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Personally I don't see this working for two reasons:
Firstly the Idol format on network broadcast still gives the performers, judges et al an implied superiority and 'backstage' cache whereas the internet actually does the reverse. (Now we the audience are the judges as opposed to just the suckers who waste millions in call charges phoning in to vote. Similarly we're accustomed to everything on the internet being free!)
Secondly these kind of shows have so devalued celebrity that the reward of achieving it is being eroded away. When the show fails inevitably to make any of the participants famous (or in the unlikely event that it does but we all know that it is only for the immediate duration of the show and aftermath and is in our wiser viewing eyes an illusion with no material value) then how does it run to a second series or even survive the first? The TV formats still currently have the proven potential for success both in record sales and subsequent careers because the shows are able to garner popular attention and architect the marketing machinery accordingly.
still cost money to produce and I think Simon Fuller is suffering from
illusions if he thinks that this show will make ongoing sustainable
profits wholly via the internet imho. What I think is much more likely
is that Simon Cowell will use the springboard he now dominates to leak
some of the Idol/ X Factor asset online in a controlled way and massage
it to a successful formula online.
As I've said before.... all roads lead to Famebook! ;-)
Please let me know your thoughts and RT where poss!