Simon Cowell has a bit of the Midas touch when it comes to providing the right platform to discover—or make—rising stars, and it has made him a very wealthy man in the process. It seems that he has decided to move beyond regular television and is setting his sights on the YouTube generation of possible stars and maybe more money.
It's been a rather big month so far when it comes to YouTube announcements. The news that Ridley Scott (yes the same Scott of Alien and Blade Runner fame) is joining forces with YouTube powerhouse Machinima to create 12 original science fiction short films has stirred up a lot more hype for the video streaming site. This was followed quickly with Reddit announcing that it will be doing a new "Explain Like I'm Five" web series.
If that wasn't enough to make normal television executives sit up and take notice (and maybe make a run for some more Pepto Bismol), then the news that Idol and X-Factor star maker Simon Cowell was headed to YouTube as well will definitely cause a few cages to be rattled.
It's called "The You Generation", and the idea is that, starting this Wednesday, 26 countries will be a part of the journey to discover the most talented people in the YouTube world. Every two weeks a new batch of finalists will be picked out and winners will be announced every second Friday. They then will all be able to win money; even though prize amounts have not been made public yet.
All these winners will then go on to a Grand Finale, where once again the prized are still to be announced.
There are a lot of jokes floating around the web about the whole idea, but the reality is that Simon Cowell is still a force in the entertainment industry. The fact that he and his people have figured out that there might be some serious gold in all those YouTube videos is something that will raise YouTube's profile as a competitor to the established networks.
Should this new project prove to be a hit, expect copy-cats to begin emerging.
Here's the promo video for the project: