The Executive Producer of The Voice says the newest season of Australia’s favourite light entertainment format is helping to breathe new life into the wider “shiny-floor” television genre.
Speaking in the wake of last week’s successful launch of season six of The Voice, John Walsh noted that this year the program has significantly broadened its talent search with a focus on regional areas.
“This is the biggest version of The Voice in all six seasons,” said Walsh. “This year we have changed a number of the coaches and undertaken the biggest talent search in the history of the program, especially in regional areas.
“The result is that we expect to have a much larger engagement with younger audiences this season, revitalising not just The Voice but the ‘shiny floor’ genre itself.”
Walsh pointed to audience figures for The Voice, which consistently attracts 1.1 million viewers-plus and is regularly the most watched entertainment show on Australian TV.
He also attributed its success to this year’s choice of coaches, with Nine bringing back Delta Goodrem and Seal and adding Boy George and Kelly Rowland to the mix with surprising results.
“We have already found with Kelly Rowland and Boy George that the engagement level is really, really high,” said Walsh.
“I think people had a fixed idea of what they thought Boy George would be like, and when they see him they are realising how authentic and genuine he is. He is also appealing to a lot of young artists, which quite surprised us.
“The coaches are a hugely important part of what we do. Their status is what sets this show apart from anything else on television, they become a focal point of our pre-launch campaign, and they are the core cast of the whole show.”
Lizzie Young, Nine’s Director of Innovation, Partnerships & Experience, noted that The Voice was unique in many ways because of its engagement with viewers, which is having a flow-on effect for advertisers.
“What we know about The Voice fans is that they are incredibly passionate,” Young said. “Every year we get sent pictures of families sitting at home in their red chairs that they have dressed up, spinning around.”
This year a number of major brands signed on as sponsors of The Voice, including Arnott’s Shapes, KFC, Mazda, Nick Scali Furniture and Blossom Manuka Honey.
Young says these brands are seeing incredible engagement: “We see more than one million people come to our app and play along with us every night.
“Because of their passion for the content, the artists and the music, they are also passionate and genuinely motivated to find out what our brand partners are doing, who they are, and how they can be a part of their world.”
Walsh added that The Voice had a key formula for success.
“I think what keeps people coming back to The Voice year after year is a combination of all the elements. They get really invested in the journey of the artists and want to follow them through and see how far they go. They also enjoy a lot of the interplay between the coaches, and most of all what they really get is some great singing.”