The Lesson from ‘The Voice’

Staff Writer

Rob McCasker has 20 years of radio experience, and now lives on The Great Ocean Road in Victoria as a freelance writer.

How good is ‘The Voice’?

Rhetorical because the evidence is already in – it’s a smash. Ratings, tweets, you-tube hits and revenue have all gone ballistic.

‘The Voice’ is one of the most watched and quoted shows in years. Raving fans, job done. There are some great lessons for radio within this monster of a program.

Firstly its entertainment value is no fluke.

Creator John de Mol, who began working in commercial radio and is the brains behind the worldwide hit ‘Big Brother’, has a history of international success. His company in the Netherlands lists compelling-content as its core brand value.

To him, and his creative team, content is everything. Nothing is more important.

De Mol says gripping content relies on more than just a great idea. Every big idea needs remarkable execution for it to take off. This makes sense in the case of ‘The Voice’ which, let’s be honest, is not the first TV show to put singers in front of judges to win a contest.

But it has turned the genre on its head and set a new benchmark while making its rivals look pedestrian.

Think ‘The Voice’ and ‘Australia’s Got Talent’? There are many experts more qualified than me saying AGT is now dead in the water.

Take also another of John de Mol’s shows already sold to Australia. Called ‘Dating In The Dark’ which asks as its premise if you can fall madly in love with someone you've spoken to, smelt, felt, maybe even tasted… but who you have never seen? And if so, what happens when you finally do?

When it comes down to it: do you see more in absolute darkness?

Stripped right back it’s a dating concept, which is not new, but in this case brings an extraordinary twist. A big idea with (no doubt) compelling content.

The Voice is a great reminder to anyone in the business of entertainment that to win big being first or better is not as crucial as being different. A fierce focus on creating remarkable content can result in powerful talk and tweets that only dreams are made of.


Rob McCasker has 20 years experience in radio and now lives on The Great Ocean Rd working as a freelance writer. You can contact Rob here.

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