Every few years, a reality talent competition will burst onto our screens that will somehow stand out against all of the rest, leaving a lasting and indelible mark on our popular culture. In the 2000s, the likes of American Idol and Big Brother were the trendsetters of the day, dominating the news agenda and shaping television trends for years to come.
In our current era, most would probably agree that the singing show ‘The Voice’ is the standout entry of the genre. Although its cultural impact is not as big as the reality TV juggernauts of the 2000s, it enjoys some of the highest ratings out of any reality show on television worldwide (although ‘The Voice’s’ ratings have begun to slide in recent years). So, what’s next for the show?
Big Guests, Few Winners
As mentioned, viewing figures for ‘The Voice’ are not what they once were. Granted, at close to 10 million viewers per episode, it still towers above competitor shows such as ‘The Masked Singer’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
However, each subsequent season throughout the past three years has seen progressively worse ratings, suggesting that this reality TV titan is losing its luster. One reason that is often attributed to this is the simple fact that, although the guest judges and coaches on ‘The Voice’ are selected from the upper-crust of Hollywood’s A-Listers, the show is yet to produce a successful contestant.
When one thinks of predecessor shows like ‘American Idol’ or ‘The X Factor’, we can easily recall contestants who went on to become superstars, such as Kelly Clarkson, One Direction, Little Mix, or Fifth Harmony. Meanwhile, one would seriously struggle to list even a single winner of ‘The Voice’ who has gone on to find anything resembling mainstream success.
As it becomes clear that this show is not a vehicle for super-stardom, top talent will steer clear. This, in turn, makes the stakes feel lower, which could impact the entertainment value of the show.
A Growing Multimedia Empire
Perhaps having gained a sense of its waning star power, the people behind ‘The Voice’ have sought to capitalize on its inherently entertaining format in other ways. The result is a growing multimedia empire, which could be the key to cementing the legacy of ‘The Voice’ for years and decades to come.
This is most clearly visible in the world of gaming, with a huge number of video games, board games, and even online casino games inspired by the show. The mega-franchise kicked off the Xbox 360/PS3 release ‘The Voice: I Want You’, which came complete with a microphone bundle and saw impressive commercial success back in 2015.
The show has also made its impact in the world of real-money gaming, an increasingly lucrative market. There is also the official ‘The Voice’ online slot game at the UK bingo platform Buzz Bingo, where you can play with friends to unlock real cash prizes while revisiting the best performances of the series. Then there is the popular board game ‘The Voice: Battle’, where players take on the role of judges to pick out the best talent for their music empire. The list goes on.
So, does the future of ‘The Voice’ lie in its potential to become a cross-platform, multimedia brand? All of these games are certainly selling, so it seems as though the show could have a bright future beyond the confines of television.
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