Simon Cowell brings his talent show format to YouTube with The You Generation

20 Mar 2013

Launching tonight, The You Generation calls itself the world’s first global audition channel, asking talented hopefuls to upload a video to show the world what they’ve got and be in with a chance to win cash prizes.

The YouTube channel is the brainchild of none other than Simon Cowell, perhaps the world’s most famous talent scout owing to TV franchises like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

The online global talent contest officially starts tonight at 7pm following a live launch starring chart-topping boy band One Direction. The former X Factor contestants and their glorious heads of hair are currently touring the world, and they owe much of their success to their online popularity.

This and the role social media played in getting Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle to the world stage inspired Cowell’s latest talent search. In an interview with The You Generation host Will Best, he explained how he realises that YouTube is the biggest video channel in the world, but real stars can get lost in the mix when there are more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute.


Teaming up with YouTube and Skype, Cowell’s Syco Entertainment venture is now asking users to upload videos demonstrating their talent – whatever that may be – to a place where it could lead to their discovery and, perhaps, a cash prize.

The competition will run for a year, with 26 categories, culminating in a grand finale.

The You Generation channel on YouTube has almost 90,000 subscribers at the time of writing, and its exclusive Irish advertising partner, UPC, has no doubt of the competition’s potential for worldwide attention. “This will be a huge global phenomenon and massive in Ireland where there is no shortage of great talent and creativity,” said Rhona Bradshaw, UPC Ireland’s head of marketing and online.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.