US networks cancelling his X Factor, entertainment mogul Simon Cowell has come out swinging blaming the over-saturation of television markets with talent shows.

Essentially he believes that the huge number of talent shows has dissipated the available talent leaving many shows without the ability to find real talent. However, I’m not sure this is actually true. Simon Cowell’s first debut on American Idol occurred in 2001 when it was the only show of its kind on television. But it wasn’t until 2010 when he discovered global superstar act One Direction on his own show, The X Factor, and this was during a time when it was competing with many other talent searching formats including The Voice, American Idol and America’s Got Talent (also started by Simon Cowell).

I’d venture that this competition may not be the reason why there is a waning popularity with these talent search shows. I wonder if it is because audiences have simply moved on.

Interest in any product on remains as long as it is shiny and new or manages to reinvent itself. These shows have been around for a number of years (and the format is even older) and have been received incredibly well during their premiere couple of years.

Could it just be that we have seen everything we are going to see within this format? Is it just time for a new kind of television show to begin that recaptures our attention with a new idea?

The Voice certainly managed to do this with the novelty of its swivel chairs and interesting concept of listening but not seeing the contestant. But once we had discovered all the magic in that new spin – pardon the pun – audiences started looking for something different and new.

Like bell-bottom jeans and Coke Cherry, every exciting new innovation reaches the end of its life at some point. Rather than look at your competitors and complain, it provides a great opportunity to reassess the market, understand what they are looking for to fulfil their entertainment needs and then create a perfectly targeted product to bring them back in!